Gabby Cropper, age 16, died on Oct. 22, 2020. She was born in Littleton, CO and raised in Highlands Ranch to parents Mike Cropper and Tracy Cropper. Gabby was a junior at HR, and also has a younger sister, Elizabeth Cropper, who is a freshman at Ranch, and an older brother Jack Cropper, who is a freshman at CU Boulder.
Gabby brought joy to the lives of many people and influenced them with her positive attitude. “The one thing I always remember when I think about Gabby is just her laugh. Her laugh was so special to me,” said Amber Rosacker, math teacher.
A very successful student, Gabby always worked hard to understand and to learn the material, as well as to help her classmates when they were struggling. When her sophomore math class did a project in Honors Algebra II, that involved creating an image using equations, Gabby’s creativity and artistic side shone through. “Hers was Courage the Cowardly Dog, and I just remember looking at it and thinking, ‘This is amazing,’” said Rosacker. “That was really cool, just seeing her combine her talents in math to her creative side and her artistic side.”
Her creativity was not only seen in her math class, but in Senate as well. “My favorite memory of Gabby is a time when I walked through our workroom, and Gabby sat alone on the floor, scissors and paper in hand, surrounded by a beautiful pile of winter decorations she had created,” said Brad Odice, student senate adviser. “She looked at me with a friendly glance and I imagined her saying, ‘Don’t interrupt me while I’m in the art zone.’”
Her talents in art were used not just in school, but also with her friends. Alma Daly, junior, said, “She was really good at drawing our dreams. She would just pull out a sticky note and start drawing. I remember one time I dreamt of a guatemelon, which was like a watermelon from Guatemala, but I remember thinking it was so accurate it was like she was psychic. And we posted it on the wall next to our desks at school.”
According to Odice, Gabby never missed a day to say thank you at the end of class. “Though Gabby was not the loudest voice in the classroom, she worked diligently on our projects, made effort to help others, and always showed up to lend a hand no matter the task,” said Odice.
Gabby found ways to help others and went out of her way to make sure others around her were happy. “She volunteered at Littleton Hospital and Café 180. She would run errands for her grandparents who were isolating because of coronavirus. She would drive her sister wherever she wanted to go. It didn’t matter if it was day or night, she was always willing to lend us a hand,” said Tracy Cropper, mother of Gabby.
Amalia SanMillan, junior, has known Gabby since she was eleven and played on the same soccer team with her for four years. “She was the type of person who you make memories with. Whenever I look at a soccer ball or a mat, it reminds me of her,” said SanMillan. “Goofy, kind, smart, and hilarious, she was one of the only people that could make me laugh so hard I cried.”
Gabby loved being outdoors, and enjoyed golf, skiing with her father, and fishing. At her house, Gabby labeled a cup “the bug cup” for any bugs found in the house, so they could be released outside. “Gabby had such a tender heart that we were never allowed to even harm a bug that we found in our house,” said Tracy.
Gabby played soccer since she was young, and was on the HR girls team her freshman year. “When we were at soccer practice one day, we were trying to be so serious, but she was cracking a smile and would not stop laughing, and we didn’t get anything done that day, and it was so funny to me,” said Lexi Benner, senior. “She really pulled together our soccer team.”
Photos courtesy of Tracy Cropper, Lexi Benner, and Amalia SanMillan
Off the field, Gabby was a prominent member of the team. “We had moments from team dinners where she would just say something, and if anyone else said it, it wouldn’t have been funny, but when Gabby said it, we’d all laugh and smile,” said Benner.
Gabby’s celebration of life service was held on November 2nd. SanMillan said, “She was one of those people who didn’t just ask how you were doing to ask but to actually know because she cared.”
Delaney Atchison, Editor in Chief & Bella Bogo, Staff Reporter