Lauren Gabrielle Rousseau, 30, of Danbury, daughter of Gilles and Teresa Rousseau, died Friday, Dec. 14, with the other innocent victims of the mass violence at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.
She was known for her exuberance for life and love of family, her friendliness, kindness and loyalty, and her ever-present smile.
Ms. Rousseau was born June 8, 1982, at Danbury Hospital and attended Danbury schools. 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.
Ms. Rousseau completed a yearlong teaching internship at Roberts Avenue School, some of it in the same classroom where she had been a first-grader. She was a 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 death.
From her college years on, Ms. Rousseau worked in catering at Fox Hill Inn in Brookfield. During the past few years, she also worked at the Starbucks coffee shop at Exit 1 in Danbury.
Ms. Rousseau is survived by her immediate family, including her parents, 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. In addition, she is survived by the love of her life, Anthony Lusardi III, of Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.; her grandparents, Evelyn Martin, of Landisville, Pa., 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 Wisconsin.