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Friends, Family Pay Final Respects To Barton College Professor

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Paula Patterson
WILSON, N.C. — The death of art professor Paula Patterson hit students and faculty at Barton College hard. They paid their final respects in a ceremony Monday at the school's chapel.

A reception was also held in Barton College's art gallery, where friends and family can view some of Patterson's work.

"She was a teacher passionate about helping students discover their own talents and gifts," said the Rev. Laura Hutchinson.

Her husband, Russell Patterson, thanked the college and community for its support and tribute to his wife.

"All of us care about each other and that's what this service showed," said Dr. Norval Kneten, president of Barton College.

Investigators found Patterson's body inside her home art studio last Tuesday. They removed crime scene tape late Friday after police say an autopsy showed no signs of trauma that would suggest foul play.

Investigators still will not say exactly how the Barton College graduate died. They are waiting on a toxicology report and test results on some evidence they sent to the State Bureau of Investigation lab, which could take several weeks.

For now, Patterson's suspicious death case remains open. Authorities plan to discuss any updates to the case on Tuesday.