OGDEN — Though most Utahns didn't know Emilie Alice Parker or her family, her story still makes one think about the innocence of children and the tragic way in which Emilie lost her life.
At her funeral Saturday, instead of focusing on the tragedy, her family wanted to focus on the person they lost and her short, but adventurous life. Family members, friends, LDS church officials and the governor of Utah gathered to say their final goodbye to the kind 6-year-old girl, whose favorite color was pink and who deeply cared about people.
The funeral, attended by hundreds, was held at the Rock Cliff LDS Stake Center Saturday morning for Emilie, who was killed in the shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14 along with 25 of her classmates and educators. Saturday, the final three victims of Sandy Hook were laid to rest in separate ceremonies, including one for Emilie.
Emilie was laid to rest in an Ogden cemetery Saturday afternoon.
The girl's parents, Robbie and Alissa Parker grew up and met in Ogden.
Many in the funeral congregation wore pink, including her sisters and cousins who wore pink coats and dresses, and her father who wore a pink tie.
They said their lives were better for knowing Emilie and spoke of her as a role model and inspiration for everyone, despite her young age. Her family wanted people to feel happiness that while Emilie was alive, she lived life to its fullest.
"Emilie was an example not only to her little sisters but to her family, to all her little friends, and now she has become an example to the world about purity, innocence, tragedy and forgiveness," her aunt Jill Cottle Garrett said Saturday.
Her family said they want her to be remembered as a happy, smiling and kind girl.
At the funeral, the family sang two Christmas songs: "Angels We Have Heard on High" and "Silent Night." Emilie had been practicing to sing the songs at a school Christmas concert before she died. The concert would have been held last Sunday.
"She had been practicing these songs and we sang them to her because she was unable to sing them to us," Cottle Garrett said.
As her funeral procession went down Monroe Boulevard to the cemetery, hundreds of people lined the street to say goodbye.
"It affects my whole family and myself," said Ogden resident Elizabeth Rivera. "It really came home to us, so we just want to show our support."