87° Good Afternoon
87° Good Afternoon

Catherine Parente's teammates play through their pain

"For Catherine!"

The cry rang out in the bright spring sunshine Saturday on the fields behind the Stewart School in Garden City.

There, more than a dozen middle-school girls on the Iceland Blue Ice team played a special soccer game dedicated to their lost friend and teammate, Catherine Parente.

For the past year, Catherine, 11, a sixth-grader at Garden City Middle School, had played fullback and forward on the team, said coach Paul Muscarella.

"The team felt very strongly that Catherine would have wanted us to play through our pain and play this game in her memory. She was a great kid who will continue to inspire us all forever," Muscarella said.

Like much of the Garden City community, the team was devastated to learn of Catherine's death, Muscarella said.

Police said her father, William Parente, 59, killed Catherine, sister Stephanie, 19, and their mother, Betty, 58, in a Maryland hotel room April 19. The family was on a trip to see Stephanie, a student at Loyola College in Maryland.

William Parente, a tax attorney, then killed himself with a knife, police said.

The Parentes had seemed like the other moms and dads who watched games, players' parents said. When Catherine hurt her foot in the season's first game, William Parente helped carry her off the field, said coach Steve Schort.

In particular, Betty Parente had been a friendly part of the soccer community, said one mother at the game.

"We would always talk about how lucky we were to have our children," said Stephanie Wise of Garden City. "She was just a shining star among people."

Along with the special blue T-shirts emblazoned with Catherine's team number, 40, the team wore pink ribbons tied around their ponytails in honor of Betty Parente.

The Iceland team won 2-0 against the Garden City Brazil team, which had many players who also were friends with Catherine, Muscarella said.

Before the game, several players also attended a special Mass at the Parentes' church, St. Joseph Church in Garden City.

As the hundreds of parishioners began singing the first notes of "Amazing Grace" at the beginning of the Mass, some Parente relatives seated in the front pews began to cry.

"The friendship and prayers and love of this parish are with you," the Rev. Joseph Schlafer said, gazing at the tearful family members.

The relatives declined to comment after the service.

Mourning for three of the Parentes will continue Monday with a closed-coffin visitation for Betty, Catherine and Stephanie. It will be at Park Funeral Chapels in Garden City Park from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. A funeral Mass for the three will be 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at St. Joseph's, with burial in St. Charles Cemetery in East Farmingdale.

There will be separate arrangements for William Parente, according to his family.


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

More news