Vigil held in memory of Pilgrim High School Principal Gerry Habershaw

West Bay

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Hundreds gathered at Pilgrim High School’s football field Sunday night to remember Principal Gerry Habershaw.

They held candles and came together to celebrate a life that positively impacted so many young people over the years.

“It’s definitely a lot to take in,” former student Tanner O’Connor said.

A school official told 12 News Habershaw passed away suddenly Saturday morning. He served many students not only as a principal but also as a coach for several years.

“I don’t think I would have graduated without his help. It shows for the most part how many people came tonight and how inspiring he was. He left a footnote on all of our lives,” former student Adam Fox said.

Tributes began flooding social media Saturday night, as students and community members shared memories and offered condolences.

“He was devoted to his students and co-workers. He touched the lives of so many in this city. Our condolences, thoughts, and prayers go out to his loved ones. The city of Warwick is standing by to offer any support or help needed,” Warwick Mayor Frank Picozzi said.

Habershaw was recently replaced by an acting principal, which came as students moved to remote learning following a COVID-19 outbreak linked to a recent homecoming dance.

Many parents and students expressed support for Habershaw following the recent events.

Grief counseling for students and staff will be available all day on Monday.

A GoFundMe has been created on behalf of the Habershaw family.

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