Remembering Bob

dale and bob june 2015

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.

 

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Comments

  1. says

    Bob planning his own memorial service seems like a both a courageous thing and a great gift from Bob himself to all of his friends and family. From what you and Dale have said, he sounds like a man who gave generously, of his music and himself, and I’m sure he’ll be remembered daily.

  2. says

    I loved Dales post. It was heartfelt and genuine. The service sounds like it was amazing. I still can’t believe Bob planned it all out. Peace to you and Dale in the upcoming days.

  3. says

    You and Dale were blessed to have someone like Bob in your lives and as a good friend. His love an caring will live forever in your hearts.

  4. Jo says

    This post is so moving. Dale’s last sentence about being the person Bob believed him to be was especially poignant. It is good to remember to live to the way those who see us in the most positive light.

    Once again, my sympathies to both of you.

  5. says

    Such a beautiful tribute to a clearly wonderful man. Wishing strength for both of you as make your way through this new life without Bob. xo

  6. Erica says

    It sounds like a wonderful tribute to an amazing man, and I love what Dale wrote too. I’m sure Bob’s memory will live on in the hearts of those who were lucky enough to know and love him.

  7. Suzanne says

    Beautifully written by Dale and by you. My sympathies to both of you and Bob’s extended family.

  8. says

    that last verse of Amazing Grace is … amazing. and Dale’s tribute is so heartfelt and honest. I can’t help but think Bob is smiling at the legacy he helped create. xo.