NEWINGTON, CT (WFSB) -- The Newington community is mourning the loss of a teacher who passed away over the weekend.

Lilian Klinger was a special education teacher at John Patterson Elementary School in Newington.

According to her obituary, she died unexpectedly on Sunday at the age of 40, and leaves behind her husband and three children.

She is being remembered as a nurturing and compassionate person.

"Lilian would light up a room with her smile. She would come in and you could sense her love," said Lisa Fanelli, who was a good friend of Lillian's.

Those qualities were perfect for her role as a special education teacher for preschoolers, which she held for more than a decade.

The community is coming together to support Klinger's family.

A GoFundMe page has already raised more than $5,000, and a Meal Train was created, where dozens of people have signed up to prepare meals for the family. Monetary donations can also be made on the Meal Train page.

"It’s amazing. It makes such a heartbreaking situation so heartwarming," Fanelli said. 

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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