The Hamilton K-8 School community honored Michael Pappas, a dedicated teacher, mentor and coach who died Oct. 15 of leukemia, by gathering Tuesday at "Pappas Lane" on the school's campus in central Fresno.
Mr. Pappas was 63.
As a tribute to his last race, guests were invited to bring running shoes or spikes to donate to the Hamilton track program.
Guests were also encouraged to write messages and donate toward the purchase of a bench to be placed outside the gym. Students filled a big portion of "Pappas Lane" with messages written in chalk on the blacktop, and posted a board with more hand-written messages.
After graduating from Fresno High School and Fresno State, Mr. Pappas was a teacher and coach for 34 years. He served in the National Guard and was a member of the Bulldog Foundation, Masonic Lodge No. 247 and Scottish Rite.
Mr. Pappas is survived by his wife, Susan; daughter, Jennifer Pappas of Fresno; son, Dr. Nicholas Pappas of York, Pa., and his wife, Kelsey; sister, Christine Pappas of Fresno; brothers, Peter Pappas Jr. of Madera and his wife, Gabriela, and Tom Pappas of Fresno and his wife, Robin; and numerous nieces and nephews.