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Olivia Rose Engel, 6, left Sandy Hook Elementary school and joined the angels in Heaven on December 14, 2012.
Born July 18, 2006 at Danbury Hospital to Shannon (Merlino) and Brian Engel, Olivia brought immediate joy to all those around her with her ever-present smile and adorably infectious giggle. Quickly growing from a happy, bouncing baby who clung tightly to her stuffed lamb into an enthusiastic, loving little girl who always wanted to do and see more.
Olivia's zest for life began early. With help from her adoring parents, she quickly developed an affinity for all things fun. On any given afternoon, one could just as easily find Olivia twirling in a pink tutu in dance class, developing her swing on the tennis court, kicking the winning soccer goal, drawing, painting and gluing things in art class, or honing her inner songstress in her community musical theater class. The budding swimmer also loved to join her dad or grandpa on their boats, so she could explore the world from the water.
As Olivia continued to grow, she developed a love and affinity for math and reading, arts and crafts, and her parish. Participating in her church's CCD program and leading the family's Grace each evening were sources of great pride for Olivia, as was being a big sister. Ever patient, Olivia took joy in helping her three-year-old brother Brayden explore the world she'd grown to love. This smart, bubbly NY Yankee fan and Daisy Girl Scout would instantly light up a room with her humor, charm, and wit. She was a sweet and appreciative six-year-old with a lot to live for. Her physical loss will deeply be felt every day by those who loved her most, but her sparkly spirit will live on forever.
Olivia is survived by her parents Shannon and Brian, and brother Brayden, maternal uncle JR Merlino, grandmother Suanne Merlino, great grandmother Esther Galligan, paternal grandparents Christine and Richard Engel, as well as countless aunts, cousins, and close friends. Olivia has joined her maternal grandfather Jeffery Merlino in Heaven.
In lieu of flowers or gifts, contributions in Olivia's honor can be directed to the Newtown Park and Bark.
Published in The Hour on December 19, 2012