Family, friends say last goodbye to Emilie

OGDEN, Utah – Emilie Parker was laid to rest Saturday in her hometown of Ogden.

Emilie was among the 20 children, ages 6 and 7, and six adults killed in a Connecticut elementary school last week.

Dressed in pink with pink flowers and pink ribbons, residents lined the procession route to honor Emilie’s memory.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to them. We think about them every day. I know I have… I’ve been at work and sometimes you just stop and what can you say. You’re not supposed to bury your little ones,” Michael Moore, a family friend, said. “It’s just not supposed to happen.”

A public memorial service was held on Thursday for community members who wanted to grieve and show support for the Parker family, but Saturday’s service and burial were private.

“Today we had a beautiful tribute to Emilie. We said our final goodbyes today,” said Jill Cottle Garrett, Emilie’s aunt.

The family says that they hope they won’t remember that took Emilie from them, but the way she giggled when she laughed, how she made friends and how she loved to draw. 

“Today was special. Emilie was an example to not only her big sisters but to her family and all her little friends. And now she’s become an example to the world about purity innocence, tragedy and forgiveness,” Garrett said.

Emilie’s father said the 6-year-old girl was such a chatter box, she did enough talking for an entire lifetime. She started talking in full sentences before she had teeth.

Among the speakers was Quinton Cook, an apostle for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He spoke about the burden of private grief; what we don’t see.

“How neat is it that you have a prophet praying for you. And that you could have an apostle there to show support to you,” said family friend Jennifer Read. “I thought it was so cool to help remind us that our families will be together forever.”

Family and friends are grateful for the entire nation coming together to support those who remember the victims.

“It’s sort of a tragic thing we are trying to get over that. But the love and support we have as a community coming together. That trumps the evil that’s out there,” said Jen Jake.

Emilie’s father Robbie Parker released a statement, saying, in part:

“There has been so much support, love and prayers offered and it has given my family such strength. I feel so inadequate to be able to articulate my sincere appreciation for what everyone has done to support the families of every victim in this horrible tragedy.

“Thank you….is not enough. To all who reached out, your support was felt and it has touched our lives in a very personal way. I hope that brings you comfort and continues to inspire you to do good in this world.

-With much love-
Robbie Parker”

Emilie’s funeral was the last of the 26 victims at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

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