Local News

NC couple mourns granddaughter killed in Newtown shootings

Posted January 2, 2013
Updated January 3, 2013

— The North Carolina grandparents of a 6-year-old Connecticut girl killed in the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School remembered her Wednesday as a curious, caring child with a strong sense of faith.

Caroline Phoebe Previdi died in the Dec. 14 massacre and was buried Dec. 19 funeral in Newtown, Conn. Her maternal grandparents, Patsy and Roger Johnson, recently returned home to Asheville after spending time in Connecticut with their daughter and son-in-law, Jeffrey and Sandy Previdi, and Caroline’s older brother, Walker.

“Caroline was our only granddaughter. She was a joy to us and to everyone she touched,” Roger Johnson said. “She was a happy, joyful, energetic 6-year-old. She loved everyone she met.”

He recalled how little Caroline gave her piggy bank to her priest last Christmas and asked him to use the money inside to help needy children who would not have a good holiday.

“Father Bob asked her how much she wanted to give,” he said. “She replied, ‘All of it. I have plenty.’ She intended to give her piggy bank again this Christmas.”

Her grandmother said Caroline loved the color pink, dancing, painting, swimming and soccer.

“She touched the hearts of many people in her life in six years, probably more than most people in a lifetime,” Patsy Johnson said.

The Johnson-Previdi family is close-knit, and the grandparents saw Carolina at least every two months. The Johnsons would fly to Connecticut, or the Previdis would fly to Asheville.

When the Johnsons heard the news of the shootings, they got on a plane two hours later.

“Our hearts are broken, but we know that we will miss her before and think wonderful thought of her,” Patsy Johnson said. “We know that she is giggling and loving Jesus in heaven.”

She said faith is helping the family get through the shock and loss.

“People without faith could never go through it,” Patsy Johnson said. “But if you have faith, you know she’s in a better place and that she will not have to go through the trials and tribulations of this world.”

The family is also getting support from strangers who have been reaching out to them in the wake of the tragedy.

“It's just been really amazing,” Patsy Johnson said. “As Caroline would say, ‘It’s amazin’!’”
 

18 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Oldest First
View all
  • jackflash123 Jan 3, 11:49 a.m.

    I hope there are communities all over the country learning about peripheral ties to victims from Sandy Hook. It is so painful, but only by experiencing this pain and being reminded of it do we gain the empathy and courage to make changes.

  • Lightfoot3 Jan 3, 8:29 a.m.

    So sorry for their loss.


    "Until we do something about US gun law, the next time..." - Grand Union


    You're right. If that principal and those teachers could have been armed, they might have stopped the gunman.


    "the NRA and their warped version of the 2nd" - Grand Union


    Does the NRA version differ from the Supreme Court? I remember a dude called Haggis Basher telling us the Constitution means what the Supreme Court says it means.


    "confused "faith" with "religion"." - Relic


    The lady said, "if you have faith, you know she’s in a better place". Sounds like religion and heaven to me. I'm glad she finds comfort in faith, and I'm sure she meant no harm, but people without religious faith can also endure.

  • mewuvbb Jan 2, 5:52 p.m.

    My prayers to each and everyone of you. My heart aches for each of you, but one Day What a Glorious Day in Heaven it will Be for All of Us

  • Relic Jan 2, 5:32 p.m.

    Folks, this article is not the place to argue guns, etc. Or to pounce on a poor grieving Grandmother for her faith. There will be more forums on articles about the incident in the future where the gun/ammo/whatever issues can be hashed out. Can we not just for once look at the face of an innocent that was taken away from a loving family in this horrible event and simply have sympathy for their loss? Please?

  • Relic Jan 2, 5:10 p.m.

    "many without faith who carry on"

    That's completely untrue. The faith may be in yourself but it is "faith" none the less. You have confused "faith" with "religion".

  • Deb1003 Jan 2, 4:15 p.m.

    My sincere condolences to this family. My prayers to all of you.

  • norainonmyparade Jan 2, 3:49 p.m.

    "Until we do something about US gun law, the next time it may be your or my grandchild that dies......remember that the next time your candidate for office endorses his support for the NRA and their warped version of the 2nd. "Grand Union

    Oh yes, because prohibition works so well. If you take away guns from law abiding people, then only the criminals will have them. Where there is a will, there is a way.

  • dte16pj Jan 2, 3:47 p.m.

    I am so sorry for your loss.

  • Desiderata Jan 2, 3:39 p.m.

    So sorry for your loss. The grandmother obviously was not thinking straight when she mentioned that only those with faith could go on Actually, having faith has nothing to do with moving on in your life, as there are many without faith who carry on. We all deal with life in our own ways, no one is better than another or more right.

  • Uhavenoclu Jan 2, 3:33 p.m.

    Until we do something about US gun law, the next time it may be your or my grandchild that dies......remember that the next time your candidate for office endorses his support for the NRA and their warped version of the 2nd.

    Get off the politics.TE;; GEORGE WASHINGTON AND EVERY LAW ENFORCEMENT AND YOUR SOLDIER BOYS NOT TO USE GUNS FOR AS LONG AS ONE PERSON USES ONE WE ALL WILL BE ABLE TO USE ONE.
    This was someone who didn't get the care and help he needed that did this.THE ONES YOU LAUGH AT AND MAKE FUN AT BECAUSE THEY ACT STUPID AND DUMB.
    WE HAVE THE FREEDOM WE ARE SUPPOSEDLY A FREE COUNTRY BUT COMMUNISTS LIKE YOU ARE TAKING OUR FREEDOM AWAY.

    Sorry to the family of the girl and to all the ones who moved on there but they are getting the love they deserve.

More...