The next time you see a butterfly, remember Sabrina Ferrara.
That's what the 27-year-old's family has kindly requested in a heartfelt obituary they penned in her memory, following her death on Sept. 29. Scroll down for service information.
Animals, traveling and obstacle racing were some of the things that the River Vale resident loved.
"Sabrina had a wonderful smile that would light up a room," they wrote.
"She was creative, artistic and displayed an unrelenting enthusiasm for any endeavor she set her mind to."
After graduating from Stonehill College (Class of 2014) with her bachelor's degree in biology and Italian language studies, Sabrina found her love of butterflies.
That passion took her across the world to place such as the Smithsonian Butterfly Research Center in Panama. Sabrina also spent five months backpacking across Europe, exploring countries she had learned about.
When she wasn't traveling, Sabrina was volunteering in local animal shelters and working at the Ridgewood Public Library, where she made a significant contribution to the children's summer reading program and STEM education programs, her obituary says.
Sabrina also developed a passion for obstacle racing, particularly the Spartan Championship Series.
Sabrina's neighbor remembered her as being an outstanding role model to her children.
"The beautiful girl down the street who was such an example to my growing children," the neighbor wrote on her obituary. "Whipped cream games with the kids and neighbors children — the babysitter who always washed all the dinner dishes before successfully putting [the children] to bed BEFORE we got home," the tribute says.
"The grown up woman who ran by the house always with a smile and a wave.
"Many wonderful things will be communicated over the next few days about you and your family will love you forever — you will be missed."
Others on social media remembered Sabrina as a beautiful person "inside and out."
Sabrina preceded in death by her grandfather, Vincent Giambona.
She is survived by her parents John and Connie Ferrara, and brother J.T. "who loved her dearly," family members told Daily Voice.
Sabrina is also survived by her grandparents Thomas and Nina Ferrara and Maria Giambona; aunts and uncles Carolyn, Loretta, Joanie, Joann, Ro and Rich, Angelo, Nate and Maria, Carmela, Vinny and Kristi, Joanne, Michael and Debbie, and Johnny.
She will also be remembered and forever loved by countless cousins, friends and colleagues.
Visitation will be Oct. 2 from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. at the Becker Funeral Home in Westwood.
A funeral Mass will be Oct. 3 at 10:30 a.m., at Our Lady of Mercy RC Church in Park Ridge, with a committal service to follow in George Washington Memorial Park, in Paramus.
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