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Farmingdale remembers Gina Pellettiere and Beatrice Ferrari, band director and chaperone killed in Orange County bus crash

Farmingdale High School remembers educators killed in bus crash
Farmingdale High School remembers educators killed in bus crash 02:48

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. -- Farmingdale, a community of 8,500 people on Long Island, came together with love and prayers Friday for the injured students and two lives lost in the bus crash in Orange County

Beatrice Ferrari, 77, was a volunteer chaperone and the heart and soul of the Farmingdale High School band program. 

"She was a mom, a grandmother, my mother-in-law. She was like a mom to me. She was a pillar of the community. She loved band camp. She must have gone for 30 years. This was a trip, she looked forward to it every year. To have her go this way, it's so sad. We're all devastated, the whole family," said Ferrari's son-in-law Daniel Aldieri. 

Ferrari's family was overcome at the outpouring of support. Food and flowers were sent from all over the village for the retired teacher, whose love for the marching band extended to her own family. 

"Her grandchildren, my boys, I have a senior who graduated last year and she was able to do band camp with him and I have another boy who was supposed to go this year, but they turned the buses around," said Aldieri. 

Ferrari's grandson was not traveling on the bus that crashed. 

"Her first priority in life was always her children and her husband. She loved her friends. I was just with her on Tuesday," said Ferrari's friend Linda Leone. 

Gina Pellettiere, the devoted and respected Farmingdale High School band director, was so deeply intertwined with music and students. 

"She made school fun. She made life entertaining, and she brought a lot of joy to a lot of people whether they were in the band or not," said Christian Kalinowski, a former Farmingdale High School student and band member.

Kalinowski dedicated a poem to Pellettiere when he graduated.   

"Anybody who wanted to play music, Gina was there. She was a resource and she was a mentor. She was a friend," said Kalinowski. "Gina was a high note. So even if you were a senior and you didn't want to be there for ninth period, you got to end school on a high note. That really resonated with all of us." 

A skilled musician, Pellettiere was a proud single mother of a 2-year-old boy. Her neighbors in Massapequa said she was like a sister to them. 

"I talked to her everyday. She was a great person, amazing mom, and it's just really a shock," one of her neighbors said. 

"We leave for work at the exact same time every morning. So, we always have always our morning chitchat and I see her at night, we hang out," said Amanda Cerami. 

"Two years ago, we watched her get pregnant and then have little Joseph. In fact, Joseph was here with her Wednesday afternoon, and he was telling me he was going to be Batman for Halloween," said Ronald Branch, another neighbor. 

Farmingdale High School's after-school activities on Friday and upcoming football game were canceled.   

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