Ana Grace Marquez-Greene's family is remembering her today as a sweet child who loved to dance and sing, left sweet notes for her parents and loved God and reading the Bible.
"It is with immeasurable grief and heavy-heartedness that we mourn the loss of our precious angel, Ana Grace Marquez-Greene," read a statement issued by her family on Monday. "She was taken from us far too soon in the horrific massacre enacted upon Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday morning, Dec. 14, 2012. She was 6 1/2 years old."
Little Ana was one of 20 children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary school on Friday in an incomprehensible act of violence.
"Ana’s love for singing was evident before she was even able to talk," the family said. "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. 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 and dance as acts of worship."
The family had moved to the Sandy Hook area because Ana Grace's mother had been hired to teach at a local university, according to the Associated Press.
Her parents Nelba Marquez and famed jazz musician Jimmy Greene shared tales about her spirit. They talked about how her projects were always made with others in mind and how she slipped notes that read "I love you Mom and Dad" under her parents' pillow.
"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."
Instead of flowers, her parents are asking people to donate to scholarships in Ana's name at Western Connecticut State University’s Department of Music in Danbury, Connecticut, and the Artist’s Collective in Hartford, Connecticut.
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(photo: Ana Marquez-Greene Family via NBC News)