Monday, January 28, 2013

A Rose by Any Other Name . . .

We were promised hope and change, and we were given excuses. Now we have four years of forward . . . indicating the same direction. So does that mean four more years of excuses? I'm not so hopeful even of that, except the supporters making excuses for the people who received their votes. President Obama has been a difficult blog topic, because basically to disagree with him, is racism or intolerance, or something negative. I don't disagree with him any more than I disagreed with G.W., but now in retrospect, the G.W. years were a kinder, gentler America. Although the USA Patriot Act declared war on we the people, the majority of us were aware of that fact. Now, with gun control and mental health data sharing, the majority is either clueless, or obtuse. You could disagree with G.W., you could even make fun of him, and it was acceptable, but Barack Obama is off limits for bloggers and comedians, much less pundits, who are having to attack peripheral politics, to avoid receiving more detrimental labeling than they already are. What isn't same ole same ole is the name calling and bullying of business owners and individuals who don't happen to agree with the present agenda. There is no free speech if you disagree! Free speech doesn't have to be removed from the Bill of Rights, the argument against free speech, just has to be presented to be progress and taking the rights away of someone with whom you disagree, to be your patriotic intellectually superior duty. Congress doesn't have to make any laws regarding religion, because Congress is forbidden, besides Congress can't make any laws regarding their actual purpose for making laws, which is a lack of their own efficiency. A jury of public opinion is all it takes for fundamental secularists to name call and bully, and now they do!
I have realized this President has given the secular fundamentalists the same political power the other side gives the religious fundamentalists. All in all, it's still fundamental extremism. Opposite ends of the same spectrum. I don't agree with either, but I do think the religious funadamentalists have a more difficult time garnering a majority. I'd say the last two elections have proven that . . . Righteousness will not be found on either side of the aisle, because fundamental extremism from either direction; is not righteous, nor is it prudent.
Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil. a Proverb of Holy Scripture

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Roe v. Wade

As we once again visit the moral dilemma of our culture, this anniversary is different. This is the fortieth year that abortion has been legal in our country. I've got a slightly different view than most of the divided religious-political stands, because I don't believe in doctors. I find it interesting that so many people of faith don't just take a real stand and boycott doctors, rather than politicians over this abortion issue. But that is for another day, today I want to talk about the real issue and the real alternative.
The women I know who are the most adamantly opposed to abortion, caught and or trapped their husbands with a baby on the way, a couple of generations ago, or were forced to go away and come back with no baby. This abortion argument really does seem to be based upon unresolved, personal issues for many.
I wanted to be a single mom. I'm not going into the reasons right now, but young and stupid are two of them. Considering the fact, I had the morals or lacked the morals to go ahead and fornicate, an abortion wouldn't have really been a moral dilemma, either, but I wanted a baby. That's where I was. I was a single teen-age mom back before the days of Bristol Palin. Those same people that didn't want anyone picking on her, have done a real about face since the 70's, I can assure you. In all this discussion about right and wrong, though, I'd like to address the real difference between right and righteous. Before there was "political correctness," there was "doing the right thing," and before that there was, "they're just good people," and years before that, there was conscience. I'm not talking about puritan legalism, I'm talking about believing in accountability, rather than public opinion. So how did we get to this horribly heated never ending debate that obviously isn't going away?
Now that we have had two full generations in which abortion was a legal availability, I'm sure we all know peers who have had them, as well as daughters or friends of daughters. I'd be willing to bet, the people who have had abortions, once they left the clinic, haven't received nearly the disrespect many single moms have received and still hear, even from the next generations. There has been such a disregard of the life and disprespect of others for so long, I don't think we as a nation can really wrap our mind around what it is to truly love, show compassion, or understanding for the decisions of another. I just don't see much evidence of anyone being taught to choose and truly appreciate life the way G-d intended it. He is, thankfully, so much more forgiving than humans.
Torah instruction stated the "unwed" mother was to be stoned to death. The baby would not have survived that, either. So what do we need to do? Making abortion illegal will just result in the increase of D&C's like they used to do in the 50's and 60's, before abortion was legal.
Did you know it was a Supreme Court Justice appointed by President Eisenhower that wrote up the decision on Roe v. Wade?
Did you know we had six years of a Conservative Congress, a Conservative White House, and seven out of nine justices on the Supreme Court appointed by Presidents with the letter R in their party?
That should be a clear indication, that abortion really isn't about saving babies, it's about keeping the people divided.
Did you know the year abortion became legal was the same year President Nixon's statesman finalized negotiations with China in some sort of trade agreement involving women from China? Incidentally, that was also the year Harbor Freight came to our shores.
A great man of G-d found himself in a situation of a baby on the way due to a "one night stand." I'm not sure how King David would have faired in American culture. He used his clout to have another man's wife, then when he couldn't get the innocent man to cover his tracks, he had him killed. He even had the man, himself, carry the orders to the front line. He then married the widow and after all that, the baby died, too. Yet King David was ultimately called a man after G-d's own heart. I've been in ministry nearly 20 years and my indescretion was nearly 40 years ago and I still am judged by it. G-d really does forgive. People, on the other hand . . .
If anti-choice individuals truly believe in an after life and in the innocence of the babies, I'm not sure forcing people to have children they don't want is the best solution. From what I read in the headlines, middle aged heterosexual couples are last in line to be able to adopt. Obviously after this many generations of self defined righteousness, making everyone that doesn't abstain get married, isn't going to happen.
It's time to face the fact, most of us are guilty of fornication at some time, and it would seem, judging others somehow eliminates some of our own guilt. I remember the interview with Ms. Lillian Carter back when her son was president. She said when she looked at her children, sometimes she thought she should have just stayed a virgin . . . I don't know the eternal spirtiual damage many of us have caused the next generations by our choices of indiscretion, but it's certainly enough of a concern for me to practice abstinence the rest of my days.
We are a nation of our own laws, from the inception and every generation alters and redefines those laws for their own convenience. Perhaps for those who seek a higher standard, it's just time to stop trusting life and death to the hands of humans, all together. If someone chooses to place their trust in the wisdom of man, the Biblical statutes aren't written for them anyway, and for those who want to stand on Scripture, stand on it with your own health!
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: Torah of Holy Scripture

