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Memorial service at Smithtown hospital honors aide killed in car crash

Family members of Monica Peterman, from left, Justin

Family members of Monica Peterman, from left, Justin Greaves, 23, a brother; Jordin Peterman, 13, a brother; Barabara Sims, her mother; Christina Sims, 35, her sister and Bryan Greaves, 25, a brother, speak after a memorial service was held for Peterman at St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center in Smithtown on Oct. 19, 2014. P Photo Credit: James Carbone

Family and friends of Monica Peterman, a Middle Island mother of three killed in Smithtown by a man charged with driving drunk, honored her Sunday at the hospital where she worked for more than a decade.

A memorial service that included prayer and reflections from Peterman's co-workers ended with posting a plaque in the dialysis unit of St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center in Smithtown, where Peterman, 45, was a technician, family said.

Peterman's son Bryan Greaves, 25, of Brentwood, said the plaque read in part: "Her smile, warmth, compassion and genuine love touched everyone. When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure."

Peterman had been traveling to her 4 a.m. shift on June 14 when Setauket cardiologist Thomas Stavola, 55, broadsided her at Route 111 and East Main Street, authorities have said.

Stavola was charged with one count of misdemeanor driving while intoxicated. Prosecutors have said he left the crash scene and court papers showed that he smelled of alcohol and "was unsteady on his feet" when police found him blocks away.

A St. Catherine hospital spokeswoman said in a written statement: "Monica was a dedicated and well-respected dialysis assistant and will be greatly missed by all her colleagues."

Peterman's mother, Barbara Sims, pastor of Holy Church of Christ in Central Islip, said the service strengthened her.

"I'm still somewhat broken, but this love exhibited here today actually is like an adhesive putting us back together," she said. "It's like a healing."

Sims said Monica Peterman's family is involved at the church -- Peterman's son Bryan is an elder and her son Justin Greaves is a minister -- and draws strength from God, adding, "for that cause today we are still standing."

Justin Greaves, 23, of Middle Island, said his mother's legacy remains at the hospital.

"You can see it through all the patients, all the co-workers that they still are holding onto what she left here," he said.

Peterman's youngest son, Jordin Peterman, 13, said the service felt "comforting" knowing that his mother was still with her family and co-workers "every day of the week."

An email to the district attorney's office for comment was not returned Sunday.

Added Monica Peterman's sister, Christina Sims, 35, of Central Islip: "We just don't want her memory to be forgotten. . . . There was a life that was lost; people need to be conscious of their actions."

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