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Family remembers 'quick-to-love' Banks girl

Abbi Rogers, who died June 24, would have turned seven

by: COURTESY PHOTO - Banks residents Dave and Carol Rogers hold their daughters Abbi and Lilli (left to right). Six-year-old Abbi passed away unexpectedly last week of unknown causes. Her celebration of life is set for July 23.She may have forgotten her lunchbox as she scrambled to the school bus stop with shoelaces untied and a hairbrush in hand, stopping to point out squirrels on the power lines.

But 6-year-old Abbi Rogers always knew exactly what the people around her needed.

“I’d say, ‘Abbi, I need something,’ and she’d say ‘Mom, you need a hug, don’t you?’” her mom, Carol Rogers, said Monday. “She was always quick to love.”

Abbi passed away unexpectedly June 24 of unknown causes.

Abbi’s family describes her as “a dreamer,” “silly” and “clumsy,” with a passion for cuddling. Her dad, Dave Rogers, has one of her socks in his back pocket as a reminder of her tendency for only wearing one sock at a time.

Her fraternal twin, Lilli, who just finished first grade at Banks Elementary School, is making “Love Rocks” — like the ones that have spawned a movement in Forest Grove and beyond after the deaths of sisters Anna Dieter-Robinson and Abigail Robinson last fall — with her friends and cousins to remember Abbi.

The rocks have the face of Jack the Pumpkin King, Abbi’s favorite character from the movie “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” Modge-Podged onto them. They’re going to each keep one rock before hiding the rest, Lilli said, adding that she can’t reveal their secret location.

Abbi had flu-like symptoms a few days before she died, including diarrhea and one instance of vomiting, but “not the kind of sick where you’d take them in [to the doctor],” Carol said.

Lilli tried to wake Abbi up on her way to the bathroom and noticed she made a strange sighing noise. Abbi wasn’t breathing after Lilli alerted her parents. Dave carried her to the living room and perfirned CPR until an emergency team arrived.

The family is still waiting on a histology and toxicology report, which could take eight weeks or more.

Rather than a funeral, the Rogerses will host a celebration of life for Abbi this Sunday, July 6. “I wouldn’t take Abbi to a funeral, so we’re not going to have one for her,” Carol said.

Instead, noted Dave, they’re going to “throw Abbi the biggest 7-year old birthday party,” complete with bouncy houses, food and a balloon-making clown.

“If Abbi was still alive she would be here for my birthday,” Lilli said, who is turning seven July 23.

Carol said the Banks community has been “awesome” in its support, making sure Lilli will be comfortable starting second grade and hosting a bake sale to help fund Abbi’s celebration of life.

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