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At the age of 65, Dawn M. Mallory-Bushor of Groton exhibited few signs of slowing her pace, working multiple jobs and still finding time with family - especially her four grandchildren.
The longtime school teacher will be remembered by friends and family as someone who not only exuded happiness, but also never lost the strong work ethic she developed while raising her two sons, Sean and Eric.
"She was a single mom for many, many years and always doing whatever jobs she could to make ends meet. It became who she is," said Monica Bushor, her daughter-in-law.
Mallory-Bushor died Friday at Hartford Hospital from the injuries she sustained on the morning of March 14 when she was struck by a vehicle in the parking lot of RHAM Middle School in Hebron. She had taught math at the school for the past 17 years.
Police said she was hit by a car that was backing out of a school bus loading and unloading zone. Region 8 School Superintendent Robert Siminski said Mallory-Bushor was hit and fell and hit her head on the pavement. She suffered bleeding in the brain and remained in critical condition until her death.
The accident remains under investigation.
Monica Bushor, the wife of Sean Bushor, said she thought of Mallory-Bushor not just as a mother-in-law, but as a best friend.
Mallory-Bushor had worked for more than three decades as a school teacher. In addition to her job at RHAM, she taught at Three Rivers Community College, ran a tax preparation business and helped with the bookkeeping for some area businesses.
Bushor said her mother-in-law had been helping others with their taxes for the past 20 years. Her customers had become like family.
"She looked forward to seeing the same people every year. Not just for business … but for a rekindling of kinships and to share stories about their families," Bushor said. "She was just always full of life and full of love. You don't meet many people like her. Just an amazing woman."
Her family will receive friends between 5 and 9 p.m. Friday at the Mystic Funeral Home in Mystic. A funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Sacred Heart Church, 56 Sacred Heart Drive in Groton.