‘Her spirit will live on’: Late teacher honored through scholarship

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — A beloved Central Florida teacher — who lost her fight against cancer — will continue to have a positive impact through education.

That’s because her family and friends have come up with a way to keep her memory alive, while also helping students.


Blythe de Armas Sheahan died of breast cancer in November.

As an elementary school teacher from Winter Park, education was a huge part of her life.

So was her family.

Read: Coronavirus symptom checker: Does a cough mean omicron, a cold or the flu?

A mother to three girls, de Armas Sheahan was first diagnosed with stage two breast cancer about 10 years ago.

After chemotherapy and a double mastectomy, she went into remission.

But the cancer came back. When she died last month, she was just 46.

De Armas Sheahan’s sister, Paige Filartiga, spoke with WFTV about her nieces and how it would be their first Christmas without their mother.

“She lived for her girls. She was very involved in all their lives.”

Read: ‘She will be truly missed’: Local police officer dies in motorcycle crash

Filartiga described her sister as a “loving person” with a “really good sense of humor.”

De Armas Sheahan’s friends would agree that she also brought love to her job as a teacher, helping shape lives in the classroom.

So they wanted to find a way to keep her spirit alive as an educator.

To honor her, former sorority sisters got together and created a college scholarship in de Armas Sheahan’s name.

Crystal Morris, who attended Stetson University with de Armas Sheahan, explained how the illness actually renewed a bond among college friends.

Read: Central Florida woman retires, spends life savings to build affordable housing

“One of the things that’s come out of this is everyone has come back together, long term friends, we’ve like, reunited,” Morris said.

“Her spirit will live on in the future and that as future generations apply to Stetson and find out about this scholarship,” Morris said.

“They’ll learn about her and what a wonderful person she was.”

The scholarship will aim to help a student or an immediate family member impacted by the emotional and financial tolls of a cancer diagnosis.

Filartiga said her sister would be proud.

“I know that Blythe would feel completely passionate about helping these family members. What a beautiful way to carry on her legacy.”

For information on how to donate to the scholarship, click here.

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.