Hundreds say farewell to beloved 'Waving Granny'

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For 12 years, she was there at her front window to offer a friendly greeting to kids who walked by her house on their way to school.

And last month, 400 students gathered outside Tinney Davidson's home in Comox, British Columbia to say thank you and one last goodbye to the woman affectionately referred to in the community as the "Waving Granny."

When the kids received word that their 88-year-old friend would be moving out of her home and into an assisted living facility, organizers decided to give her a warm send-off and one last big wave.

Carrying signs that read "We love you!" and "Thanks for being awesome," the teens expressed their adoration for Davidson as they marched over to her residence for a surprise visit on April 25.

The frail woman emerged from her home, clearly overwhelmed, as she clapped her hands together and exclaimed, "Oh lovely! Thank you! Thank you!" 

She said she was shocked and surprised by this grand outpouring of love from the many kids who wanted to say goodbye to her. 

The beloved fixture of the neighborhood has long been known to the students at neighboring Highland Secondary School.

Waving to Davidson became a daily routine for many of the high school's kids who said they've looked forward to her sweet greeting, which lifted their spirits and brightened their days. 

Davidson first began the waving routine with her late husband back in 2007, when the couple first moved into the home. She carried on the tradition after he died. 

In a 2014 interview with local news station CHEK, Davidson said she began this act of friendliness as she noticed the kids walking by one day. "I just liked the look of the children, and they all looked in," Tinney explained, "And I thought, well, if they're looking in, I'll wave to them. And that's how it started."

That simple warm gesture toward the young passers-by led to friendships between the elderly woman and the teens, who on one occasion invited her to their school to honor her in a special Valentine's Day ceremony. Some even began to stop by and visit with Davidson at her home over the years.

As the group visited Davidson for their final farewell, the students said that she would be missed.

As part of the demonstration of gratitude toward her, the huge crowd collectively blew their friend a kiss and waved goodbye in unison as some called out, "We love you!"

Davidson responded with a huge smile as she enthusiastically returned their wave and said good-bye.

This story was reported from Oakland, Calif.