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Mourners pack Mass for Hicksville man killed in bar

Friends and family console one another at the

Friends and family console one another at the funeral for Michael DiMaria. Mourners packed the Mass at Holy Family Church in Hicksville. (Aug. 20, 2010) Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

So many people packed the pews of the Holy Family Church Friday morning to mourn Michael J. DiMaria, the Hicksville man killed in Boston last weekend by a flying glass shard from a broken beer mug, that even the overflow chairs weren't enough to accommodate the crowd.

DiMaria, 23, a graduate of Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale and Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., had just started a new Wall Street job and was visiting Boston for the weekend when the glass from the mug, thrown during an argument, fatally sliced his jugular vein.

The speakers at the funeral Mass in Hicksville only hinted at the violent circumstances of DiMaria's death and of the South Boston man, Hector Guardiola, 25, who's been charged with manslaughter and assault.

"We have justified anger at this senseless act, which was not an accident but an awful choice," the Rev. Gerard Gentleman said in his homily.

Authorities say DiMaria wasn't involved in the argument at the bar.

Gentleman and the others who spoke celebrated memories of DiMaria's 23 years - of sportsmanship, friendship and camaraderie - saying he'd given and taught much in his short life.

Tim Galligan, one of DiMaria's Kellenberg buddies and a pallbearer at his funeral, recalled him as a shoulder to lean on, and cry on, and a man he could count on. "A drinking buddy, a wingman - he was your man," Galligan said at the beginning of the nearly 90-minute service.

A few moments earlier, the five pallbearers and DiMaria's parents, Joe and Patricia, wept as the young man's gray coffin was brought into the Roman Catholic Church sanctuary.

Meanwhile in Massachusetts, the proprietor at the Lansdowne Pub, where the Aug. 14 incident occurred, told The Boston Globe the establishment would use plastic cups until at least next month, at the behest of city officials, who will hold a hearing into the incident then.

After Friday's service in Hicksville, mourners wept and consoled DiMaria's loved ones as the coffin was placed into a hearse with one of DiMaria sports jerseys hanging on the vehicle's rear door.

"It's such a tragedy. It really was," said mourner James Anastasia, a co-worker of Joe DiMaria's. "You don't know whether to be angry or sad. You really don't. Myself, I'm angry."

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