Leslie McGill, 59, in Darien’s First Special Ed Program, in First Waves of Several Programs

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Leslie Anne McGill, a resident in the STAR residential program in Norwalk and formerly of Darien, passed away on July 25. She was 59.

ObitThe third child of Donald and Carol McGill of Darien, Leslie was born at Stamford Hospital on June 9, 1959.

She was a happy, smiling baby who loved her parents, siblings and family cats, all of whom returned their love for her in equal measure.

Leslie attended Darien schools from Kindergarten through Grade 12 and was in the school district’s first special education program; she was a proud graduate of Darien High School.

There were other firsts in Leslie’s life, which were about breaking barriers and stereotypes. At 22, she became one of the first residents in the newly created STAR residential program, where she lived for the rest of her life, making friends and learning independence and skills that broadened her life immeasurably.

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an obituary from Edward Lawrence Funeral Home

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She graciously shared a Connecticut Magazine cover with Barbara Walters to promote a story about Down Syndrome. Leslie was in the first wave of a STAR program that placed members in jobs in the community.

After she “retired”, she attended the STAR senior program in Norwalk for as long as she was able, enjoying the friendship, programs and activities. Leslie led a big little life.

She is survived by her sister, Christine Fabie (Ray) of Belmont, CA; her brothers: Sandy (Alice) of Darien and William (Michaelynn) of Worthington, OH and their families, including five nieces and nephews.

Her life will be celebrated at 2:30 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018 at The First Congregation Church of Darien, 14 Brookside Road. Burial will be at Spring Grove Cemetery in Darien.

In place of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to STAR, Inc., 182 Wolfpit Aven., Norwalk, CT 06851.

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