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Did You Know?

Murder is already against the law. Anyone with a felony on their record is prohibited from gun ownership. What didn't used to be part of the equation was having health care as the arm of governmental enforcement. All these potential concerns by doctors and therapists and the Center for Disease Control has now officially ushered in "The Thought Police." Wonder how long it will be before anyone who's had a prescription for mood altering drugs or anti-depressants will go on the "no gun list . . ." How about us bloggers talking about "thought police?" I'm sure there is some sort of label for that besides just ordinary paranoia. This isn't going to help people who need help or protect anyone. The ones who might have sought help, will now be very hesitant to say anything.
As we become more and more trackable and obviously many are already tractable, what's next? Now that there will be so much more "oversight" as to households and invasion of privacy, how many middle aged men will have to give up hunting when their wife gets a prescription for "nerves" through menopause? I realize that sounds far fetched now, but . . . We have people literally and aggressively arguing to have their rights taken, or someone's, but ultimately when one loses a right, we all do. Anyone who truly believes this is going to stop mass murderers or stop at this level of banning really needs to get a grip on reality.
I'm no more impressed with President Obama's use of children as props as I was with Sarah Palin's. I did find in interesting that there was a hearing about gun laws December 17 on Capitol Hill. As this blog did a separate obituary, daily, for each victim of Sandy Hook Elementary, I discovered by following the updates, I have more questions than answers. I find three things very disconcerting about this horror and that is all the misinformation that has been reported, yet another divisive issue for the American public at large, and a number of new regulations based upon misinformation. That is troubling to me.
This president is divisive and it does seem intentional. I don't think it's racial, and I really don't think it's his evolution on gay marriage. The biggest crush I ever had in my life was a black gay man, and I still do not support our President. We're being divided, and half of us are screaming to lose rights, while the other half will be labeled. Perhaps, if we stopped arguing with each other for just a few minutes we could see that fact.
We are becoming a very untrusting society, for very good reason. We need to really look at what is happening. I read that there was a man in the woods that morning and he was an off duty, but armed, SWAT team officer from another community. So, if we lay down our weapons, and the guys with the badges and guns run the other way at the time of a dangerous crisis, then what? I'm not for conceal and carry, I think if someone is going to be armed, I'd just as soon see them in a holster. But I'm not against responsible members of society being able to make their own choices about the Second Amendment and how much trust we should have in our government. I don't have to trust someone to honor the regulation, I just have to know what's expected. If I had to make a list of who I would trust in a crisis or even a well guarded secret, the list would be very, very short, and would not include any politicians.
For they are a nation void of counsel, neither is there any understanding in them. O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end! Torah of Holy Scripture

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung

Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, 47, of Woodbury, died December 14, as the result of the tragic events that unfolded at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

Beloved daughter, mother, wife, grandmother, and friend, she was a dedicated teacher who inspired her students to reach their fullest potential by instilling in them the importance of life-long learning. A fierce leader and educational activist, Ms Hochsprung was admired by her colleagues, students, and parents, particularly for her caring and nurturing nature. She often referred to her students as her “children” and wanted school to be a positive place and a safe haven.

