NEWTOWN -- Robbie Parker said his daughter "would be one of the first ones offering sympathy and giving support to those affected by this -- not because of anything my wife or I have done, but because of her wonderful, God-given gifts."
Emilie Parker, 6 years old, was one of the 20 Sandy Hook Elementary School students killed on Friday. Speaking Saturday at a family press conference, her 30-year-old father described Emilie as a talented, playful and caring child.
"I find comfort in the incredible person Emilie was ... bright, creative and very loving, always able to try new things -- except foods," Robbie Parker said. "She was an exceptional artist, always carrying markers and pencils to create cards.
Anytime someone was suffering, her father said, Emilie would make them a card. She recently made a particularly meaningful one, he said, to ride in the casket of her grandfather, who was killed in an accident.
Emilie's younger sisters, 3 and 4 years old, "looked up to her for comfort," Parker said. "It was cute to see how, if one fell or had her feelings hurt, she would look to Emilie for comfort."
Parker, a physicians' assistant at Danbury Hospital, said that, as Emilie would have, he sympathized with the families of all of Friday's shooting victims.
"This is extended to the family of the shooter also," he said. "I can't imagine how difficult this must be for you."
His daughter, "beautiful, blond, always smiling, with bright blue eyes," had kind words for an about everyone, Parker said.
He said he was blessed to be Emilie's father, and by their final moments together.
"I was leaving for work and she woke up before I left," Parker said. "I was teaching her Portuguese and our last conversation was in Portuguese. She just told me `Good Morning' and asked how I was doing. I said I was doing very well. She said that she loved me and gave me a kiss."