Family donates funeral funds to daughter’s classmates
Hannah Nahrwold was the heart of her dental hygiene class at the State College of Florida.
Her peers said it was her energetic attitude and brilliant organization that kept them going day in and day out.
“She was always sweet and always had a smile on her face,” said Suzanne Dicamillo, one of her classmates.
Nicole Garrabrant, another classmate, agreed, stating that, “Hannah’s warmth shined more than all of us combined.”
For two years, when Hannah wasn’t at school, she was texting, studying or otherwise hanging out with the 10 other women in her program, said Hannah’s mother, Nancy Nahrwold. So, it came as a crushing blow to both family and friends when she died unexpectedly last summer.
While the family planned the funeral, they searched for a proper way to honor their lost daughter. What they came up with left Hannah’s 10 classmates in tears.
“We were asked so many times what we would do for her, but we couldn’t think of anything that seemed appropriate.
We knew that if we did anything, it had to be for you girls,” Nancy told the students. “It had to be you. She loved you.”
Instead of having their loved ones spend money on flowers or other gifts, the Nahrwolds directed them to send that money to a scholarship they set up in Hannah’s name. Their efforts raised about $10,000. Allison Nash, the school’s scholarship director, said scholarships like these usually only yield about $1,000.
Hannah’s mother, father and sister surprised her peers Friday afternoon by donating those proceeds toward their tuition. Each student received $1,000 posted on their financial aid account. Nash said the gift was timely, considering that tuition for the spring semester is due Monday.
“It’s very helpful,” Garrabrant said. “I don’t get any financial assistance and I don’t have a job, so I’ve been paying straight out of pocket.”
Nash explained that board certification exams for dental hygiene cost about $1,800 and need to be completed before the students graduate in May. Dental hygiene students plan on honoring Hannah in their own way before graduation, they said.
“Hannah was a loving, giving person. She loved her classmates and we figured any money should go directly to her fellow students. We didn’t do anything,” Todd Nahrwold said. “We didn’t do anything. It’s just what she would’ve wanted to happen.”
The money was raised after Hannah died in an accident and her family instructed loved ones to donate money toward the scholarship instead of gifts and flowers. Each of Hannah’s peers received $1,000 in financial aid.