Maryland Girl Slain in Newtown 'Touched the Lives of So Many'

The parents of Josephine Gay, 7, offer a remembrance of their daughter who was killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting on Friday, Dec. 14.


The parents of Josephine Grace Gay, 7, remembered their daughter as a smiling, affectionate little girl who had an indomitable spirit and loved hugs.

Gay, who was born in Columbia and lived in Howard County for three years before moving to Newtown, CT, was killed in the Sandy Hook shooting on Friday, Dec. 14.

Gay had turned 7 three days before the shooting and was looking forward to celebrating her birthday with her friends the day after the shooting, said her parents.

"Josephine loved the color purple," wrote Bob and Michele Gay. "Born in Maryland, she grew up in a family of Ravens fans and developed an affinity for all things purple. She rarely left the house without wearing something purple. After her passing, many friends who visited wore purple clothing to honor her. On Saturday a family friend tied purple balloons on the mailboxes on our street, and on Sunday the neighborhood children and her sisters and cousins released purple balloons with written messages of love to her in heaven."

Josephine, who her parents called Joey, was autistic and severely apraxic.

"She could not speak, yet she touched the lives of so many around her: teachers, therapists, neighbors, all loved and cherished her," wrote her parents. "Joey was social and affectionate; she smiled, she loved hugs, and she even had a wonderful sense of humor. Her spirit was indomitable."

In the statement, Joey's parents said they were comforted in the knowledge she is no longer scared.

"Our innocent, trusting little girl stared into the face of unimaginable evil and overcame it in Christ," wrote her parents. "She was not alone in her courage.

"Neighbors, religious communities, townspeople, and professionals are providing the care and love that we are so in need of now. We see this movement grow daily with acts of love and kindness pouring in from around the country and the world. We see how evil is defeated."

Josephine's parents asked that anyone interested in providing help or support can make a donation to Joey's Fund through the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism.

Cindy Riffert December 24, 2012 at 12:20 AM
So many innocent babies & good people lost their lives. I can't even begin to imagine the anguish and pain that their loves ones are going through. I'm the Nana of a loving and very rambunctious 4 year old (who is in day care) -- all that I can say is "for the Grace of God". I pray for all those who lost their lives in this senseless and unexplanable act of violence (even the perpetrator and his family -- for they are suffering as well). Still very sad and sorrowed in Laurel
Gretchen Ward Waller December 25, 2012 at 01:16 AM
My deepest sympathies go out to the Gay family for the loss of their dear Josephine Grace. May "grace"keep you through this difficult time, especially during the holiday season. May she rest in peace in the arms of Jesus.
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