Obituary: Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, 47, of Woodbury

Mrs. Hochsprung was principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.


Born: June 28, 1965 Died: December 14, 2012 Services:  Graveside services will be private.

Visitation:  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.


Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, 47, of Woodbury, CT, passed Friday, December 14, 2012 as the result of the tragic events that unfolded at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.

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 life-long 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 education from Southern Connecticut State University. She was currently enrolled at Russell Sage College in Troy, NY 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 step daughters, Anne Priest, Amy Lawton and Beth Ewaskiewicz, and several aunts, uncles and cousins. Her father, William Lafferty, had passed in 2004.


Cemetery: Cemetery Not Applicable Location: Munson-Lovetere Woodbury (Map)
Lisa Molner December 17, 2012 at 01:31 AM
pa December 17, 2012 at 01:54 AM
May you rest in peace....
Barb Holliday December 17, 2012 at 02:55 AM
May your life bring brightness to the world as we remember you and your extraordinary service to children. Rest in peace.
Heather Middlebrooks December 17, 2012 at 03:05 AM
She was a true hero in every regard. After looking at her twitter feed, as an educator I would have been very proud and honored to work for someone with her love of children and the power of education.
Al Pistarelli December 17, 2012 at 03:13 AM
Rest in peace....thank you for all that you have done..
Bill December 17, 2012 at 04:22 AM
You were beautiful! Relax and seek peace in Heaven!
Tracey Muniak December 17, 2012 at 12:22 PM
You are all in my thoughts and prayers. As a teacher in Cleveland, Oh, I know what it's like to work for an excellent principal. Her staff was truly blessed to have her as their leader. She's with her Maker now with "her kids."
Grumpy Guy December 17, 2012 at 03:16 PM
I knew her a little at NHS and my wife's youngest sister graduated with her. Terrific person and she died trying to tackle the gunman. I cannot think of higher praise for her-giving her life trying to prevent the tragedy.
Happier in Prospect December 17, 2012 at 09:38 PM
I worked with Dawn's mother Gee Gee at Seal Products in Naugatuck. I am so sad for this family and all the families. Knowing Gee Gee for the few years we worked together, I am not at all surprised that she raised such a wonderful daughter. I hope that Gee Gee and her family can find some peace in knowing how loved,admired and respected Dawn truly was and will always be.
Jay December 17, 2012 at 10:05 PM
My heart and prayers goes out the family. May god be with you through this terrible sorrow. Fly high beautiful angel. You are truley are a blessing to all you have touched in your life and the nation. Prayers from Monroeton PA. Jay G. I'm so sincerely sorry
Bobby Cervantes December 18, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Such an amazing woman, a hero and a true inspiration. Such courage, such passion. The true meaning of educator and fearless leader. I've been following the story from Austin, Texas...I am saddened and heartbroken for all affected. Rest in peace Mrs. Hochsprung, you're proof Angels do walk amongst us!
BillieandDebbie Irvine December 18, 2012 at 04:45 PM
I am from Michigan....I have a 6 yr old son that I was very nervous to send to school today. I take my hat off to you mam for your bravery, love for children and dedication to educating our young ones and keeping them safe. I have absolutley no doubt that you and those kids are in the presence of God and are having a wonderful time in Gods kingdom. God bless your family and I pray for them to receive divine comfort and peace. We will all meet someday in our heavenly home....Bill and Deb Irvine.
Susan Pilot December 18, 2012 at 10:03 PM
So proud of Dawn and the life of LOVE she lived. I pray to Jesus for comfort for her family. I pray each of us will use Dawn's life example to love people in our lives each day.
Susan Galloway December 19, 2012 at 12:31 AM
RIP, you were a wonderful person and now you can teach your angels in heaven.
Chuck Nixon December 19, 2012 at 01:07 AM
Dawn baby sat me, my 2 brothers and 3 sisters ( not an easy task ) in the early 80's, she was solid and kind hearerted. Came from a good family dad Bill, an intellectual pipe smoker would walk his St. Bernards religiuosly along North Church Street, RIP. Mom, GiGi was inviting and sweet as pie. Brother Dan hooked us up with a sinclair computer and gave us the basic knowledge we needed to develope our computer intellect. Dawn made an impression on everyone she met, I will remember her sticking up for me just like she defefended her children at sandy Hook. God bless you and your family, great to have had you in all of our lives.
