Ana Marquez-Greene’s family is remembering her as a joyful little girl who loved to sing, dance and leave sweet notes under her parent’s pillows for no special reason other than to tell them she loved them.
“It is with immeasurable grief and heavy-heartedness that we mourn the loss of our precious angel, Ana Grace Marquez-Greene. She was taken from us far too soon in the horrific massacre enacted upon Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday morning December 14, 2012,” her family said in a statement released on Monday.
Ana was only 6-and-a-half years old when she was killed inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on Friday morning.
She was the daughter of 1997 University of Hartford graduates Nelba Marquez and Jimmy Greene, according to University of Hartford president Walter Harrison.
“In her short life, Ana strengthened us with her loving, generous joyful spirit. She routinely committed selfless acts of kindness: every drawing or craft project she began was envisioned not for her own enjoyment, but as a gift for another. She often left sweet notes that read, ‘I love you Mom and Dad,’ under our bedroom pillow - not on special occasions, but, rather, on ordinary days. She would not allow me to kiss her goodbye. Instead, when I bent down to kiss her, she would take a step backwards, poke out her lips and wait for me to lower my cheek - she made it clear that she wanted to do the kissing,” the family wrote.
Both of Ana’s parents attended the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford -- Jimmy is a well-known jazz musician -- and she loved singing, even before she could talk.
“In a musical family, her gift for melody, pitch and rhythm stood out remarkably. And she never walked anywhere - her mode of transportation was dance. She danced from room to room and place to place,” the family said. “She danced to all the music she heard, whether in air or in her head. Ana loved her God, loved to read the Bible and loved to sing in dance as acts of worship.”
The family asks for prayers for the people who are left behind to cherish memories of her.
“We also ask that you, like Ana, commit selfless acts of kindness to all those around you. Maybe, in some way, through love, similar senseless acts of violence could be prevented,” the family said.
Funeral arrangements will be announced soon.
In lieu of gifts and flowers, the family is working to establishing scholarships in Ana’s name at Western Connecticut State University’s Department of Music in Danbury, CT and the Artist’s Collective in Hartford, CT.
The Hartt Trombone Ensemble will hold a Benefit Concert to support the families of the Newtown community this Monday, December 17, from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in Millard Auditorium at The Hartt School of the University of Hartford. A suggested donation of $5 will be collected at the door for the Sandy Hook School Support Fund.
This concert will feature the ensemble's annual holiday caroling program, with family-friendly selections from "Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Jingle Bells" to Praetorius' "Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming" and Palestrina's "Dona Nobis Pacem (Grant Us Peace)."