Autism Light is honoring Dylan Hockley and Anne Marie Murphy in the same post because of the special relationship they had in life and in death. Dylan Hockley has autism and he kept a picture on his refrigerator of Anne Marie Murphy who was his special education teacher's aide at Sandy Brook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Both died in the shooting that occurred at the school on December 14, 2012. When they were found Anne Marie Murphy was cradling Dylan in her arms to protect him.
Dylan Hockley's family had moved to the United States from the United Kingdom two years ago. Here is a video statement that the family of Dylan Hockley released.
Dylan's mother asked him "at one time why he flapped his arms when he got excited. She hadn't expected an answer because Dylan has a form of autism that left him with undeveloped language skills. 'Because I am a beautiful butterfly,' he said (Source)."
A Memorial Service was held for Dylan Hockley, age 6, on December 21, 2012 at Walnut Hill Community Church. Jennifer Swift of the New Haven Register wrote an article on the Celebration of Life for Dylan Hockley. Dylan Hockley is survived by his parents Ian and Nicole Hockley and his older brother Jake.
The family created the Dylan Hockley Memorial Fund to honor Dylan. Donations to the fund will be used to benefit children with autism and other special needs. Donations to the fund can be made by check to "Dylan Hockley Memorial Fund," and sent to 34 Charter Ridge Drive, Sandy Hook, CT 06482 (Source).
A Memorial Service for Anne Marie Murphy, age 52, was held on December 20, 2012 at St. Mary of the Assumption Roman Catholic Church in Katonah, New York (Source). Cardinal Timothy Dolan said at her funeral: "Like Jesus, Annie laid down her life for her friends. Like Jesus, Annie's life and death brings light, truth, goodness and love to a world often shrouded in darkness, evil, selfishness and death (Source)."
On her Autism Speaks Tribute page it says, "Anne Marie Murphy was a person who loved the arts and taking walks outdoors. She was the daughter of Hugh and Alice McGowan of Katonah, New York, one of seven children raised. Family was the most import part of Anne Marie’s life. Along with her parents, Anne Marie is survived by her four children, Kelly, Colleen, Paige and Thomas and her devoted husband, Michael (Source)."
Anne Marie Murphy Memorials: Anne Marie Murphy had worked with Autism Speaks and her family designated that in lieu of flowers donations in her memory be sent to Autism Speaks. Autism Speaks has set up a page on their website to honor Anne Marie Murphy and to receive donations. Autism Speaks wrote, "We are humbled to pay tribute to Anne Marie, and will dedicate the funds that are donated in her name to a special initiative which will be designated by her family. If you wish to leave a message of condolence, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org or post in this thread, and Autism Speaks will pass it on to Anne Marie's family (Source)."
Dylan Hockley and Anne Marie Murphy will be added today to the Autism Light Memorial Roll and also Dylan will be linked on the page of those with autism. Dylan Hockley also has a page on the Autism Rest blog. As the autism community ponders the loss of this autistic child and special education teacher, may those of us left be inspired to be more dedicated, to be more faithful, and to be more diligent in being advocates and light for autism. Rest in peace Dylan and Anne Marie.
Special Note: It is the policy of Autism Light not to include photos of individuals unless they are in the Public Domain or permission from the person or family can be obtained. At this time of tragic loss we have not sought out permission for a photo, so not to disturb the privacy of Dylan Hockley and Anne Marie Murphy's family. If in the future an authorized representative would like to give permission for a photo of Dylan or Anne Marie to appear with this respectful tribute, please email AutismLight@Gmail.com or leave information in the comments to this post. Thank You.
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