Instead of wedding bells and cheers of joy, friends and family members of Carmel Police Officer Gary Pietropaolo Jr.'s, will be mourning the loss of the young officer who died in a crash eight days before his wedding.
Pietropaolo, 29, who lived in Fishkill, died Thursday after his motorcycle was struck by a mail truck on Route 301 in Carmel while he was off duty, according to Kent Police Chief Alexander DiVernieri Jr.
A GoFundMe page, set up to help his fiancée, Jacqueline "Jaci" Krampitz, keep their home and have time to grieve, shows photos of the two smiling and happy with funny glasses. It also shows Pietropaolo with his sisters and other family members during happy events.
"We want Jaci to be able to care for herself and not have to worry about the financial burden that comes with losing someone so suddenly," the GoFundMe page says. "This memorial fund will help to take care of Jaci who relied on him a great deal.:
Funds raised will also be used to help Jaci keep the home the built together, the page says.
"Any donation no matter how small is greatly appreciated. Although broken, we thank you with all of our hearts," it states.
As of early Monday, the fund had raised more than $30,000 of its $100,000 goal.
Pietropaolo, 29, was the son of retired Yonkers police officer Gary Pietropaolo and Elizabeth Wellington Pietropaolo.
He graduated from Carmel High School in 2007 and then attended Marist College where he earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice. In 2011, he graduated from Westchester County Police Academy.
Pietropaolo's friends and family are sharing remembrances of his "big heart, contagious laugh and helping hand," and rallying around Jaci.
A visitation will be held on Monday, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Cargain Funeral Homes, Inc. at 418 Route 6 in Mahopac. A Mass of Christian burial will be held on Tuesday, June 12 at 11 a.m. at St. James the Apostle R.C. Church, 12 Gleneida Ave. in Carmel. Interment will follow at Fishkill Rural Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made In Memory of Gary to the Carmel PBA PO Box 101 Mahopac, NY 10541.
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