68° Good Morning
68° Good Morning
Long Island

Stephanie Belli, limousine crash victim, fourth and final young woman laid to rest

The coffin of Cutchogue crash victim Stephanie Belli,

The coffin of Cutchogue crash victim Stephanie Belli, 23, of Kings Park, is carried out after her funeral at St. Joseph's Church in Kings Park on Friday, July, 24, 2015. Credit: John Roca

With tears in their eyes and purple ribbons pinned to their chests, family and friends said goodbye to Stephanie Belli, marveling about her endless capacity for love and devotion to others.

"Stephanie had a lot of love to give," the Rev. Sean Gann told mourners filling St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in Kings Park Friday morning.

"She diffused that love throughout her family, and she diffused that love throughout her relationships with her friends," he said.

Belli, 23, of Kings Park, was killed a week ago when a pickup truck broadsided the limousine she and seven friends shared during a North Fork wine country outing.

The limo was attempting to make a U-turn on County Route 48 at Depot Lane in Cutchogue.

Also killed were Brittney Schulman, 23, of Smithtown; Lauren Baruch, 24, of Smithtown; and Amy Grabina, 23, of Commack. Joelle Dimonte, 25, of Elwood; Alicia Arundel, 24, of Setauket; Olga Lipets, 24, of Brooklyn; and Melissa Angela Crai, 23, of Scarsdale, were injured.

Belli's funeral was the last to be held, ending what Gann called "a week of unbearable sorrow."

"In the end, what matters most is not what we gathered for ourselves. Our legacy is what we've given away," he said.

"In only 23 years, Stephanie's is a legacy that some people don't achieve with far more time in this world -- a remarkable accomplishment."

Belli grew up dancing with her sisters and later studied business at Farmingdale State College. At the time of her death, she had been working as a nanny, friends said.

Following Gann's homily, Belli's twin sister, Brittany, and Diana Belli, her older sister, read a eulogy written by their father, Arthur.

"For those of you who did not know my Stephanie, let me tell you what an amazing soul she is," the father wrote. "Her face could light up the darkest sky and her piercing blue eyes reflected the most gorgeous seas."

The family's last dinner together was a crab bake at the parents' home -- a night filled with laughter and love.

"I'll remember the relationship that we had and how our family worked so well," Arthur Belli wrote.

During the reading, some mourners wept and hugged one another in the pews.

Eight pallbearers carried Belli's coffin out of the church, as her parents -- clutching each other as they walked -- followed close behind.


We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

Latest Long Island News