Family creates memorial fund for Arkansas City teacher who died of pancreatic cancer

ARKANSAS CITY, Kan. (KWCH) The family of a Arkansas City teacher continues her legacy to care for her students.

For Melissa Rogers Paton, education wasn't about just reading, writing, and arithmetic.

"Education for children didn't stop at the school doors, it had to go on and Melissa was very much concerned about the kids that came in without a coat or came in without the right clothing," said Christie Rogers, Melissa's mother.

Melissa's illness started around Christmas 2018 and she was diagnosed with pancreatic caner last July. She died from the disease last month on December 29.

Her family says they were looking for a way to remember and carry on her legacy, so they decided to use another way that she had been serving her students. Making sure that they had the warm clothes to get through these cold winter months.

"When a child comes to school without a coat, it becomes a problem to come to school and then they get sick or they're embarrassed," said her husband Andrew Paton.

The family set up a memorial fund through the Arkansas City School District that helps all schools in the city. They also encourage people to donate a coat to their local school in Melissa's memory.