Friends, acquaintances, and supporters have stepped up in a big way to support the family of Federico “Fed” Garduño, a Brooklyn middle school teacher who was killed last week by a falling tree in his hometown of Annapolis, Maryland.

Garduño, who was 44, was a teacher at MS 447, The Math & Science Exploratory School, in Downtown Brooklyn. He was killed on April 18 in Annapolis when a tree fell into his family home during a storm. His wife, Melinda Fought, who is also a teacher for the Department of Education, and their 5-year-old son Iggy were in the home at the time of the accident. The family was in Annapolis over the Easter holiday visiting Garduño’s family when the accident occurred.

Stricken by tragedy, Garduño’s family is now receiving an outpouring of support from those that knew him, with many donating to a GoFundMe organized for Melinda and Iggy. The fundraiser reached its original goal on Sunday, and as of Thursday, Garduño’s wife and son have received more than $105,000 in donations.

“Fed was the funniest and smartest person in any room he was in,” Dan Milledge a friend of Garduño’s for 20 years identified wrote in the GoFundMe post. “He had an astonishing ability to come up with just the smartest, goofiest jokes on a dime and deliver them like they were nothing.”

In addition to being a teacher, Garduño was also a stand-up and improv comedy performer. “He performed all over the city, with his longest tenure at The Magnet Theater. He truly loved all of his fellow performers. They meant the world to him,” the GoFundMe page reads.

Parents of students taught by Garduño have always shared their condolences. “My daughter Mariana had Ms. Fought in 5th grade and Mr. Garduno for 6th grade science. They are fantastic teachers! She enjoyed being in their classes. We’re thinking of you and send our sympathies.” Wrote parent Gillian Austin on GoFundMe.

Family and Friends of Garduño have also shared photos and memories of the beloved teacher in a virtual obituary.

“We all have those special teachers that we remember into adulthood. Fed was one of those.” Milledge continued.

Christopher Edwards

Christopher Edwards is a Brooklyn-based writer and Journalism student at Baruch College.

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