Hundreds of people gathered to remember John, Keri and Alyssa Altobelli at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, on Monday, February 10, two weeks after the family members perished alongside Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and four others in a helicopter crash.
The memorial service for longtime Orange Coast College baseball coach John, 56, his wife, Keri, 46, and their 14-year-old daughter, Alyssa, saw the Altobelli’s close-knit community coming together to show support for the surviving members of their family: John’s son and Keri’s stepson, JJ Altobelli, and the couple’s eldest daughter, Alexis Altobelli.
“JJ, Lexi, I know the time you had together with all of them doesn’t seem like it’s enough, but I know you’ll cherish it,” John’s longtime friend and fellow coach Buck Taylor said, via the Los Angeles Times. “You two are strong enough to work through this. I mean, look around. You have the support of so many great family members, friends and people here. I want you to understand that you’re always a part of our family.”
The two-hour service featured 15 speakers, including family friends, coaches and teammates. The stadium was decorated with a dozen collages of family photos, large floral bouquets and framed jerseys.
One particularly emotional moment came when JJ, 29, Alexis, 16, and JJ’s fiancée, Carly Konigsfeld, took the stage to eulogize John, Keri and Alyssa.
“On behalf of me, Lexi, Carly, I can’t thank everyone here enough,” the Boston Red Sox scout said to the mourners in attendance. “The amount of love and support we’ve received these past few weeks has been truly amazing. Each text, call, donation or act of kindness has not gone unnoticed. It really shows the impact my dad, K and Alyssa had on everyone here.”
The January 26 crash in the Calabasas neighborhood of L.A. claimed the lives of all nine people aboard the helicopter: John, Keri, Alyssa, Kobe, 41, Gianna, 13, pilot Ara Zobayan, 50, Gianna’s basketball teammate Payton Chester, 13, Payton’s mother, Sarah Chester, 45, and coach Christina Mauser, 38.
A celebration of life for Kobe and Gianna — who are survived by the NBA legend’s wife, Vanessa Bryant, and their daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 7 months — is scheduled for February 24 at Staples Center in L.A.
A GoFundMe campaign started to support JJ and Alexis has already raised more than $350,000.
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