Friends prepare for murdered teacher's funeral - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Friends prepare for murdered teacher's funeral

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - As estranged husband Chris Jones goes to court again Wednesday, Heather Palumbo-Jones' friends are preparing for her funeral.

Former co-workers said while they grieve, they also remember the legacy she built.

"It has been tough. The days she was found I lapsed into my work model," said Gayle Resneck Small of Licensed Master of Social Work.

At the Jewish Family Service Center Small is struggling through an uncommon week.

She used to teach a toddler class upstairs at the JCC.

Heather was her assistant. Now, Small is a social worker tasked with counseling Palumbo-Jones' former co-workers through the grieving process.

"Certainly it's a grief for me and one that will need to be attended to. And one of the ways we can do that for one another is we can be there," said Smalls.

Palumbo-Jones left the JCC last summer to take a job as a teacher at Frayser Achievement Elementary School.

She taught hundreds of children throughout her career.

Expert social workers said those children may struggle with her murder.

"Getting them back into a routine is very important. Having them do the things that they normally do," said Kim McDaniel who is a licensed clinical social worker.

The JCC is holding a fundraiser for Palumbo-Jones' children. Plus, there's a uniform drive in her honor for students in Frayser. Those who knew her said her legacy lives on.

"She touched the lives of so many children and so many families in so many different capacities," said Small

The funeral is scheduled for Sunday at 3 p.m. at St. Mary's Cathedral.

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