Olivia Rose Engel, Age 6
On the "Friends of the Engel Family Fund" Facebook page, there were photos of Olivia Rose Engel, 6, sitting behind the steering wheel of a boat with sunglasses. Another showed her wearing a set of wings, holding a golden star over her head.
In nearly every Facebook photograph of Olivia, the girl is smiling.
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"Beautiful little angel," commented a Facebook friend.
Family pictures were tradition for the Engel family, who at least twice this year met with photographer Tim Nosenzo for portraits. Over the summer they gathered at the Saugatuck Harbor Yacht Club in Westport, where the family posed for photos at the club, along the shore and on a boat.
"Always a nice way to spend a summer morning," Nosenzo wrote on his professional Web site, where he posted the images last month.
In November, Nosenzo photographed the family again -- this time for what Nosenzo described as "our annual Christmas card photo shoot" in Tarrywile Park in Danbury.
"This is a tragedy beyond understanding," Nosenzo wrote on his Web site Saturday.
Her parents and other family members declined requests for interviews over the weekend, but Brian Engel released a statement about his daughter.
Olivia's favorite colors were pink and purple, he said. Her favorite stuffed animal was a lamb. She loved school and did well in math and reading. She liked to draw and took art classes. She played tennis and soccer, and liked musical theater.
Olivia was a Daisy Girl Scout, enjoyed swimming, and took dance lessons in ballet and hip hop
She was an active member of her family's church, St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Newtown, where she was supposed to appear in a Nativity play as an angel over the weekend. Every night, she led grace at her family's dinner table.
"She was insightful for her age and had a great sense of humor," the family statement said. "She was a grateful child who was always appreciative and never greedy... She was a 6-year-old who had a lot to look forward to."
A family member serving as spokesman for Olivia's parents, Brian and Shannon Engel, said he had been communicating with the family by text messages since yesterday, asking what he and other could do to help.
"It's the same message," John Engel said. "Just pray for us."
Josephine Gay, Age 7
Called "Joey" by her family, Josephine Gay celebrated her seventh birthday the Tuesday before she was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary school.
In a photo circulating on the internet, Josephine peeked out from under a green, toy traffic cone, smiling with her glasses perched on the tip of her nose.
Josephine was autistic, severely apraxic and did not speak, but "she touched the lives of so many around her: teachers, therapists, friends, neighbors, all loved and cherished her," according to a statement from her parents, Michele and Bob Gay.