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January 4, 2013     Cape Gazette
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January 4, 2013

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t 12 FRIDAY, JANUARY 4 - MONDAY, JANUARY 7, 2013 NEWS Cape Gazette Sandy Hook Continued from, page 1 on duty 24 hours to shield the victims' families from the press. Josephine's'family re- leased a written statement to share her story. In the statement, Josephine's father, Bob Gay, said his daughter inspired everyone she met. "joey was autistic and severely apraxic. She could not speak, yet she touched the lives of so many around her: Teachers, therapists, friends, neighbors - all love and cb, erished her," Bob Gay wrote. "Her spirit was in- domitable. She participated in rigorous therapy and treatment on a daily basis without com- plaint." "YOU CAN HEAR ABOUT TRAGEDY, BUT WHEN IT HITS SOMEBODY CLOSE BY, IT REALLY MAKES A DIFFERENCE. THAT MEANS A WHOLE LOT WHEN YOUR COMMUNITY IS WITH YOU." - KATHERINE HARTMAN Josephine and her sisters - 9- year-old Marie and U-year-old Sophia -often visited their grandmother in Lewes. Hartman said Josephine loved playing with an antique-style slot ma- chine in Hartman's living room and riding around the neighbor- hood in a golf cart. 'nd going to the beach," Hartman said. On the cover of Iosephine's fu- neral program is a picture of the child in her pink bathing suit, smiling over a bucket of sand. Hartman said she came back from Connecticut on Christmas Eve, just in time for late Mass at St. Edmond's Catholic Church in Rehoboth Beach. After Mass, she drove to the Boardwalk to see the wreaths displayed in memory of the victims at Sandy Hook. "It's such a beautiful dis- play," she said. "You can hear about tragedy, but when it hits somebody close by, it really makes a difference," Hartman said. "That means a whole lot when your community is with you." Hartman also said her neigh- bors have offered support. One neighbor gave her a purple teddy bear - Josephine's favorite color. Another neighbor brought her lunch. "I've got stacks and stacks of mail," she said. "The commU- nity here is just so wonderful." Originally from Columbia, Md., Hartman and her husband, Robert, retired from their jobs as teachers and moved to the Cape Region. Years before, Hartman said, her daughter and son-in- law, Michele and Bob Gay, moved to Connecticut for work. Hartman said her daughter was a teacher but became a full- time mother after her daughters. were born. Josephine's father al- so wrote about how the family planned to honor her life. "We will not let this tragedy define her life," Gay said. Bob and Michele Gay established a fund in ]osephine's name through the Doug Flutie Jr. Foun- dation for Autism: All proceeds from the fund will be used to help families raising autistic chil- dren. Hartman said it was often diffi- cult for Michele and Bob get help they needed for Josephine. "They had to put a lot more money into extra services," she said. "For people who don't have any money, the children get left by the wayside." Hartman said the family is de- Josephine Grace Gay of Newtown, Conn., died Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. 00oZg o00d CURTIS J. LECIEJEWSKI D D.S., M.A.G.D. MICHAELD. KELLER DMD. termined to make sure Josephine did not die in vain. "What we're all hoping is that people will be more aware of special-needs children and be more support- ive," Hartman said. "This was a very beautiful child, and she touched very many people's lives in her life, and I think she contin- Ues to touch people's lives." To donate to ]oey's Fund, go to or memo a check to "In Memory of Josephine Gay" and mail to The Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism, P.O. Box 767, Framing- ham, MA 01701. JOSEPHINE GRACE GAY, a victim of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, plays at the beach during a visit to her grandmother, Katherine Hartman. SUBMITTED PHOTOS Evergreene%,.00 HOMES HYEVERGREEH EHOHE.COH 1-855-54-BEACH meur