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Best friend remembers Evadale teacher whose life was taken by COVID-19

Tia Coleman's best friend of 30 years said she will be remembered as kind, loving and compassionate

EVADALE, Texas — Friends are remembering a Southeast Texas teacher as a kind and loving person after COVID-19 claimed her life. 

Tia Coleman's best friend said she was passionate about her job and her family. 

Rhonda Gulley said she didn't see the loss of her friend coming. 

"I never expected any of this to happen," Gulley said. 

 She lost her best friend to COVID-19 on Thursday. 

"I never would've in a million years, thought this because she was so careful," Gulley said.  

In the early morning hours, COVID-19 took the life of Tia Coleman, who Gulley says was a teacher for Evadale ISD. 

Her best friend of more than 30 years said she was in her element when she was teaching. 

RELATED: Evadale Elementary School employee dies due to coronavirus

Credit: Coleman family
Tia Coleman

"She was a great teacher, she loved her kids, she loved what she did," Gulley said. 

When she wasn't teaching, she was shopping. 

"She loved the bling, she loved nails, all that kind of stuff," Gulley said. 

Because of the pandemic, Rhonda wasn't able to see Tia as much as she wanted to, but they've shared plenty of phone calls since then.  

"We just talked to each other last weekend, I was like you know we have to celebrate our birthdays when this is over with and she was like 'oh yes, absolutely, we've got to celebrate our birthdays,'" Gulley said. 

Now, Rhonda is only able to hold on to the memories, and she admits she can't quite choose a favorite one. 

"There's so many, there's so many, I'm sorry," Gulley said. 

For three decades, the two women experienced life together. 

"We stayed friends, bridesmaid at my wedding, we've been through having children," Gulley said. 

For those who didn't have the pleasure of knowing Tia, her friends hope she can be remembered for how kind she was and how much she loved. 

"She loved her husband Roy, she loved her son Aiden," Gulley said. 

The school district hasn't confirmed Coleman's identity.  

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