Rachel D'Avino Memorial Fund - Give Here


This fund was established by Rachel's family to continue her legacy of helping autistic children in her community.

Rachel Marie D'Avino, 29, of Bethlehem, passed away on Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, in Newtown, Conn. during the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, protecting the children she loved so dearly.

Rachel was born on July 17, 1983, in Waterbury, to Mary (Carmody) D'Avino of Bethlehem and Ralph D'Avino of Waterbury. A 2001 graduate of Nonnewaug High School, Rachel went on to receive her bachelor's degree from the University of Hartford, her master's degree from Post University, and was working towards her doctorate degree from University of St. Joseph of Hartford.

Just last week, Rachel completed her final requirements to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Her presence and tremendous smile brightened any room she entered. Rachel loved animals, cooking, baking, photography and karate. She was an adoring big sister who cherished her two younger siblings like they were her own children.

Her passion, however, was her occupation as a behavioral therapist working with children within the autism spectrum. She had worked in various positions throughout her career providing behavioral therapy to children, with hopes of helping them develop into happy and healthy adults. She integrated these children into her daily life, often taking them into her home, hosting holidays and crafting parties for them. She taught them and treated them like family. Her maternal nature, understanding, and sense of patience with the learning disabled were truly gifts she possessed. Ultimately, it is these gifts that would have given Rachel a level of understanding and forgiveness during this time of crisis that many others wouldn't have.

Besides her parents, she is survived by her best friend and soon-to-have-been fiance, Anthony J. Cerritelli, of Bethlehem. Tony had recently asked Rachel's parents' permission for her hand in marriage. They were to be engaged on Christmas Eve. - Republican-American


Give to Rachel's Memorial Fund here