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 teacher internship at Roberts Avenue School, some of it in the same classroom where she had been a first-grader.
She did her student teacher 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 deaths.
From her college years on, she worked in catering at Fox Hill Inn in Brookefield, and during the past few years she also worked at the Starbucks coffee shop at Exit 2 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.