A graduate of Naugatuck High School Class of 1983, Ms Hochsprung discovered the power of knowledge that led her to pursue a career in education. She received her bachelor’s degree in special education from Central Connecticut State University and her master’s degree in education from Southern Connecticut State University. She was currently enrolled at Russell Sage College in Troy, N.Y., pursuing her PhD. — a testament to her own personal mission to continue learning and lead by example.

Above all, she was extremely devoted to her family. There was nothing in the world she would not do to ensure that her family was happy and safe. She often credited her mother, Cheryl “Gee Gee” Lafferty for instilling in her the importance of family, and never taking them for granted.

Her husband George Hochsprung; her mother Cheryl Lafferty; two daughters, Cristina Lafferty Hassinger and Erica Lafferty; a brother Daniel Lafferty; three grandsons and a granddaughter; three step-daughters, Anne Priest, Amy Lawton, and Beth Ewaskiewicz; and several aunts, uncles, and cousins survive Ms Hochsprung. Her father, William Lafferty, died in 2004.

Calling hours will take place Wednesday, December 19, from 3 to 8 pm, at the Woodbury Funeral Home of Munson-Lovetere, 2 School Street, Woodbury. Burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Dawn Lafferty – Hochsprung Memorial Fund, Waterbury Connecticut Federal Teacher’s Union, PO Box 2121, Waterbury, CT 06722.

To place an on-line condolence, please visit .

The Newtown Bee Posted December 16, 2012

This is Dawn's obituary as it appeared in The Newtown Bee

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Mary J. Greene Sherlach

Mary J. Greene Sherlach, 56, beloved wife of William Sherlach of Trumbull, died December 14, in Sandy Hook Elementary School. Born in Endicott, N.Y., February 11, 1956, she was a daughter of the late Jack and Annetta [NC1] Corgiat Greene.

Always interested in helping others, Ms Sherlach received a bachelor's degree in psychology from SUNY Cortland and a master's degree from Southern Connecticut State University.

She started her career working in psychiatric facilities in New York. Her work as a school psychologist began in North Haven and Redding. In 1994 she started her work at Sandy Hook Elementary School, doing what she termed “God's work” by helping children who needed her the most.

Ms Sherlach is remembered as a loving wife and mother, and a caring soul who was always there to lend an ear or a shoulder to someone in need.

In addition to her husband of 31years, she leaves two loving daughters, Maura Lynn Schwartz and her husband, Eric, of New Jersey and Katy S. Sherlach of Virginia; two brothers, Joseph Greene and his wife, Kelty, of Colo. and Dennis Greene of Fla.; two sisters, Jane Dougherty and her husband, Timothy, and Suzanne Connors and her husband, Dale, all of Colo.

Friends are invited to meet directly in St Stephen Church, 6948 Main Street, Trumbull, Friday, December 21, at 11 am, for a memorial Mass. Committal will be private. Friends may greet the family Thursday, December 20, from 4 to 8 pm, in The Abriola Parkview Funeral Home, 419 White Plains Road, Trumbull.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Fairfield County Community Foundation, Fund for Health and Wellness, 383 Main Avenue, Norwalk CT 06851 to continue her work with children and mental health.

To light a virtual candle, visit

The Newtown Bee Posted December 18, 2012

This is Mary's obituary as it appeared in The Newtown Bee

Monday, January 14, 2013

Victoria Leigh Soto

Victoria “Vicki” Leigh Soto, 27, of Stratford, cherished daughter of Carlos and Donna (Fagan) Soto, and beloved sister of Jillian, Carlee, and Carlos Matthew Soto, died December 14, in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.

Born November 4, 1985, In Bridgeport, she was a lifelong Stratford resident. Ms Soto was a graduate of Stratford High School Class of 2003, and Eastern Connecticut State University, where she graduated with high honors, earning degrees in both education and history. She was currently attending Southern Connecticut State University, to complete her master’s degree.

