BOULDER, Colo. –

Saturday morning marked the end of a more-than-year-long struggle with breast cancer for Leson Dunkley-Hansen, a former teacher at Boulder Community School of Integrated Studies and a mother of four.

Dunkley-Hansen was diagnosed with breast cancer last year. The cancer eventually spread to her brain and lungs and caused her to stop teaching her fifth-grade class in March 2008. She died Saturday.

She is survived by her children, Alys, 19, James, 18, Austin, 15, and Emma, 10.

Her sister Michelle Dunkley-Clark described her as “open, devoted, loving.”

The family opened Dunkley-Hansen’s home for a vigil that ends Tuesday morning. Her sister said it’s good to see a full house of people come to say goodbye.

“She was surrounded by and continues to be surrounded by loving people,” she said.

A bell-ringing fundraiser held May 9 raised more than $18,000 for Dunkley-Hansen. Her sister said the support has been overwhelming, including the keepsakes that many children brought to put beneath the flowered wreath in Dunkley-Hansen’s room.

Dunkley-Clark said that, though this will be a difficult time, life will go on for the family.

“We’re trying to help (the children) learn that it’s not a tragedy,” she said. “It’s not tragic; it’s real life.

“Anytime you lose your parent it’s sad. … They are lucky to be surrounded by such a loving community.”

And Dunkley-Clark said all that her sister did for others will preserve her memory.

“Her legacy is in her children and all the children she’s taught,” Dunkley-Clark said. “She will always be a part of their lives.”

Archived comments

Rest In Peace, Leson.

You’ve raised great kids.

orbison

6/2/2009 3:38:20 PM

ditto. rest in peace

UAN

6/2/2009 8:18:45 PM

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