December 11, 2005 – December 14, 2012
Josephine Gay had just celebrated her seventh birthday three days before the shooting. On Monday, her family put purple balloons on their mailbox as did their neighbors. The Gay family had a jungle gym in the back of their yellow house situated on a quiet cul-de-sac.  Who would have imagined such a terrible event in the quiet community of Newtown?
Josephine Gay “was known for her love of all things purple,” read her obituary, which asked those who attended her funeral to wear the color in her honor. “She lived seven years, inspiring friends and family with her beautiful smile, loving heart and playful spirit,” read her obituary, which also said that family and friends described her as “a gift.” 
Police officers enter the funeral of Josephine Grace Gay at the St. Rose of Lima Roman
“This is a horrible tragedy and it makes no sense to us. We have a lot of issues before us. And if you haven’t been angry, get angry,” Msgr. Robert Weiss said at Josephine’s funeral. “If these 20 children cannot change this world, no one will. They did not die in vain,” Weiss said.
The funeral for Josephine “Joey” was held at the St. Rose of Lima Church in Newtown. Many of the mourners wore purple, Josephine’s favorite color. Joey was very vulnerable in as much as she was autistic and had “a severe neurological disorder called apraxia. She couldn’t speak, but she expressed love to everyone she came in contact with, her heartbroken parents told mourners.” She had turned seven just three days before her death. 
Pearl Gabel/Pearl Gabel for New York Daily News; The casket was taken outside of Saint Rose of Lima Church in Newtown following the funeral of Josephine Gay
Stephen Dunn / Hartford Courant
An opening ceremony was held for the latest playground in the Sandy Ground project, this one dedicated to Josephine Gay. Children raced inside the tent-covered playground after the ribbon was cut and the play area was officially open.
Bob Gay, Josephine’s father, looks up at a Newtown flag that was just raised at the new playground opening ceremony dedicated to his daughter, December 11, 2013, in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Dearest Josephine “Joey,” may you sing in clear sweet notes the songs of your heart with the angels in heaven.
Michele Gay, Josephine’s mother, hugs a Bridgeport firefighter after he raised a Newtown flag over the new playground opening ceremony.
 The Newtown Shooting Victims: Who They Were, https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/The-Newtown-Shooting-Victims-Who-They-Were-183658461.html; retrieved 12/13/2017
 Jeff Swartz and Kaelyn Forde, Remembering the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims, 12/14/2017, http://abcnews.go.com/US/remembering-sandy-hook-elementary-school-shooting-victims/story?id=51566826; retrieved 12/28/2017
 Chelsia Rose Marcius, Bill Hutchinson, with Matthew Lysiak, TRAGIC FINALE: Tears fall as last of Newtown’s little victims are laid to rest, New York Daily News, 12/22/2012, http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/tears-fall-newtown-victims-laid-rest-article-1.1226040; retrieved 12/30/2017