Here’s how to honor a Pasco teacher who was killed last month

A public celebration of life for a Pasco elementary school teacher who was shot and killed last month is planned Thursday.

The open house in honor of Laura Cole runs from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the Pasco Early Learning Center, 1315 N. Seventh Ave.

School district staff, students, families and the community are invited. Children’s book donations will be collected for Pasco students.

Cole, 35, died Oct. 31 after her husband, Dustin A. G. Altshuler, shot her and then turned the gun on himself, police have said.

Laura Cole

Altshuler, 37, who taught computer-assisted drafting and robotics at Pasco High School, had been arrested the weekend before for allegedly groping a female taxi driver after a night of drinking. He was on paid administrative leave from his job.

Cole taught special education at Whittier Elementary in Pasco.

She previously taught at Stevens Middle School in Pasco and the district’s Early Learning Center.

The daughter of Thomas and Ellen Cole, she grew up in Vermont and held a master’s degree in special education.

Along with helping children, she was a champion for senior citizens and animals, her family said.

She published several fantasy novels for young adults.

Her family has set up a memorial endowment fund to support Pasco’s special needs program. Donations can be made to the Laura Cole Scholarship c/o Pasco Education Foundation, P.O. Box 3162 Pasco, WA 99301.

The foundation is online at www.pascopride.org.