NEWTOWN, Connecticut (CBS News) -- A single bell tolled Thursday at the Connecticut funeral of a 6-year-old girl killed by a gunman at her elementary school, while a cardinal in New York compared a slain teacher to Jesus for giving up her life to protect others.
In Newtown, the site of the shooting rampage, grim-faced mourners hurried through the packed parking lot of St. Rose of Lima Church to attend the funeral Mass for 6-year-old Catherine Hubbard.
Catherine's family said in her obituary that she would be remembered for her passion for animals and her constant smile.
Catherine was among the 20 students and six teachers killed when Adam Lanza, armed with a military-style assault rifle, broke into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on Dec. 14 and opened fire. Lanza killed his mother at her home before the attack and committed suicide at the school as police closed in.
Marty Folan, a retired corrections officer who volunteers as an emergency medical technician in Newtown and responded to Friday's attack, told CBS News correspondent Seth Doane he cut himself off from the world when it was all over.
"I isolated myself," said Folan. "I basically went home, didn't answer the phone calls from the many friends and family and members here ... I just don't want to hear about it, don't want to see it. It was all over the news, and I didn't want any more part of it. I could not- I could not hear it anymore."
Funerals were also scheduled in Connecticut on Thursday for 7-year-old Grace McDonnell and 6-year-olds Benjamin Andrew Wheeler, Jesse Lewis and Allison Wyatt, and a memorial was held for teacher Lauren Gabrielle Rousseau.
In New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan told mourners at the funeral of 52-year-old Anne Marie Murphy that the teacher "brought together a community, a nation, a world, now awed by her own life and death."
Murphy's father, Hugh McGowan, said authorities told him that she died trying to protect her young pupils. Her body was found covering a group of children's bodies as if to shield them, McGowan said.
Dolan underscored her sacrifice.
"Like Jesus, Annie laid down her life for her friends," Dolan said. "Like Jesus, Annie's life and death brings light, truth, goodness and love to a world often shrouded in darkness, evil, selfishness and death."
About 15 people arrived at St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Katonah, N.Y., in a yellow school bus with "Newtown" written on its side. The church quickly filled and about 100 mourners waited outside.
Janelle Wingert, of Wyoming, said in an email interview that she met Murphy when they were involved in the same faith-based community service activities in the Newtown area. She said Murphy asked her after 9/11 what she would do if someone attacked a school where she was working.
"She was serious and so intense in the question," Wingert said in a Facebook post. "She died doing exactly what she said she would do — put herself between the gunman and her little ones, who she saw as the most precious of all in God's heart."
Trinity Episcopal church on Newtown's Main Street was filled to capacity for the funeral of Benjamin Wheeler, and scores of mourners who couldn't get in milled about outside. The service for a child described as a lighthouse buff, budding musician and Beatles fan included a rendition of "Here Comes The Sun" and the hymn "Amazing Grace."
Benjamin's five uncles acted as pallbearers. About two dozen Boy Scout leaders lined the front pathway to the church in honor of the former Cub Scout.
Green balloons, the favorite color of 6-year-old Allie Wyatt, peppered the community of Southbury, where her funeral was held.
The Rev. Walter L. Pitman was the lone speaker at the funeral at Sacred Heart Church. He described Allie as a budding artist who covered her family's home in her paintings and drawings and the kind of child who smiled easily, the Danbury News Times reported. He said the girl loved to garden with her mother and was always outside, especially in the summer.
Pitman told those who knew the girl that they were a fortunate group, saying, "At some point over the last six years, Allie Wyatt got in your way and you are better for it." He described the little girl to the few hundred who attended as goofy and funny. He said she loved to read and loved math, and "that alone makes her a saint."
In downtown Danbury, mourners filed into the ornate white-pillared First Congregational Church for a memorial service for teacher Lauren Rousseau. The congregation in the packed church sang "Morning Has Broken" and "Let There Be Peace On Earth."
Friends wept on the altar as they remembered the spirited, hardworking, sunny-natured young woman who loved children and animals, especially cats, and who had always wanted to be a teacher. They spoke of how the 30-year-old brightened their lives with her silliness and gave them all nicknames.
"My husband asked me last night, 'Has this rocked your faith in God?' And I said, 'Absolutely not.' But it's done a few things about my faith in human beings," said minister Pat Kriss, as reported by Doane.
Meanwhile, a memorial service was was held Thursday for Nancy Lanza, the mother of gunman Adam Lanza. According to Kingston, N.H. police, about 25 people attended the service.