Two victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre with Pawling ties will be remembered during funerals this week.
One of them is student Daniel Barden, whose mother is Pawling Elementary School second-grade teacher Jackie Barden. The other is Mary Sherlach, the Newtown, Conn., school's psychologist who died trying to protect students. Her father-in-law is Jay Sherlach, a former Pawling school principal.
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Adam Lanza, 20, gunned down 26 people, 20 of them children, at the elementary school Friday morning.
A celebration of the life of Daniel Barden will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church, 46 Church Hill Rd., in Newtown. A funeral Mass, also at the church, will be offered at 10 a.m. Wednesday, according to his obituary.
Visiting hours for those honoring Mary Sherlach will take place from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Abriola Parkview Funeral Home, 419 White Plains Rd., in Trumbull, Conn. On Friday, a memorial Mass will celebrated at 11 a.m. for Sherlach at St. Stephen Church, 6948 Main St., in Trumbull.
On Main Street in Pawling on Monday, residents were consumed with the Newtown tragedy, which occurred just 30 miles away from the quiet Dutchess County village.
"It's hard to think that it happened so close to home," said Eleanor Gannon of Poughquag, sitting at a table in the McKinney & Doyle bakery. She and her friend Cathy Cook, of Pawling, spoke about the tragedy during breakfast.
"It's senseless. It was innocent children," Cook said. "We're just saddened by it."
In the parking lot of Pawling Elementary teachers hugged before entering the school Monday morning.
Walking his granddaughter into the building, Juris Miemes said he'd heard about Jackie Barden's son Daniel, a redheaded 7-year-old who was missing his two front teeth. Daniel was described by his family as "fearless in the pursuit of happiness in life," according to his obituary.
Miemes said it was difficult to express his feelings. "Everyone felt for those children and those families," he said.
Interim Pawling Central School District Superintendent W. Michael Mahoney said parents were calling with concerns about the media taking photos outside the school. He said the school community was particularly skittish because of the personal connections to the tragedy.
For now, residents are giving Barden's family space to grieve, Mahoney said, adding that when the family is ready "the whole community will embrace and support her family."
With The Associated Press