CHESTNUTHILL TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Inside Pleasant Valley High School auditorium, a group gathered Thursday night not only to remember Christopher Hixon, they gathered to celebrate him.
"My heart is broken, absolutely broken, he was the light of my life, my first child and we were 20 years apart and we sort of grew up together and it was fun, it was absolute fun,” said Toni Hixon, Hixon’s mother.
Hixon, 49, graduated from Pleasant Valley in 1986.
He was a U.S. Naval reservist, a husband and father.
Most recently, Hixon was the athletic director and wrestling coach at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.
On February 14, he was shot and killed there, in one of the world's deadliest school massacres.
Those who love him do not want him remembered for how he died, but rather how he lived.
"My brother, Chris was just a happy, go lucky guy, he got here first thing in the morning at Pleasant Valley and I think he was the last one to leave every night, Mr. School spirit all the way,” said Natalie Hixon, Hixon’s sister.
"There's so many great memories of him from high school to even after high school, you know, so seeing the video and then the pictures, really brings a lot of memories back,” said Brett Middleton, a high school classmate.
Pleasant Valley school leaders presented the Hixon family with a blanket and in return, Hixon's family presented the school with this special flag.
"He was a happy person, I can still hear his laugh in my head, which is just amazing, it's 2 months, almost 2 months that he's gone and I can still hear the laugh,” said Mary Ann Niceforo, Hixon’s aunt.
"He loved life and he loved all the kids, he gave up his life for the kids," said Hixon’s mother.
Pleasant Valley officials plan to start a scholarship in Hixon’s name.