—Ken Byron; Brian Dowling
Jesse Lewis, Age 6
Kevin Samoskevich works in construction in Shelton and he often ran into Neil Heslin, a fellow building contractor, at the Dew Drop Donut shop in town. They'd exchange pleasantries over coffee and talk about available construction work. Heslin's son, Jesse Lewis, a happy 6 year old, was always beside him.
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Sandy Hook Elementary School, 12 Dickenson Dr, Sandy Hook, CT 06482, USA
"He's a very nice guy, a very friendly man and always helpful," Samoskevich said. "We're all so shocked. I have his Facebook page up in front of me and I don't know what to write."
Jesse Lewis died in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. Heslin always brought his son with him to job sites during his construction work, Samoskevich said.
"He was a happy child," Samoskevich said. "A typical boy who was always in and out of things," on the job sites.
Samoskevich said the tragedy has had a deep impact in the Newtown area and surrounding communities.
"People are very upset here.They're numb. There's no happy smiles on anybody's faces," Samoskevich said. "People are crying."
"Jesse was such an incredible light," his mother, Scarlett Lewis, told the Wall Street Journal in an email Sunday. "So bright and full of love. He lived life with vigor and passion...brave and true."
"They told me he ran into the hall to help," Jesse's mother said in the e-mail. "I can only hope this meant he had less fear and went quickly in his bravery."
-- Washington Post; Courant Staff Report
Ana Grace Marquez-Greene, Age 6
Ana Grace Marquez-Greene died in the shootings while her older brother Isaiah, also at the school, escaped harm. She is the daughter of jazz musician and teacher Jimmy Greene, 37, and his wife Nelba Marquez Greene.
"She never walked anywhere," the family said in a statement Sunday evening. "Her mode of transportation was dance."
The couple, high school sweethearts, told the Courant in May that they chose Newtown because it was close to Greene's job and to the music scene in New York City, where Greene is in demand as a saxophone and flute player, and as a composer and arranger. Their remembrance of Ana Grace recalled the girl's musical gifts of melody and rhythm. "Ana's love for singing was evident before she was even able to talk."
Jimmy and Nelba Greene said that their daughter strengthened them through her love and generosity – noting that Ana would often leave love notes under their pillows "not on special occasions, but,
rather, on ordinary days."
When Ana's parents would bend down to kiss her, she would step back and pucker her lips, making it clear that she wanted to do the kissing, her parents said.
In 2009, Jimmy Greene included a song, "Ana Grace," about his daughter on the album, "Mission Statement."
— Donna Larcen; Owen McNally; Brian Dowling