Family, friends, and community members showed came together in honor of Beatrice Ferrari on Monday. NewsdayTV's Macy Egeland reports.  Credit: Staff

If anyone needed it, bunting and ribbons in Kelly green — the team color of Farmingdale High School — offered a reminder to mourners at a wake in the village Monday of the tragedy that brought them there.

Another reminder could be seen in the line of visitors standing outside the McCourt and Trudden Funeral Home. They were waiting for their chance to honor and remember Beatrice Ferrari. The beloved, retired social studies teacher, 77, was killed in last week's upstate crash of a bus carrying 40 members of the Farmingdale High School marching band and 4 adults.

Ferrari was doing what she loved to do when she died — chaperoning a band bus trip to Pennsylvania. On Thursday afternoon the charter bus en route to a band camp in Greeley, Pennsylvania, crashed down a 50-foot embankment on Interstate 84 in Orange County. Band director Gina Pelletiere, 43, of Massapequa, also died in the crash, which injured dozens of students.

Inside the Main Street funeral home Monday, mourners were handed green ribbons to wear and prayer cards to read that contained a poem, “The Broken Chain.”

“We little knew that morning that God was going to call your name,” the poem read. “In life we loved you so dearly, in death we do the same.”

The wake ended late Monday afternoon but started up again in the evening. Like before, a line of mourners waited outside the funeral home in a chilly, pouring rain Monday night. Also like before, many Monday night wore green and others donned Farmingdale marching band jackets.

At the afternoon wake, stories were told and memories shared about Ferrari, someone intertwined with the Farmingdale High marching band for nearly 40 years who came to be known with affection as the program's grandmother.

Elizabeth Gallo, 44, of Bohemia, said she knew Ferrari and is friends with her daughter, Dina Lopresto, a teacher in the Farmingdale school district.

“She was a great mother, grandmother and teacher,” Gallo said of Ferrari, referred to by so many as "Bea."

“She was respected in the community, Gallo added, "and loved by all of us.”

Several visitors to the wake wore matching black jackets adorned with the words: “Farmingdale Marching Band.” Many had family members on one of the six buses headed to Pennsylvania last Thursday.

Loraine Stanton's granddaughter was on bus two, driving behind the one carrying Ferrari, Pelletiere and the other students and adults.

Stanton said she knew Ferrari through the Women’s Club of Farmingdale and another granddaughter's four years of band camp.

Of her granddaughter who was heading to a band camp last week, Stanton, of Farmingdale, said: “I haven't seen her yet. She’s not ready to talk. Physically she’s OK.”

It was difficult for North Massapequa resident Carol Leckawicz to describe what Ferrari meant to her and countless others associated in some way with Farmingdale High.

“She was a lovely person and a human being. She was a good teacher loved by the community and was always giving to others,” said Leckawicz at the wake.

“It’s so hard and such a tragedy," said Leckawicz, a class aide for Lopresto, Ferrari's daughter.

After her retirement, Ferrari never missed a Farmingdale High band concert or event, former band members said. She was real and spoke her mind, said Ray Menna of Mount Sinai, Ferrari's financial planner.

"It’s so refreshing in today's world,” Menna said.

Lucy Scotto had her friend, Lopresto, and Ferrari's other surviving relatives, as well as the school motto, on her mind Monday.

“It's going to be tough for her and her whole family. We're all here for her,” Scotto said of Lopresto. “We’re Daler Strong!”

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