LETCHER Co., Ky. (WYMT) - Compassionate, caring and full of energy. Melanie Cooper Blair's coworkers say she was the epitome of a teacher. Blair died of cancer on Tuesday and teachers are celebrating her life and sharing memories.
Melanie Cooper Blair taught many students during her 25 years.
Wendy Madden-Rutherford is the principal at Letcher Elementary School and says every student was her favorite.
"Every child in her room thought they were the most wonderful, smartest, most favorite kid there," said Madden-Rutherford.
Teachers say Blair gave her students everything, but this year she was unable to teach, instead fighting her own battle with cancer. A battle she lost on Tuesday.
"About a month ago I visited with her. We have two new teachers in the building. This is their first year and she asked me to tell them that she was sorry that she couldn't be here to help them," said Madden.
Teachers say this was just like Blair, constantly thinking of others and having fun.
When Deana Johnson began her teaching career, Blair immediately made her feel like family.
"She was so kindhearted and humble, spirited and just all about the love. Love the babies, that's what she taught me," said Johnson.
Johnson says Blair took her under her wing.
"Everything that I learned from her I will forever cherish and try to practice and just hope that someday I can leave behind the impact on my students that she left for hers," said Johnson.
Like Johnson and so many others, everyone says Blair left impressions no one will forget.
"She leaves a legacy. She doesn't just leave some memories behind. I think she leaves a legacy," said Madden-Rutherford.
Madden-Rutherford says students are signing a banner and planting a tree in her honor.
Blair's funeral is on Thursday at 11 o'clock at the Kingscreek Community Church.