KATONAH, N.Y. ? Signs of Newtown were all around at Thursday‘s funeral service for Katonah native Anne Marie Murphy.
A bus dropped off a group of Newtown teachers at St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Katonah where a Mass was celebrated for Murphy.
And a young man in a blue and yellow Newtown High School varsity team jacket stood in the crowd of mourners waiting on the church steps.
Murphy, a 52-year-old married mother of four, taught special education at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. , scene of a mass shooting this past Friday. Police told Murphy’s parents that her body was found shielding her students.
Murphy’s brother-in-law Thomas Newman read a statement from the family to the crowd of media gathered outside St. Mary's:
"Anne Marie's family, the Murphys and the McGowans, pray for all the families touched so terribly, that God may help these feelings of such great pain and grief pass quickly, that they be replaced with only happy thoughts and joyous memories of those we have lost.”
Murphy was born July 25, 1960, to Dr. Hugh and Alice McGowan of Katonah. She graduated from St. Mary’s School in Katonah and John F. Kennedy High School in Somers, then went on to Southern Connecticut State University for a master's degree in education.
In addition to her parents, survivors are her husband, Michael; her children, Kelly, Colleen, Paige and Thomas; and siblings Mary Pat of Ridgefield, Conn.; Alice of Newtown, Conn.; Catherine of Katonah, Hugh of Pawling, Thomas of Somers and Peter of Troy.
About one hundred of those gathered to pay tribute could not fit in the church and stood outside on the chilly morning listening to the service, which included prayers and hymns like “Amazing Grace” and the Catholic funeral hymn “Song of Farewell.”
At one point, the Rev. Paul Waddell of St. Mary’s administered communion to the overflow of guests outside. New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan was also in attendance.
After the service, the funeral procession traveled north on Route 100 to St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Somers. In an announcement sent to residents, Town Supervisor Mary Beth Murphy urged the people of Somers to line up on the road as a show of solidarity with the Murphy family and all the victims of Newtown.