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Joseph Tutaj, Seaford High student, laid to rest

Seaford High School sophomore Joseph Tutaj, who traveled

Seaford High School sophomore Joseph Tutaj, who traveled to Los Angeles with the school's marching band last week for a performance, died there after being hospitalized with a high fever. ( (Feb. 19, 2013) Credit: Handout

The Seaford High School student who died after falling ill on a class trip to California was laid to rest Monday.

A funeral Mass for Joseph Tutaj, 15, was celebrated Monday at St. William the Abbot in Seaford, followed by burial at St. Charles Cemetery in East Farmingdale, said a spokeswoman for the Charles G. Schmitt Funeral Home in Seaford.

Tutaj was in Los Angeles with the high school's marching band when he was hospitalized with a high fever on Feb. 19.

He died less than 24 hours after being admitted to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, authorities said.

His cause of death is still undetermined, Ed Winter, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner, said Monday. Tutaj's autopsy was completed Feb. 22, but Winter has said it could take six to eight weeks to complete toxicology and other tests, including those of the vital organs.

Seaford High School said in a statement that hospital officials confirmed Tutaj's illness was not contagious. Friends and family said he had no known medical problems.

Tutaj was a standout trumpet performer in the school band. He also had participated in Model Congress, the Boy Scouts and math competitions.

His father has stage four cancer, and his family also lost its home in superstorm Sandy and have been living temporarily in Bethpage.

The teen's uncle, Joseph Dolan, has set up a memorial fund online to help pay for Tutaj's funeral and other expenses.

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