Late Trapp Elementary employee honored with memorial tree

Published 12:35 pm Monday, May 29, 2023

For nearly a decade, Cynthia Lynne Haggard supported adolescents as an assistant teacher at Trapp Elementary School in rural Cark County.

While the school has since closed, the current location – which serves as home to Lady Veterans Connect – will honor and remember her.

A tree was recently planted to honor the memory and legacy of the late Haggard.

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“She touched a lot of children’s lives,” said Rita Watts, a friend of Haggard’s for forty years. “It was very nice to come together. Some former students of hers were there. Some former teachers that used to teach with her were there.”

As was evident by those in attendance, Haggard had a lifelong interest and influence in helping adolescents with their education and learning.

However, on Dec. 12, she unexpectedly passed away at age 53.

To honor her memory, several individuals came up with the idea to plant a lavender crape myrtle tree, Haggard’s favorite, near the building.

As it blooms and grows, trees can reach over twenty feet tall.

“The idea came to be because of her being such a big part of that former building,” Watts added. “She lived in that area too, so it just seemed like the right thing to do.”

Along with the tree, a memorial garden stone with the poem “A Limb Has Fallen From the Family Tree” was placed at its base.

As a sign of her strength of character, Watts noted that Haggard could make acquaintances quickly and reliably.

Thus, those in attendance ranged from individuals who had known her for decades to those who had met her only recently.

“One person said she was like a jar of sunshine,” Watts added. “She was just very kind, one of the sweetest souls you will ever know.”

Haggard’s nurturing nature also made her an easy fit in an elementary school setting.

“It was like everyone was her child at the school,” Watts added.

In making the ceremony a reality, various individuals sent in donations.

However, true to Haggard’s nature, the event did not go without helping others.

Haggard’s sister, Melody Brown, doubled the amount donated to the cause and made a personal donation to Lady Veterans Connect.

“[It] was very nice, too. We not only did something in her memory, but it will also be something nice because it’s planted next to an arboretum where the ladies that live there can enjoy the tree with the shade,” Watts said.

Haggard is survived by many family members and friends, including her husband and son.

While her death continues to be mourned, doing something in her memory that, in turn, helps others is a step in a positive direction.

“This has helped with the grieving,” Watts added. “It’s been very cathartic.”