May 29, 2013 7:41 PM by Allison Bourne-Vanneck

Coach Remembered On The Softball Field

The last day of school is usually a time to celebrate summer vacation. But one elementary school in Lafayette Parish instead celebrated a very special teacher--taken too soon.

Back in April...Donna Stelly Trahan, a gym teacher at Charles Burke Elementary, passed away.

She fought breast cancer for over a year, and beat it. But then just weeks before she died, she found out she had liver cancer.

To this day, Donna's courageous spirit continues to touch teachers, faculty, and students at the school. That's why on the last day of school, they chose to honor her memory, the way she would have wanted by playing her favorite sport: Softball.

"School-wide, she's missed a lot. In my family, tremendously," Christy Babineaux, Donna's friend and co-worker said.

"It's been tough, we lost her way too soon unexpectedly and there's not a day that goes by that we don't think of her," Ryan Mouton, a P.E. Teacher at Charles Burke Elementary and Donna's co-worker said.

Donna graduated from Acadiana High School, where she was an all-state catcher.

"She was in love with the sport. She played catcher at Acadiana High during the fast pitch, and during slow pitch she was a short stop. And she just loved the game, loved the sport," Donna's father, Donald Stelly, said.

It's a love of the game she would teach to her students in gym class--but also her family. Her son, Stryker followed in his mom's footsteps, as a baseball standout at Acadiana High. Stryker is now in the big leagues with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

"She waited her whole life to see him play professional baseball. And he was gone, so she didn't get to see him all the time, so I told her, now she won't have to miss a game," Babineaux said.

This game, for Donna--number 12. Twelve pink balloons for the teacher, friend, mother, daughter and wife--who will be remembered on and off the field.




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