FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Carol Lewis' kids knew to expect an emotional moment as they passed the school where their mother served 37 years as the librarian, but they got more than they bargained for.
"What we didn't expect is what we saw and that was kids just pressed against the fence, screaming and yelling 'I love you, Mrs. Lewis. I love you, Mrs. Lewis.' and it was not a dry eye in the cars of anyone passing by, said daughter Suzanne Passmore. "It was amazing. It just overwhelmed you with love."
Current students sent their love loud and clear just minutes after funeral services for Lewis.
The family got this sweet surprise as they took one last tour through Pinedale -- past their old home and Pinedale Elementary School where Lewis dedicated more than half her life.
"Everyone in the community, they all know my mom," said Passmore. "She's always been Mrs. Lewis."
She retired from the school just last year because of health issues, and on the same day the Fresno City Council declared it Carol Lewis Day in Fresno, the school created a storybook celebration in honor of her long run.
Former students brought to life some of the characters from her favorite books, and Lewis felt right at home.
"She really didn't want to be anywhere else but the library," said Passmore. "Her love for reading and her love for the kids in the community is what really drew her there to stay."
The outpouring at her school showed the love reflected right back at her for a life spent in selfless service.
Fresno students organize a touching tribute to legendary librarian from Pinedale Elementary