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Widow: Teacher Killed In Taunton Rampage Was A Hero His Whole Life

BOSTON (CBS) - A teacher who died saving a stranger during a rampage in Taunton has been honored for his heroism. George Heath stepped in when the attacker started stabbing a waitress at a Bertucci's.

"He loved them, he loved the whole idea of someone fighting evil and being the good guy," Rosemary Heath said of her husband George.

Anyone who had the privilege of calling George Heath a friend knew he loved his superheroes. And for the 14 years of his marriage to Rosemary - he was her superhero.

"This has been the longest year of my life," she said. "The time with him seemed like the blink of an eye. This last year seemed like it was really long."

George and Rosemary Heath
George and Rosemary Heath (Facebook/Rosemary Heath)

Last May, Heath gave his life to protect others during a stabbing rampage at the Silver City Galleria in Taunton. The mentally ill attacker was shot by off-duty sheriff's deputy James Creed. On Wednesday the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission selected George to be posthumously honored with the prestigious award.

"I am extremely proud of him. Extremely proud. It's nice to know that he's going to have that recognition in history. On this day, George Heath stepped up."

Carnegie Hero
Carnegie Hero Award medal (WBZ-TV)

It was that most selfless act that made George Heath a hero to strangers. But the one who knows him best says he was a quiet hero his whole life - in the way he treated his family, his friends, and his students.

"I want his kids in school to grow up thinking that this is how you live your life," Rosemary said. "Think of other people first. Help them out in any way you can. Maybe if you're in a situation where something big will happen, you'll be the person who steps up and does something."

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