Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, 47, of Woodbury, Conn., passed Friday, December 14, 2012, as the result of the tragic events that unfolded at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
Beloved daughter, mother, wife, grandmother and friend, Dawn was a dedicated teacher who inspired her students to reach their fullest potential by instilling in them the importance of lifelong learning. A fierce leader and educational activist, Dawn 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, Dawn discovered the power of knowledge which led her to pursue a career in education. Dawn 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 Ph.D. - a testament to her own personal mission to continue learning and lead by example.
Above all, Dawn was extremely devoted to her family. There was nothing in the world she wouldn't 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.
Dawn is survived by her husband, George Hochsprung; her mother, Cheryl Lafferty; two daughters, Cristina Lafferty Hassinger and Erica Lafferty; a brother, Daniel Lafferty; three grandsons; a granddaughter; three stepdaughters, Anne Priest, Amy Lawton and Beth Ewaskiewicz; and several aunts, uncles and cousins. Her father, William Lafferty, had passed in 2004.
Calling hours will be held Wednesday, December 19, from 3 to 8 p.m. at the Woodbury Funeral Home of Munson-Lovetere, 2 School Street. In lieu of flowers, donations to Dawn Lafferty-Hochsprung Memorial Fund Waterbury Connecticut Federal Teacher's Union, P.O. Box 2121, Waterbury, CT 06722; www.WCTFCU.com.