Antonia Candelaria: Funeral of girl, 9, is first for Plaza Towers Elementary School tornado victims

Antonia had 'a sweet, gentle spirit'

MOORE, OK -- The first funeral for a child killed by the tornado that struck Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore is being held today.

Nine-year-old Antonia Candelaria, who died along with six other children in Monday's tornado, is due to be buried at a local church, according to NBC News.

The memorial service began at 10 a.m. at Vondel Smith Mortuary South Colonial Chapel in Oklahoma City.

Her funeral is the first of three due to be held in the next two days for children who drowned at Plaza Towers.

In total, 24 people were killed, including 10 children.

PHOTOS: Remembering the victims (

In an online obituary published on, Antonia is described as "the sweetest little ladybug" who was a beloved daughter.

"Tonie had the sweetest, most gentle and loving spirit about her," the obituary reads. "She was a beautiful young lady on the inside and out. She had her own most special and beautiful way of looking at the world. She could find the positive, good and joy in everything."

According to the obituary, Antonia always danced, not walked, to the beat of her own drum.

"She banged her drum very well. She would bang that drum so loud that others could not help but to start dancing to her beat as well," the obituary reads.

Antonia had a passion for singing and had recently auditioned to sing in the Plaza Towers Elementary School Talent Show that was to be held on the last day of school.

To leave condolences to Antonia's family, visit

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