Leslie Anne McGill, a resident in the Star Residential program in Norwalk and formerly of Darien, passed away on July 25, 2018. She was 59.

The third child of Donald and Carol McGill of Darien, Leslie was born at Stamford Hospital on June 9, 1959.

She was a happy, smiling baby who loved her parents, siblings and family cats, all of whom returned their love for her in equal measure. Leslie attended K-12 in Darien and was in the school district’s first special ed program; she was a proud graduate of Darien High School.

There were other firsts in Leslie’s life, which were about breaking barriers and stereotypes. At 22, she became one of the first residents in the newly created STAR residential program, where she lived for the rest of her life, making friends and learning independence and skills that broadened her life immeasurably. She graciously shared a Connecticut Magazine cover with Barbara Walters to promote a story about Down Syndrome. Leslie was in the first wave of a STAR program that placed members in jobs in the community.

After she “retired,” she attended the STAR senior program in Norwalk for as long as she was able, enjoying the friendship, programs and activities. Leslie led a big little life.

Her life will be celebrated on Tuesday, August 7, at 2:30 PM at The First Congregational Church of Darien, 14 Brookside Road, Darien. She is survived by her sister, Christine Fabie (Ray) of Belmont, CA; brothers Sandy (Alice) of Darien and William (Michaelynn) of Worthington, OH and their families, including five nieces and nephews. Burial will be at Spring Grove Cemetery in Darien.

In place of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to STAR, Inc., 182 Wolfpit Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06851.