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Funeral celebrates Drew Ferraro's life

Family remembers sophomore as an affable friend to underdogs during standing-room-only service.

February 15, 2012|By Megan O'Neil, megan.oneil@latimes.com
  • Friends and family arrive for the funeral of Drew Ferraro at Our Lady of Lourdes in Tujunga on Wednesday, February 15, 2012. Ferraro, a 15-year-old sophomore, jumped to his death from the roof of a Crescenta Valley High School building Friday. (Raul Roa/Staff Photographer)
Friends and family arrive for the funeral of Drew Ferraro…

The Crescenta Valley community turned out en masse Wednesday to celebrate the life of a boy that family members described as a doting brother, an outdoor enthusiast and a champion of the marginalized.

“He always wanted to take care of the underdogs, the ones that were kind of left behind,” Cindi Rivas said of her nephew, Drew Ferraro, who authorities say committed suicide last week by jumping off a three-story building during lunch period at Crescenta Valley High School. “He would go over there and make himself one of them just because he didn't want them to feel uncomfortable.”

The standing-room only crowd at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Tujunga included hundreds of students and staff from Crescenta Valley High, where the 15-year-old was a sophomore, as well as dozens of officers from the Los Angeles Police Department North Hollywood Division, where his father works.

Drew was born without fear, his parents and two sisters said in an eulogy that was read by Montrose Church Pastor Gabby Leon, and by the age of 5 had withstood more staples and stitches than most adults.

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He was sneaky and loved to scare people just like his dad, they said. He was also sarcastic and always ribbing those closest to him. They recounted a more recent stunt in which Drew stripped naked, wrapped himself in bubble wrap and ran down the street.

“For those not fortunate enough to know his laugh, it is a tragedy,” his family said. “He had one of those laughs that made a person laugh even louder. It was infectious and wonderful. Drew's giggle was the most fantastic ever, it could bring a smile to anyone.”

Although a proud heavy-metal music fan — his favorite band was Slipknot — Drew also indulged in a country song now and again, family members said. He loved snow skiing and paint ball, and regularly joined family and friends on boating trips to Buena Vista Lake and the Colorado River.

The teenager could be seen on any given day sporting a fedora, aviator glasses and his beloved Converse sneakers, they said. He was incredibly sensitive to the feelings of others.

“He was a really good judge of character,” his family said. “He was good at sensing when people were hurting and needing someone to talk to.”

The 90-minute service included a slide show of photos from Drew's life.

Members of the extended Ferraro family said that they have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support in the wake of Drew's death.

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