‘Remembering America’s Gun Victims’: Olivia Engel (Sandy Hook, Connecticut)

‘Remembering America’s Gun Victims’: Olivia Engel (Sandy Hook, Connecticut)

At six years old, Olivia Engel was already a leader to her family and those who knew her. 

She played big sister responsibly to her three-year-old brother Brayden. She led the family each night in saying “Grace” at the dinner table. She participated with full enthusiasm at the Catholic “Catechism” class for children at her church.

Olivia also loved school and excelled at math and reading. 

She was in her class at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut, on December 14, 2012 when a gunman broke in and shot and killed her and 19 other children and six adults there.

Besides being a good student, Olivia had a creative streak. She drew, took art and dance classes and liked to design things, her father Brian Engel.

“When she made us cards, you thought, ‘Wow, that came from a first-grader?'” Brian said, recalling his little girl whose favorite colors were purple and pink.

He said Olivia also had “a great sense of humor”,  showed insight beyond her six years and was patient with baby brother Brayden. “She was a great big sister,” her father added.

Outdoors, Olivia loved to play tennis and soccer and took part in musical theater. She was a Girl Scout Daisy, the level for girls in kindergarten.

“This smart, bubbly NY Yankee fan and Daisy Girl Scout would instantly light up a room with her humor, charm, and wit,” read the obituary published by the funeral home that handled her service.  

“On any given afternoon, one could just as easily find Olivia twirling in a pink tutu in dance class, developing her swing on the tennis court, kicking the winning soccer goal, drawing, painting and gluing things in art class, or honing her inner songstress in her community musical theater class,” the obituary said.

* Adapted from The Wall Street Journal’s tribute for Sandy Hook victims and Olivia Engel’s obituary.


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