She was in her fifth year of teaching at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. Teaching was her passion, following in the footsteps of her beloved Aunt Debbie, and her dream since she was three years old. Molding young minds was her priority, but being the ‘fun’ teacher, was what she was all about. The children she taught at Sandy Hook Elementary were a huge part of her life.

Ms Soto was equally passionate about her family, which was the most important part of her life, especially her siblings, sisters, Jillian whom she loved unconditionally, and Carlee in whom she instilled the importance of higher education, and her brother Carlos Matthew who looked up to his big sister with pride. She was not only a role model to her sisters and brother, but to everyone she met. Her family and friends know that she was an amazing young woman, who died a hero.

Some of her favorite things include flamingoes, of which you can never have to many (whenever we saw one, her family thought of her), the New York Yankees #11, and, most importantly, Christmas, as she was the only one allowed to pick out the tree and put up the lights.

Her friends were also such a big part of her life, especially her best friend and confidant Rachel Schiavone, whom she loved dearly. Ms Soto also leaves behind her loving dog, Roxie, who waited for her to come home everyday, and is still waiting, lost without her.

Her extended family was also a huge part of her life. In addition to her beloved parents and siblings, she is survived by her grandparents, “Pop Pop” Donald Fagan of Bridgeport, and Jose and Marta Soto of Cleveland, Tenn.; her aunt and godmother Debbie Cronk, and her husband, Uncle Robbie Cronk, and their children, Heather Rose, Brianne Elizabeth, and Wesley Fagan Cronk; her uncle and godfather Dean Fagan and his wife, Denise, and their children, Alex Gerard and her favorite buddy, Zachary Jan Fagan. “SOFACRO forever!”

She is also survived by her uncle Don Fagan and his wife, Linda, and their children, Don and wife, Jennifer, Christopher and fiancée, Sarah, their children Natalie, Christopher, and Doug Fagan. She was predeceased by her maternal grandmother Janice Biebel Fagan.

“Vicki was truly an amazing daughter, sister, cousin, teacher, and friend, and died protecting ‘her kids.’ We couldn't be prouder of our HERO.”

Funeral services will take place Wednesday, December 19, at 10 am, DIRECTLY in Lordship Community Church, 190 Prospect Drive, Stratford CT 06615. Interment will be in Union Cemetery, Stratford. Friends may call Tuesday, December 18, from 3 to 8 pm, in the Adzima Funeral Home, 50 Paradise Green Place, Stratford.

The family has requested in lieu of flowers that donations be made to the Victoria L. Soto Memorial Fund for Education, through the fFuneral home.

To make an on-line condolence, please visit .

The Newtown Bee Posted December 18, 2012

This is Victoria's obituary as it appeared in The Newtown Bee

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Lauren Gabrielle Rousseau

Lauren Gabrielle Rousseau, 30, of Danbury, precious daughter of Gilles and Teresa Rousseau, died December 14, with the other innocent victims of the mass violence at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. She was born in Danbury Hospital, June 8, 1982.

She leaves her disbelieving immediate family Teresa Rousseau and Bill Leukhardt of Danbury and Gilles and Joyce Rousseau of Southbury; and siblings Matthew Rousseau of Brooklyn, N.Y., Andrew Rousseau of Danbury, Nathaniel Leukhardt of Waterbury, Emily Leukhardt of Bristol, and Andrew Leukhardt of Providence, R.I. Other survivors include grandparents Evelyn Martin of Landisville, Penn., and Virginia and Charles A. Powers Jr. of Hyannis Port, Mass.; and several dozen aunts, uncles, and cousins in Quebec, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Minnesota.

She is also mourned by Anthony Lusardi III of Cortlandt Manor, N.Y., the love of her life.

Ms Rousseau was known for her exuberance for life, love of family, her friendliness, kindness, and loyalty, and her ever-present smile.

She was a kindergartner at Hayestown Avenue School, then attended Roberts Avenue School, Broadview Middle School, and Danbury High School, where her greatest joys were singing and dancing in the yearly musical and teaching in the school-based nursery school.

She graduated from the University of Connecticut at Storrs in 2004 with a degree in English and psychology, and she earned a master's degree in elementary education from the University of Bridgeport.

She did her year-long teaching internship at Roberts Avenue School, some of it in the same classroom where she had been a first-grader.

She did her student teaching at John Pettibone School in New Milford, and later worked as a substitute teacher in Danbury, New Milford, and Newtown.

She was hired as a permanent substitute teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary only weeks before her death.

From her college years on, she worked in catering at Fox Hill Inn in Brookfield, and during the past few years she also worked at the Starbucks coffee shop at Exit 1 in Danbury.

