(CNN) – People in Michigan are mourning the death of a teacher found murdered in the Dominican Republic.
63-year-old Patricia Anton taught in Grand Traverse County before moving to the Dominican Republic, where she was found bound, gagged, and strangled this week.
Missy Russell worked with Anton at the Children’s House and her son and daughter had Anton as a teacher.
For the past several years, she’s held on to an encouraging note Anton left on her desk.
“She was somebody who gave… was giving and she knew what to say at the right time and that’s a gift and there aren’t a lot of people who know how to do that,” said Russell.
Michele Shane, the head of school for the Children’s House, remembers how much she enjoyed it when Anton was her daughter’s teacher.
She also remembers when Anton interviewed for a job at the school.
“I thought this is a perfect person to be joining our community and I hope that she becomes a teacher of my children,” said Shanel.
Anton’s cousin Adrianne Machina says Anton went to the Dominican Republic in the early 1970s for the Peace Corps and helped build a school.
In 2014, she moved to the Dominican Republic to teach at 3 Mariposas Montessori.
The school posted about her tragic death on Facebook saying “Patty loved each and every one of our children just as if they were her own. She will be missed here on earth but will forever stay in our hearts. Those who know her hope she’ll be remembered by the impact she had on others, not the events surrounding her death.”
“I hope that people think about the beautiful life she led and remember her for the passion that she had for education and the champion that she was for children,” Shane said.
Investigators say her death is tied to a robbery.
A memorial service is planned for her this Sunday in the Dominican Republic.
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