Rousseau, Lauren G.
Lauren Gabrielle Rousseau, 30, of Danbury, precious daughter of Gilles and Teresa Rousseau, died Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, with the other innocent victims of the mass violence at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.
She leaves her disbelieving immediate family, Teresa Rousseau and Bill Leukhardt, of Danbury; Joyce and Gilles Rousseau, of Southbury; Matthew Rousseau, of Brooklyn, N.Y.; Andrew Rousseau, of Danbury; Nathaniel Leukhardt, of Waterbury; Emily Leukhardt and Marissa Belcinksi, of Bristol; and Hilda Sullivan and Andrew Leukhardt, of Providence, R.I.
She is also mourned by Anthony Lusardi III, of Cortlandt Manor, N.Y. , the love of her life; and his family, Susan and Anthony Lusardi Jr., of Cortlandt Manor, and Jenna and Greg Strong, of Philadelphia.
Lauren was known for her exuberance, her love of family and of children, her friendliness, kindness and loyalty, and her ever-present smile. "If she didn't have a smile on her face, she was trying to make someone else feel like smiling," a longtime friend said this week.
Lauren was born in Danbury Hospital on June 8, 1982.
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 yearlong teaching internship at Robert 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 the past few years she also worked at the Starbucks coffee shop at Exit 2 in Danbury.
Other survivors include much-loved grandparents Evelyn Martin, of Landisville, Pa.; Virginia and Charles A. Powers Jr., of Hyannis Port, Mass., and George and Susan Zaleha, of Monroe.
Lauren's love also embraced her many aunts, uncles and cousins. They are (godfather) Jocelyn and Ghyslaine Rousseau, of Danbury and son Marc; Carol and Dan Wiley, and Bryan J., Megan, Sean and Jackson Wiley, all of Alabama; Jon and Robin Wiley, of Colorado; and Kirsten Wiley, of Virginia.
Also, Jim and (godmother) Vicki Nagle; Steve, Brenda, Mark and Amy Bomgardner; Nick, Emily and Samuel Wiley, all of Pennsylvania; Pauline Leukhardt and David Fenner, of Massachusetts; and Ned Leukhardt, Elise Olaussen, Sara Olaussen, Elida Leukhardt and Annamad Hjortaas, of Norway.
Also, William, Deborah, Hope, Deborah and William Zaleha, of Derby; and Suzanne, L. Stephen, Jeanette, Andre and the late Christian Ward, of Minnesota.
Also, in Quebec, Canada: Lisette, Andre and Francis Binet; Jacques, Noella and Nancy Rousseau; Francois, Collette, David and Stephanie Rousseau; Celine, Claude, Sophie and Brigitte Jean; Jean Yves, Marjolaine, Jan and Frederic Rousseau; Johanne, Serge and Simone Ouellette; Denis, Alessia and the late Josee Gosselin; Michel Rousseau and Helene Guedon.
Family, friends and coworkers are invited to calling hours Thursday at 10 a.m. in First Congregational Church, 164 Deer Hill Ave., Danbury, followed by a memorial service at 11 a.m.
Published in Danbury News Times from Dec. 18 to Dec. 20, 2012.