Family, friends and co-workers are invited to calling hours Thursday, December 20, at 10 am, at First Congregational Church, 164 Deer Hill Avenue, Danbury, followed by a memorial service at 11 am.

The Newtown Bee Posted December 18, 2012

This is Lauren's obituary as it appeared in The Newtown Bee

Friday, January 11, 2013

Anne Marie Murphy

Anne Marie Murphy, 52, a 14-year resident of Sandy Hook, formerly of Katonah, N.Y., died December 14, at the Sandy Hook School tragedy. She was born July 25, 1960, in Mount Kisco, N.Y., the daughter of Dr Hugh and Alice McGowan of Katonah.

She graduated from St Mary’s School in Katonah, John F. Kennedy High School in Somers, N.Y. and Southern Connecticut State University with an MS degree in education. Ms Murphy was employed by the Newtown Board of Education as a teacher at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.

She will be remembered for her love of the arts, walks in the outdoors, and most importantly: her family.

In addition to her beloved parents, she is survived by her devoted husband, Michael; her loving children Kelly, Colleen, Paige, and Thomas; and dear siblings Alice of Newtown, Mary Pat of Ridgefield, Catherine of Katonah, Hugh of Pawling, N.Y., Dr Thomas of Somers, N.Y., and Peter of Troy, N.Y.

The family will receive friends at Clark Associates Funeral Home, 4 Woods Bridge Road, Katonah, N.Y., Wednesday, December 19, from 4 to 8 pm.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 am, Thursday, December 20, at St Mary Of The Assumption Roman Catholic Church, 117 Valley Road, Katonah, N.Y.

Burial will follow at St Joseph’s Cemetery, Somers, N.Y.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Autism Speaks, 1060 State Road, 2nd Floor, Princeton NJ 08540, or at .

The Newtown Bee Posted December 17, 2012

Mrs. Murphy's obituary as it appeared in The Newtown Bee

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Rachel Davino

Rachel Davino, 29, died December 14, at Sandy Hook Elementary School. She was born July 17, 1983.

Calling hours are at the Woodbury Funeral Home of Munson-Lovetere Funeral Home, 2 School Street, Woodbury, Thursday, December 20, from 4 to 8 pm.

Funeral services will take place Friday, December 21, at 11 am, at the Church of the Nativity on East Street, Bethlehem. Burial will be at the Mt Olivet Cemetery, Watertown.

The Newtown Bee Posted December 19, 2012

This is Rachel's obituary as it appeared in The Newtown Bee

Wednesday, January 09, 2013


The victims who lost their lives at the Sandy Hook Elementary School have all been laid to rest for a time now, but even the most stoic of families are facing the prospect of navigating through life under a very heavy spirit of grief now, and for some time to come. Most of these families have other young children who must also grieve and be comforted. I will begin posting the obituaries of the six women who lost their lives attempting to protect the children.
As our nation looks for solutions to this tragedy and others like it, I pray we realize humanity is no match for evil. Our political system can't even keep the legislators honest, much less craft laws against evil. Murder is already illegal and mental health labels already abound. The gunman in this case had no criminal record. Everyone who is bullied or a concern of that nature does not commit murder at school. Labeling the potential victims of bullying will only stop those kids from reporting problems and seeking help.
More gun control, although I personally see no reason for semi-automatic weapons, I can also see that more gun control will only control the guns in the hands of responsible, law abiding citizens. Responsible, law abiding citizens do not murder women and children. I don't know what's coming our way, but until we step back and take an honest look at how little we can actually change by the "wisdom of man" we are not going to make any progress.
More guns is not the answer and neither are fewer, but that's the new ploy to divide the nation further and distract us. Scripture says it is truth that sets us free. I'm struggling with a great deal of the information that has been reported about this incident and I simply do not believe we have the truth of the matter. I don't know what that truth is, but the reports do not align.
As for more mental health programs, we need to keep in mind, the shooter at Ft. Hood was the base psychiatrist, so who knows how reliable any of his assessments were, before he went on his rampage!
Evil is a spiritual matter, not a legal matter and not a psychological matter, it's a matter of the heart, a condition of the spirit. To get to the heart of the matter, we must stop ignoring the fact that humans have a spiritual component. When we ignore that fact, we react emotionally, rather than logically, and we don't even see the misinformation we are trying to process. We simply react!
I'm not suggesting the prayer in school argument at all. I've already experienced enough conflicting religious and non-religious information that I wouldn't want my kids trying to figure that out, either. My beliefs are Bible based and I don't expect everyone to accommodate my beliefs, but most belief systems do address the spiritual need to do right or atone for wrong actions. My issue is the fact that the 1962 Supreme Court ruling said, we will no longer consider a spiritual element for our kids, it's all ego, emotions, esteem, and intellect. That is what opened the door for school discipline issues and the need for school psychologists. Behavior is spiritual and we cannot ignore that regardless of belief systems, we all have a spirit. Training and programing only works in Pavlov's experiment and with rewards . . .
We've been led to believe for years that foreign dictatorships keep their populace from receiving information. We've been told their news is filtered and censored.
I have realized in all the conflicting reports of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, there is a more dangerous way to handle information, than keeping it from the public. To report misinformation, conflicting stories, and official confusion actually keeps the public in a state of division, panic, fear, and even aggression.
Come now, and let us reason together, says YHWH: though your sins be as scarlet . . .

