A week ago today we gathered for Bob’s memorial service – a service that Bob himself planned. Remarkable, right? I can’t really imagine how that must have felt for him, knowing that he was going to die and taking the time to plan a ceremony to honor his own life. What I can tell you, though, is that I will always be grateful that he did it because that service was a gift to everyone who loved Bob.
The music was beautiful and perfectly chosen. The prelude consisted of songs alternately played by Bob’s brass quintet group and a high school friend on the piano. Each song represented something about Bob’s life, whether it was one he had sung with the band, one he had played in the orchestra pit, one he had performed in church and on and on. Eulogies were offered by several people, the most poignant one being a letter that Tina had written to Bob on the occasion of their 27th wedding anniversary. It was beautifully read by Tina’s sister and there wasn’t a dry eye in the church when she finished. The hymns were meaningful and sung with love and the last verse of Amazing Grace just about did me in. The church was packed – standing room only, in fact, the press was in attendance – Bob made the front page of the paper again, and I know I felt Bob’s spirit move among us as we prayed.
It’s a hard thing, losing a friend like Bob. It’s especially hard for Dale because Bob was more than just a friend, he was a business partner and a confidante, a fellow entertainer and musician. Yesterday Dale shared a post on Facebook that he has been thinking about for over a week. With his permission, I am sharing it with all of you today.
I am not surprised by the outpouring of love, sympathy and tributes for Bob Ferrante – he was a good man and deserving of every accolade and I was proud to be his friend. What has amazed me is the amount of people who have taken the time to send condolences to Carole and I and the band, whether a card, a call, a handshake or hug, or a note on Facebook, it has meant a lot to us all.
As a band, we have spent the last 43 years playing – mostly on the weekends. How appropriate for us, then, that 3 weekends ago we were all together and we got to make music one more time. Two weekends ago Bob lost the battle with cancer, and last weekend again we all gathered to memorialize him with an amazing ceremony. Obviously Bob will be missed by me and all who knew him every day but this weekend I realized that I will miss him the most on the weekends.
Bob will always be in my heart and going forward I will strive to honor his memory by repeating his corny jokes, singing the songs that he loved, and trying to always be the person that Bob believed me to be.
Thank you all for your continued support, it means the world to all of us who loved Bob.