Family, friends and neighbors laid beloved World War II hero and public figure Armando “Chick” Galella to rest today at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery following a funeral mass at Sleepy Hollow’s Immaculate Conception Church.
The funeral procession started with the church organist and cantor’s rendition of “God Bless America” as the pallbearers and a full church paused for reflection and prayer.
John Paulding School kindergarten children, representing the many local youth Galella inspired, wore red, white and blue and held their hands over their hearts as his hearse pulled away.
Dignitaries including State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins attended the funeral and procession.
Sleepy Hollow High School and Middle School students also waited along the route to the cemetery to bid Chick farewell. Galella had worked with them in recent years to create a tradition of installing hundreds of American flags on the campus front lawn to mark Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day. The students, together with Galella’s son Michael, installed those very flags last Friday to honor his passing.
From above the procession, a plane flew a banner that read “CHICK — WHEREVER U R U ARE ALWAYS IN OUR HEARTS.”
Family and friends gathered at one of Galella’s favorite places, J. P. Doyle’s in Sleepy Hollow, after the funeral.
Galella was laid to rest next to his late wife, Leda.