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Josephine Grace Gay

Josephine Grace Gay, 7, born December 11, 2005, of Sandy Hook, died December 14, surrounded by many dear friends and teachers. She lived seven years, inspiring friends and family with her beautiful smile, loving heart, and playful spirit.

Her parents, Michele and Bob Gay; and sisters, Sophia and Marie Gay, live on to honor her life with her maternal grandmother, Katherine Hartman; paternal grandfather, Robert Gay; paternal grandmother, Louise Gay; and a large extended family of aunts, uncles, cousins, and beloved friends. She was preceded in death by her maternal grandfather, Robert Hartman.

Josephine’s memorial services will be held at St Rose of Lima Church, 46 Church Hill Road, Newtown, starting with her wake from 4 to 7 pm, Friday, December 21. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at St Rose’s Church Saturday, December 22, at 11 am. Burial will be at a later date and will be private.

Josephine was known for her love of all things purple, so we request that friends and family wear purple in her honor. Many friends and family describe Josephine as “a gift.” In celebration of her joyful and giving spirit, a charitable fund is being created in her honor. Information about this fund and her life will be released shortly.

Hull Funeral Service, Danbury, is handling arrangements. On-line condolences may be made at .

The Newtown Bee Posted December 18, 2012

This is Josephine's obituary as it appeared in The Newtown Bee.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Jesse McCord Lewis

Jesse McCord Lewis, 6, was an amazing child, full of light and love that was unmistakable in his presence. He was born June 30, 2006. Jesse died December 14, in Sandy Hook Elementary School.

He brought joy to the world with his infectious and radiant smile. He was smart and compassionate beyond his years. Jesse died bravely trying to lead other children to safety. He ran into the hallway to help when he heard the shots. His family knows in their hearts that was the way he lived his life – fearless, full of courage and strength.

Family and friends take comfort in knowing what a brave child he was. His actions were consistent with the way he lived his life; passionately embracing everything, a perfect combination of courage and faith, like a little soldier, his favorite toy. The love they shared was abundant and all encompassing. He slept in his mother’s arms almost every night of his precious life, with her thanking God for him.

Jesse left an indelible mark on the hearts of all he met. The picture that remains etched in family’s souls is one of him in his boots, no socks, ripped jeans, and a t-shirt, an army helmet strapped to his head, a smudge of dirt on his cheek, tromping through the pasture on his way from one adventure to another.

Jesse is continuously loved by his dear, precious older brother, JT, who was and will always be his loyal protector, who looked after him with tender care and devotion.

It is and will remain forever unbelievable to all who knew him that Jesse is with Jesus now and blessing those in heaven.

His mother, Scarlett Lewis; his brother, JT Lewis; his father, Neil Heslin; his grandparents, Maureen Lewis, Bob Comfort, and David Lewis; his uncles, aunts, and cousins, Trent, Sasha, and Hayden Lewis, Jordan, Becky, Christian, and Everett Lewis, Coulter, Kristy, and Quinn Lewis; and as many dear friends as the stars survive Jesse.

“God’s love is triumphant.”

Friends may call at the Honan Funeral Home, 58 Main Street, Newtown, Thursday, December 19, from 9 am to noon. All other services and interment in Zoar Cemetery, Sandy Hook, are private.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Voice for Joanie Inc, 5 Glenwood Road, New Milford CT 06776 or at .

