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Students, teachers remember life, love of Kelly Dressler

Kelly+Dressler%27s+funeral+services+are+set+for+10%3A30+a.m.+Monday%2C+December+14+at+the+University+Church+of+Christ+in+Canyon.
Kelly Dressler's funeral services are set for 10:30 a.m. Monday, December 14 at the University Church of Christ in Canyon.

Kelly Dressler's funeral services are set for 10:30 a.m. Monday, December 14 at the University Church of Christ in Canyon.

Kelly Dressler's funeral services are set for 10:30 a.m. Monday, December 14 at the University Church of Christ in Canyon.

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A purple head stood out in the hall. A remembrance of an inspiration. Purple. That was her favorite color.  

Kelly Dressler, science teacher, died Wednesday, Dec. 9 at the age of 33. The funeral service is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Monday, Dec. 14 at the University Church of Christ in Canyon. Dressler was diagnosed with NUT midline carcinoma last year before Thanksgiving. Mrs. Dressler, a Canyon High graduate, began her career at Canyon High in the 2011-2012 school year.

“She worked here when she was working with the ambulance at BSA. She came here and helped us with our EMT dual credit class,” principal Tim Gilliland said. ‘Michelle Barton was our HST teacher at the time. I was trying to get a second teacher hired and she said we should hire Kelly Dressler. She loved Canyon High School. She just wanted to make a difference in people’s lives, and I think she did that.”

Senior Morgan Tucek is one of Dressler’s nieces. Tucek dyed her hair Dressler´s favorite color, purple, in honor of her.

“She was very loving and kind lady,” Tucek said. “I could tell her anything. Anyone could tell her anything. She was a well-liked person. She loved to help people.”

There’s a lot of great things I want people to remember.”

— Morgan Tucek, 12

Tucek said she lived with Dressler the past summer.

“I loved to cook with her,” Tucek said. “Her food, her recipes and everything she cooked was amazing. Everything was from scratch, and so she let me make a mess of her kitchen, and always let me cook supper with her.”

Biology teacher Kerri West also said Dressler loved to cook.

“We would all sit around and eat lunch together,” West said. “She would always make homemade stuff. She would always give us recipes and stuff like that. Kelly was just really fun. I’m going to miss her.”

West said Dressler dedicated her life to her family and her job.

“She spent a lot of time with her kids, taking her kids to all their activities,” West said. “Her kids were in Kwahadi, so she was always doing sewing and beading projects. She was also a Boy Scout leader for her son. She was kind of a tomboy. She would always go shooting and stuff like that. Stuff you don’t see a lot of women doing, she would go do. She liked people, and she liked to help people.”

Tucek said she has made many favorite memories with Dressler.

“She taught me how to sew and would help me sew little things,” Tucek said. “This past Halloween she had a party, and it was Hogwarts themed, and I got to help her make scarves, candy and everything. It was fun. Everything with her was fun.”

Tucek recalled many memories with Dressler, but said she could not put all of them into words.

“She was nice overall, and she liked to help,” Tucek said. “If I could say everything, I would. There’s a lot of great things I want people to remember.”

West said Dressler had a strong faith in God.

I saw the students look to her as a role model and found her passion inspiring.”

— Heather Hale, English teacher

“Even until the very end, I don’t think she really got angry at God,” West said. “Maybe she went through a time where she did get angry, but she really accepted it as God’s will. She tried to make the best of it. She didn’t complain, even when she was in pain. At first, she was a little bit angry, and we talked about that quite a bit, but I think she got over that. She started to feel a peacefulness about it, and was like, ‘okay, whatever will be, will be.’ I think that really had to do with her faith.”

English teacher Heather Hale started fundraisers for Dressler including a community garage sale. Hale said the desire to help inspired her to create the fundraisers.

“We always want to help when something happens,” Hale said. “The teachers and I decided we would do something. The biggest way we thought we could help is by giving a financial contribution because she was gone so much and medical bills.”

As a teacher, Hale said she viewed Dressler as an inspiration.

“I saw the students look to her as a role model and found her passion inspiring,” Hale said. “It helped me think of ways I interact with students and the way that I present my subject matter. I saw her as compassionate, caring and able to be personable.”

With the help of Dressler, junior Katie Stages said she passed her Biology class.

“I want to be a vet,” Stages said. “Biology was really hard for me. She helped me, and did everything she could for me to pass her class. I passed her class with A’s because she helped me so much. It was really great for her to do that. She was like, ‘I see potential in you. I think you could be a vet, and I’m going to help you strive to get that.’”

Stages said Dressler helped her not only through biology, but also during emotional times.

“She was one of those people that wasn’t just a teacher,” Stages said. “She was like a really good friend. Sometimes I would stay after school if I was really upset. I could talk to her about it and she would help me through it. If I came into class and had a rough day, she would find a way to make me smile. I want her legacy to continue to soar through Canyon.”

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1 Comment

One Response to “Students, teachers remember life, love of Kelly Dressler”

  1. Braden on December 11th, 2015 3:34 pm

    Mrs Dressler was a very close friend of my both in and out of school. As people have said, she was more than just a teacher, she was an amazing lady and an even better best friend.
    Mrs.Dressler helped me in a very dark and very depressing part in my life and pulled me through.
    One of the best times of my years in high school is when Mrs.Dressler asked me to take care of her snake one year and the next she gave me her iguana Izzy, which I had for two years. Mrs.Dressler always loved seeing Izzy and watching me interact with her, because she saw that Izzy made me happy, only because she was a gift from my best friend.

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Students, teachers remember life, love of Kelly Dressler