portrait picture for Laura J. Gonzalez

Memorial Visitation: Friends may call on Sunday from 2:00 to 5:00 PM at Collins Funeral Home, 92 East Avenue, Norwalk. Services: Memorial services will be celebrated at 5:00 PM. Contributions: Donations in her memory may be made to either Connecticut Hospice,100 Double Beach Road, Branford, CT 06405 or to the Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven 333 Cedar Street, PO Box 208028 New Haven, CT 06520. Please visit www.collins-funeral.com to leave condolences.

Laura J. Gonzalez


December 29, 1959 - October 29, 2014

Laura J. Gonzalez, 54, wife of Manny Gonzalez of Stratford, passed away Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at Connecticut Hospice in Branford.

Born December 29, 1959 in Port Chester, NY, she was the daughter of Virginia (Ginny) Knudson Hemstead and the late Norman Hemstead.

Mrs. Gonzalez worked as a Preschool Teaching Aid at Temple Israel in Westport. She was a happy person who loved dancing and loved photography.

In addition to her husband Manny and mother Ginny, she is survived by her two sons, Derrick and Daniel Gonzalez, both of Stratford; by her two brothers, Daniel Hemstead and his wife Marcia of Seymour, CT and Michael Hemstead and his wife Linda of Missouri. She is also survived by her niece Jade Hemstead of Missouri.

She was predeceased by her brother Jonathan Hemstead.

Friends may call on Sunday from 2:00 to 5:00 PM at Collins Funeral Home, 92 East Avenue, Norwalk. Memorial services will be celebrated at 5:00 PM. Donations in her memory may be made to either Connecticut Hospice,100 Double Beach Road, Branford, CT 06405 or to the Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven 333 Cedar Street, PO Box 208028 New Haven, CT 06520.

  1. Laura was one of the warmest, sweetest and fun loving people that we have ever known. She left this world a better place because of her having been in it. She will be very missed by all who knew her. Our deepest and heartfelt condolences to Manny, Derrick, Danny and the rest of her family.

    Liz and Steve Najarian

    October 31, 2014
    Liz and Steve Najarian -
  • I knew Laura from her morning treks to the main office of the Temple where she worked. She always had a smile and kind word. She will be missed. Laura and her family are in my prayers.

    October 31, 2014
    Mary Belletzkie -
  • Laura was a caring, gentle soul with a megawatt smile. It was an honor for me to work alongside her at TIECC. Always in my heart, Laurita.

    October 31, 2014
    Yvette Kohn -
  • Laura was one my my children’s favorite pre school teachers ever! They all three loved Laura so much! Her warmth and smile will always be remembered… Gone too soon.. Thanks for making an everlasting impression on my children ❤️

    October 31, 2014
    Lauri Ingber -
  • Laura and I taught in the same classroom for several years. Her warmth, her innate wisdom and her keen sense of humor are what I will always remember about her. My deepest condolences to the Gonzalez and Hemstead families.
    Debbie Jacobs – October 31, 2014

    October 31, 2014
    Debbie Jacobs -
  • Laura had a heart of gold and a megawatt smile that brightened our workplace every morning. She is so missed at Temple Israel as part of our family. My deepest condolences to Manny, Derek and Danny. The world was a prettier place with her in it.
    Debbie solomon

    October 31, 2014
    Debbie Solomon -
  • Laura, you will be missed. I truly enjoyed working with you. You brightened every day with your warm smile and easygoing personality. Thank you for your friendship. My thoughts and prayers are with Manny, Derrick & Danny, and of course your Mom. I’m sure she will miss your weekly dinners. Love you.

    October 31, 2014
    MaryEllen Trombetta -
  • Laura was the kindest, sweetest, most caring person who truly embraced all aspects of life. Her infectious smile and sincere friendship as well as her zest for life is what I will always remember about her. I feel so lucky to have been able to call you one of my dearest friends and co-workers. You never complained nor cried “why me” , throughout all your surgeries, radiation and chemo treatments. You fought such a courageous battle. My thoughts and prayers go out to Manny, Derrick and Danny and the rest of the Gonzalez/Hemstead families. I am a better person having had you as a friend. I love you and miss you so much and know your passing on my birthday was for a reason.

    October 31, 2014
    Alisa Garner -
  • Look how we all loved her. Such a genuine person.. so loving, down to earth, beautiful inside and out. Society needs more Lauras. As someone else said, I hope this is just the beginning for you Laura. You will be missed in this reality.

    November 1, 2014
    Marcia Patterson -
  • I knew Laura over 25 years ago. Although people come and go in our lives, there are those very special ones you will always remember. I remember – like so many of you – her wonderful smile. She was a kind, humble and warm person overflowing with grace and dignity. To her husband, her sons, and all her family and loved ones, I am so sorry for your loss. I was glad I had the chance to know Laura. Sending my thoughts, condolences and wishing you peace and comfort. John McNamara, New Milford CT

    November 1, 2014
    John McNamar -
  • My deepest condolences to Manny, Derrick, Danny and all of Laura’s extended family. I couldn’t have asked for nicer next door neighbors for the last 23 years. My heart breaks with all of yours. I am all too familiar with your pain, since my brother endured an almost identical path three years ago. She may be gone from this world, but she will never be gone from your hearts and minds. She is still with you and always will be.

    November 1, 2014
    David Ware -
  • My prayers are with her family…..Laura, I am wearing purple today and thinking of all the fun we had over the years and missing a good friend… I am going to open a bottle of Boone’s Farm and put on some Beatle’s tunes and think of you…You were a happy and fun loving person and we will never forget you or that smile…..love you, Sandra

    November 2, 2014
    Sandra Kish-Huminski -
  • Laura and I were high school buddies and worked together at Sears Roebuck. That all seems ages ago, but I will always remember how she made us all laugh. She was always positive and saw the good in all people. My prayers are with her family. May the memories of all of your wonderful times together get you through these days. God Bless you all.

    November 3, 2014
    Charlotte Provenzano Albert -
  • I am so sorry to hear of Laura passing. My family knew of the Hemstead Family on Hill Street in Norwalk Ct. The (kids) played together. Marsha Jim kevin shirley and sandy. We lost our Kevin at 40 yrs old. My condolences to the Hemstead family and to her husband and their children and to her Mom.
    Marge Mcdermott Festa

    November 4, 2014
    marjorie McDermott festa -
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