The Newtown Bee Posted December 18, 2012

This is Jesse's obituary as it appeared in The Newtown Bee

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Emilie Alice Parker

Emilie Alice Parker was a beautiful person. She came into this world May 12, 2006. She was tragically taken from us December 14, only 6 years later. Despite her short time here on earth, her life was full. Full of love, full of compassion, full of charity, full of enthusiasm, full of joy, and full of gifts given to her by Heavenly Father that she shared with everyone fortunate enough to cross her path.

Emilie was quick to strike up a conversation, with anyone, anywhere. She could always be found with her markers, colored pens and paper, because as she put it, “I have so many ideas of things to draw and it is hard to remember them all.” She also expressed her artistic abilities in her paintings, ceramics, and fashion, as she always wanted to be fancy.

Emilie loved to read. She loved to read stories, not only with her mom and dad, but also she could often be found with her sisters, Madeline and Samantha, dressed in costumes, reading stories with them. Her sisters looked up to her and sought her out for comfort when they needed it. Emilie always wanted to help people feel better. Her compassion and charity was exemplified by her hugs, the cards she would make, and her statements that, “I wish everybody could just be happy.”

“She was our princess here on earth, and now her angel up in heaven. May her life and example continue to live on in all of us.” — Her loving parents, Robbie and Alyssa.

The family will receive friends at Myers Mortuary, 845 Washington Boulevard, Ogden, Utah, Friday, December 21, from 5 to 8 pm. Services will be held at the Rock Cliff Stake Center, 1000 Suncrest Drive, Ogden, Utah, Saturday, December 22, at 10 am.

Jowdy-Kane Funeral Home, 9-11 Granville Avenue, Danbury, is in charge of arrangements.

The Newtown Bee Posted December 19, 2012

This is Emilie's obituary as it appeared in The Newtown Bee

Friday, January 04, 2013

Chase Michael Anthony Kowalski

Chase Michael Anthony Kowalski, 7, died December 14, in Sandy Hook Elementary School. He was born October 31, 2005.

The family of Chase sends their prayers and thoughts to all of the families involved with this horrific event. “We are thankful to the Lord for giving us seven years with our beautiful loving son. It is with heavy hearts that we return him to our Lord but know he is among our family and friends that have preceded him to heaven. We appreciate all of the love and support that has been extended to us.”

Chase was an amazing son, brother, and grandson whose heart was only filled with love for all the people he touched. He was a fun-loving energetic boy that had a true love of life. He completed his first triathlon at the age of six and ran in many community road races. Chase had a deep love for the game of baseball and enjoyed practicing with his father and team mates.

Joining the Cub Scouts was just one of his many interests. He could often be found in the yard playing ball, riding his bike or quad. Chase was always excited to attend the kids work shop at the Trumbull Home Depot.

He was greatly loved by his family. He joins his maternal uncle and grandfather, and his paternal great-grandmother and grandmother in a much better place.

His family will receive friends at the Spadaccino and Leo P. Gallagher & Son Funeral Home, 315 Monroe Turnpike, Monroe, Wednesday, December 19, from 2 to 6 pm, with prayer vigils being held throughout the afternoon.

Chase’s family would like to request the public visitation end at 5:45 pm, to allow them a brief period of privacy.

In lieu of flowers please make a donation to the Chase Kowalski Scholarship Fund, c/o Peoples Bank, 470 Monroe Turnpike, Monroe CT 06468.

To leave an on-line condolence please visit .

The Newtown Bee Posted December 18, 2012

This is Chase's obituary as it appeared in the Newtown Bee. The link above remains active.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Ana Grace Marquez-Greene

Ana Grace Marquez-Greene, 6, born April 4, 2006, died December 14, one of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Ana is survived by her father, Jimmy Greene, a jazz saxophonist and an assistant professor of music at Western Connecticut State University. Her mother, Nelba Marquez-Greene is program coordinator for the Family Therapy Institute at Klingberg Family Centers and Central Connecticut State University adjunct faculty. Her brother Isaiah is a happy, intelligent, and musical boy who loves hockey and very much misses his sister. She will be missed dearly by her grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and scores of friends.

Ana’s love for singing was evident before she was able to talk. Her gift for melody, pitch, and rhythm stood out. She never walked; her mode of transportation was dance, from room to room and place to place. She danced to all the music she heard, in the air or in her head.

Ana loved her God, loved to read the Bible, and loved to sing and dance as acts of worship.

Nelba Marquez Green said she hopes the tragedy of the school shooting will bring a greater awareness to mental health issues and to reduce the stigma attached to those with mental illness, perhaps preventing tragedies like the one that took Ana’s life. The family asks prayers for the legions of people left behind to cherish Ana’s memory.

