Lafayette special education teacher dies from COVID-19 complications

Michelle Suire, a 53-year-old special education teacher at a Lafayette elementary, has died from complications of COVID-19.

“She had a kind, loving soul,” her younger brother George Murphy said in a phone interview Wednesday.

She worked with students in grades 1-3 at S.J. Montgomery Elementary School, according to the school’s website. As an inclusion special education teacher, she helped students who were in mainstream classes rather than her own separate classroom.

“I’m very proud of her for what she did,” Murphy said. “She found a calling. It was something she was good at. And to hear from so many who were touched by her does provide some comfort.”

Murphy and his two sisters were born and raised in Lafayette, and Suire spent time in the U.S. Navy before doing administrative work until she earned her teaching degree. He said she taught about 10 years.

“She found her calling a little later,” Murphy said. “I have so much for respect for her.”

Michelle Suire, a 53-year-old special education teacher at S.J. Montgomery Elementary in Lafayette, died Tuesday from complications of COVID-19. Here she is pictured with her children, Olivia and Landon.

Suire died Tuesday at Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center from complications of the coronavirus.

Murphy, who now lives in Houston, said he spoke with Suire by phone mid-week and she did not feel well. She was hospitalized Saturday. 

“It happened real fast,” he said. “I don’t think any of us were expecting this.”

Suire was married to Trent Suire from 1999-2013 and had two children, Olivia and Landon, now 19 and 17, her ex-husband said. 

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