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A memorial service will be held for faculty member Laura Snyder-Gardner and her daughter, Model Secondary School for the Deaf student Mary Ann Gardner on Sunday, January 27 at 2:30 p.m. in Elstad Auditorium. Laura and Mary Ann passed away in a fire in their home in Falls Church, Va., in the early morning hours of January 23. The campus community is invited to attend.

The memorial service will be streamed live online:

The family has requested that people who attend the service wear pink and yellow to honor Laura and Mary Ann because they both loved bright colors and were very fond of pink and yellow.

A memorial page has also been set up on Facebook:
Laura was a full-time faculty member in mathematics in the General Studies Program. She began her career at Gallaudet in January 2009. Last fall, she also served as assistant coach of the girls’ soccer team at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf.

Laura received her bachelor’s degree in computer science from Flagler College in Saint Augustine (Fla.) in 1987, a master’s degree in deaf education from the University of North Florida in Jacksonville in 1991, and a second master’s degree in education-administration from the University of Phoenix in Jacksonville in 2008. Before coming to Gallaudet University, Laura taught at Florida School for the Deaf and Blind in Saint Augustine from 1988 to 2008.

A junior at MSSD, Mary Ann Gardner arrived at Kendall Demonstration Elementary School (KDES) as a 7th grader in February 2009. Throughout her time at KDES and MSSD, Mary Ann was very active and engaged in all aspects of both schools. She was an honors student, a member of the soccer and cheerleading teams, and actively involved in after-school programs, including the Student Body Government and Jr. NAD.

Laura and Mary Ann were valued members of the Gallaudet community and their loss is felt greatly on campus.
The Crisis Leadership Team is working with the Red Cross to provide assistance to family members as well as help as necessary with final arrangements.

Grief counseling services are available for students, faculty and staff on campus at the Mental Health Center. Currently, the Center is open Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and closed each day from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. To schedule an appointment, contact the center:

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to the Laura Snyder-Gardner and Mary Ann Gardner Scholarship Fund. Go to to donate online. To send a check, please note “”Gardner Fund”” in the memo section and make the check payable to Gallaudet University and mail to the Office of Development, Gallaudet University, 800 Florida Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20002.”

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