A Homegoing Celebration for Ana will begin at noon, Saturday, December 22, at First Cathedral, 1151 Blue Hills Avenue, Bloomfield, Conn. Visitation will be from 10 am to noon, Saturday. Burial will be private. These events are for friends and family only.

Memorial donations may be made to The Ana Grace Marquez-Greene Therapy Fund, c/o Outpatient Clinic/Family Therapy Institute, Klingberg Family Centers, 370 Linwood Street, New Britain CT 06052, or The Artists’ Collective, 1200 Albany Avenue, Hartford CT 06112, or The Ana Grace Marquez-Green Scholarship Fund, c/o Western Connecticut State University, Office of Institutional Advancement, 181 White Street, Danbury CT 06810. A fund to support the family has been set up at

Direct cards c/o WCSU, Department of Music, 181 White Street, Danbury CT or Klingberg Family Centers.

On-line condolences may be made at .

The Newtown Bee Posted December 20, 2012

This is Ana's obituary as it appeared in The Newtown Bee

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Benjamin Andrew Wheeler

Benjamin Andrew Wheeler was born in Manhattan, September 12, 2006, and moved to Newtown in April 2007 with his parents, Francine and David Wheeler, and his now 9-year-old brother, Nate.

Ben died December 14.

Inspired by dear friends who had made the move some years before, the family found a house in Sandy Hook and a cultural, spiritual, and creative home in the rare collection of priorities and spirit that is Newtown. Since then, Francine has become a fixture in Newtown as a music educator and performer, and more broadly, as a founding member of the children's music group, The Dream Jam Band, while David works as an illustrator and designer. Both of them are members of Newtown's own Flagpole Radio Cafe live radio show.

Ben was an irrepressibly bright and spirited boy whose love of fun and excitement at the wonders of life and the world could rarely be contained. His rush to experience life was headlong, creative, and immediate.

He was a devoted fan of his older brother, Nate, and the two of them together filled the house with the noise of four children. He loved the local soccer program, often running across the field long after it was actually necessary, but always smiling and laughing as he moved the ball, nearly always at full tilt. He was becoming a strong swimmer and loved his lessons.

Eager to learn, he could not wait to get to school to see his teacher and his growing group of new first grade friends. Ben was also a member of Tiger Scout Den 6, which met at the Sandy Hook Volunteer Firehouse.

Earlier in December, Ben performed at his piano recital, and sitting still long enough to play one piece was an accomplishment he reveled in. He loved The Beatles, lighthouses, and the number 7 train to Sunnyside, Queens.

In a conversation with Francine before school on Friday, he said, “I still want to be an architect, but I also want to be a paleontologist, because that’s what Nate is going to be and I want to do everything Nate does.”

The Newtown Bee Posted December 17, 2012

This is Benjamin's obituary is it appeared in The Newtown Bee

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Grace Audrey McDonnell

Grace Audrey McDonnell, 7, born on November 4, 2005, beloved and cherished daughter of Christopher and Lynn Zapf McDonnell of Sandy Hook, died tragically on December 14, in the Sandy Hook Elementary School.

A beautiful and artistic soul, Grace was truly a gift from God and represented all that is good in this world. She was passionate about painting, and she loved the beach. Grace’s dream was to become a painter and live on Martha’s Vineyard.

In addition to her parents, Grace is survived by her big brother Jack Sheridan McDonnell of Sandy Hook; maternal grandparents Frederick and Sheila Dunn Zapf of Stony Brook, N.Y.; paternal grandmother Mary Ann Gorbutt McDonnell of Shelton; and many loving aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.

Grace was predeceased by her paternal grandfather Lawrence P. McDonnell and her namesake, maternal great-grandmother Audrey Dunn Franz.

Family and friends may call may call Thursday, December 20, from 2 to 5 pm, at the St Rose of Lima Church, 46 Church Hill Road, Newtown. A memorial Mass will be celebrated Friday, December 21, at 11 am, in St Rose of Lima Church.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you consider making a donation to the Grace Memorial Fund at the Fairfield County Community Foundation. If you choose to do so, please make your check payable to “Grace McDonnell Memorial Fund at FCCF” and mail it to Fairfield County Community Foundation, 383 Main Avenue, Norwalk CT 06851.

The Newtown Bee Posted December 18, 2012

This is Grace's obituary as it appeared in The Newtown Bee.

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