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Snapshot: Betsy Gaier

Occupation: I am the office and volunteer coordinator for Sandy Hook Promise.

Family: My husband of 26 years is Deryl. We have a son, Marty, who is 22 and at the University of North Texas, studying criminal justice. Our other son, Andy, is 19 and headed to Porter and Chester in Watertown, for auto repair.

Pets: We have Tarforken, a 20-inch-long plated Sudan lizard, who is currently looking for a new home. Marty is going to Texas, and the lizard is not going with him. We also have Molly, a calico cat we got from the Newtown pound.

How long have you lived in Newtown? I’ve lived in Sandy Hook for 26 years. My husband has been her for 28 years. He bought the house and we moved in after we were married.

What do you like to do in your free time? I like to garden and read, two fun things to do, for me. I have flower gardens. I love to work really hard in the garden, then go in and shower and change, get a glass of wine and go back out into the garden to savor the work I’ve done. In the winter, I’d just as soon curl up with a book.

Do you have a favorite author? I like John Grisham, and I like to read Justin Scott’s books about the fictitious Newbury, Connecticut. They’re fun to read, especially the longer I live here and recognize places from around town.

Do you have a favorite travel destination? I like going different places with my guys. I like the beach, and we spent many years going down to Long Beach Island, N.J., in the summers.

What is the best thing about Newtown? The people! They are pleasant. You feel safe here. Store employees, car care people, everybody is just… nice. And I think we’re nicer to each other, since 12/14.

Who has been the greatest influence in your life? God. Jesus the Lord. To me, He is my all. He gave me salvation and He gives me my joy. And secondly, my husband. I married the best man in the world. He’s pleasant, supportive, and kind. He is a wonderful person.

Do you have a personal philosophy? The greatest commandment: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Do you have a guilty pleasure? Dark chocolate, and cold white wine; a rich cup of coffee and a good book. You can’t go wrong with those things.

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