SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Two beloved South Bay teachers were remembered at Hilltop High School Wednesday night. Pamela and Henry Gutierrez were killed over the weekend in a car crash near Indio.
The Chula Vista couple made a real difference in their students' lives over the decades and were known for more than teaching school lessons.
The sudden accident has the community grieving. Many remembered the two teachers who made an impact at Hilltop High School and the Sweetwater Union High School District.
With tea candles lighting up Hilltop High School, current and former students wrote personal messages written on index cards.
"She was a wonderful lady," said Hilltop student George Santana.
"If any of the students had any problems, they couldn't pay for dance, couldn't go to their senior banquet, Mr. Gutierrez would pay for them. They were Hilltop High's guardian angels and National City Middle School guardian angels" said former student Rafaela Gutierrez (no relation), a 2011 Hilltop student.
Veteran teachers, 64-year-old Pamela Gutierrez and her 70-year-old husband, Henry, affectionately known as Mr. and Mrs. G, were killed after their car suddenly veered off and overturned on Interstate-10 near Indio.
"It's really hard to lose two people like that," said Amber Kauwoh, a 2001 Hilltop student.
Henry Gutierrez taught at National City Middle School. He also taught U.S. history in room 209 at Hilltop, alongside his wife of 44-years.
Pam was a government and yearbook teacher. Both her and her husband had been with the Sweetwater Union High School District for decades.
"She saw potential in everyone. She did kick me out of class a lot of times but she always told me she saw a lot in me," said Moises Laura, a 2013 Hilltop student.
Rafaela Gutierrez was overcome with emotion the moment the janitor opened Mrs. G's classroom.
Still visible on the whiteboard was Mrs. G's handwriting. The chairs empty and her desk untouched.
"Knowing them, both of them, they are watching over us right now," said Rafaela.
Henry Gutierrez was a decorated Vietnam Veteran.
He and his wife will be buried at Miramar National Cemetery on Monday at 2:30 p.m. Guests are asked to be at the gate half-an-hour before the ceremony.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the Gutierrez's children with funeral costs.