Megan Gilbert December 19, 2012 at 05:22 AM
To Dawn's family and all the families affected by this, I promise to never let your loved one's passing fade in my heart and my life will be spent trying to make this world a better place in all that I do from this moment forward. May it comfort you that they are in a better place and that even though they have gone on their way, every moment they were here was a blessing. With love much love.
lisa myers December 19, 2012 at 06:29 AM
rest in peace. My thoughts and prayers to the family. You are a hero. Fly with all the angels.
Stephanie D. December 19, 2012 at 04:37 PM
My heart breaks for your loss. Dawn is a true hero, laying down her life to protect the lives of countless children. But for your family, the loss is more than anyone should have to bear. She will be forever missed by the entire nation, but I wish we didn't have to miss her. I wish you didn't have to lose her. I hope your family finds some comfort in knowing that she will never be forgotten, that you will never stop remembering her. May God help you to find a way to continue on without her physical presence, as I truly believe her spirit will always be with you.
Mary Maloney December 19, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Dawn comforted my daughters on 9/11, encouraged them in school, made them laugh, and mentored them. She gave up after school and weekend time to help students build Lego Robots and inspired them to create and believe in themselves. She left a big imprint everywhere she trod. A parent
Ingrid Koch December 19, 2012 at 10:32 PM
My heartfelt condolences to Dawn's family. The country mourns with you the tragic loss of your loved one and the others that were taken far too early and with such violence. May it be of some comfort to know that thousands of people offer their blessings of peace and love to you through this difficult time.
Biondi family December 21, 2012 at 06:44 AM
I am sad for her and her family. Dawn is one of the greatest heroes in American History. She is braver than anyone that I have ever read about In history. She did the unthinkable charging unarmed to save her school kids. There were many losses that day but I believed she saved hundreds of students by creating a distraction and a frontal attack. So sad the ones that are lost but every parent in America owes her thanks. I feel she desearves a special award and should be recognized locally as well as having a monument to her bravery in Washington DC. She lost her life saving countless others. Wow.
Melina Gomez December 21, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Rest In Peace.
Dee December 22, 2012 at 12:58 AM
I am a mother of ten children and I am deeply saddened by the loss of such dedicated and committed woman who was solid, wise, courageous, and very brave. To put herself in the line of danger without thinking twice reflects the character of who Dawn truly was a compassionate. A heroine who how precious life is! What an honor to know that all those who were in her life was touched by an awesome leader in every way and this is evident in her demonstration of love as well as her staff who willingly gave up their lives to save those precious lives! Pra ise God. For angels for Dawn was definately a special one!
Patricia Loveday December 24, 2012 at 03:53 AM
Godspeed.. To Dawns family, I am so very sorry. Hugs to your family. Your Dawn was a Guardian Angel on earth to the children and her Staff. Now we know she is an Angel in Heaven. My Sympathies for your loss . with
Randi fisher December 27, 2012 at 10:15 PM
To Dawns family; How my heart is breaking for all of you. I have been following the news reports as most of the world has, and wish there was something I could do to ease your pain. The only thing that has helped me when I have experienced the loss of a loved one is knowing that God truly cares for us. Notice what Psalms 34:17,18 says, "They cried out, and Jehovah himself heard, and out of all their distresses he deliver them. Jehovah is near to those broken at heart, and those who are crushed in spirit he saves." I hope and pray that these words bring as much comfort to you as they have me. Sincerely, R. Fisher
amy m bull January 07, 2013 at 08:15 PM
Sorry for your lost mom sends her love ge ge this is michelle bull trudy bulls daughter please call her at 570-265-9712
TERESA PETERSEN January 14, 2013 at 08:43 PM
not a good idea to post a PHONE NUMBER on here. too many weirdo's out in the world.


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