NORWALK, Conn. — Kara Kathleen Kovlakas, a teacher at Marvin Elementary in Norwalk, died at home in Trumbull on Thursday, Oct 13. She was 32.
Kara Kovlakas was the wife of Andy Kovlakas, a Norwalk police officer. She was born Oct. 14, 1983, in Norwalk, the daughter of Margaret and Bruce Morrow. She died the day before her 33rd birthday.
Calling hours will be on Monday and funeral services will be on Tuesday for the beloved teacher.
Kovlakas graduated from Norwalk High School in 2001, and received a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Arizona in 2005 and a master’s degree in teaching from Sacred Heart University in 2010. She worked the last 11 years as a third grade teacher at Marvin Elementary School in Norwalk.
"She truly loved guiding and teaching young people in the community she grew up in," said her obituary posted at the Collins Funeral Home website. "Kara spent every spare minute with her beautiful children and family who she cherished. Kara was the brightest light in any room with the most amazing smile and she will be missed by all who knew her."
She is survived by her husband, Andy Kovlakas and their children, Aydan and Ari; her mother, Margaret Morrow of Norwalk; five sisters, Kimberly Abbazia (Joesph) of Cos Cob, Stephanie Peckham (Gray) of Fairfield, Lauren Shrage (Robert) of Trumbull, Kyle DiScala (George) of Norwalk, and Jenna Garry (Brian) of Norwalk; and many nieces, nephews, in-laws, cousins, aunts and uncles.
She was predeceased by her father, Bruce Morrow, and her maternal and paternal grandparents.
Calling hours will be Monday from 4 to 8 p.m. at Collins Funeral Home, 92 East Ave., Norwalk. A funeral service will be celebrated Tuesday at 10 a.m. in St. George’s Greek Orthodox Church, 238 West Rocks Road, Norwalk. Burial will be private.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to a GoFundMe page set up by the Norwalk Police Union in her honor. As of late Saturday, the effort had raised over $81,000 out of a $100,000 goal.
"Kara was loved by all who knew her, including her family, friends, co-workers at Marvin Elementary School and her students, both past and present," the GoFundMe page says. "This page has been established as a tribute to Kara's life, and to help defray the impending challenges that lay ahead for her husband and their children."
On the GoFundMe page, former Mayor Richard Moccia said, "Words are never enough to express the sadness over the loss of such a young vibrant person. I know how much she loved the children at Marvin, and her own kids. My condolences to Andy and his family."
According to a post on the Facebook page of Norwalk Public Schools, "Mrs. Kovlakas was a wonderful teacher who touched many young lives. Our heartfelt condolences go out to her family and the Marvin community at this difficult time."
Marvin Elementary School made counselors available for students, families and staff who may need support.
To allow members of the Marvin School community to attend the funeral services for Kovlakas, Marvin Elementary School will be closed on Tuesday, Oct.18.
Columbus Magnet School has offered to host Marvin students there for families who need child care.
"Thank you for the tremendous outpouring of support today, and for keeping the Kovlakas family in your thoughts and prayers," the Norwalk Schools said on Facebook.