Brian Laird had bravely beaten the worst of illnesses. On Tuesday, the brave, young Toms River teacher was gone.
And on Wednesday, the 37-year-old teacher's many admirers paid tribute in a way the young, strong teacher would have appreciated - through Facebook, and posting a photo with this saying:
"Don't drink, if you drink, don't drive, if you drive, don't get arrested, if you get arrested, don't call me" - RIP Mr. Laird
A fellow poster suggested that this was a recurring note that he left for students. "Every Friday," the poster noted.
Funeral services are planed for a 37-year-old Toms River High School North History Teacher who reportedly had beaten cancer twice - but succumbed to a sudden illness Tuesday.
Arrangements will be through Anderson Campbell Funeral Home, 703 Main St. Visitation will be Saturday from 2 to 7 p.m. with a funeral prayer service at 7 p.m.
Laird, a 1995 graduate of Toms River High School East, died after suffering a skin infection.
The recent infection spread quickly to his blood and with a weakened immune system, to his organs, killing him in just a few days, according to The Asbury Park Press, according to The Asbury Park Press.
Spokeswoman Tammi Millar said the Toms River Regional schools family "has been deeply saddened at the sudden loss of our graduate and High School North history teacher, Brian Liard."
Laird graduated from High School East in 1995 and began teaching at High School North in 2001. "We extend our deepest condolences to his parents and family," she said.
Principal of High School North Edward W. Keller said:
"We are shocked and saddened by the sudden loss of History Teacher, Brian Laird. Based on the reaction of our current staff and students, as well as many who have already graduated, he had a profound effect on all those with whom he worked. We will miss him."
Laird also coached the boys Junior Varsity Soccer at Toms River High School South, according to WOBM.
One Facebook poster noted the love and admiration had for his students and community:
"Brian always made my heart sing. His eternal spirit saw the good in just about every situation. When I would get too 'intense' Brian would always find a way to ease me back to sensibility. He made me laugh when I needed to laugh, to smile when I needed to smile, to be positive when I was seeing only darkness. He touched all of us with his joyful approach to just about everything. He loved his family and his Terrapins. 'Only the good die young.' Brian is absolute, empirical proof of that sad truth. Peace be with you Brian. You brought it to so many, you now deserve it for eternity.