the Brewster teen who died in a Michigan car crash, will take place Tuesday (Aug. 27).The funeral service for Steven M. D'Ottavio,
Beecher Funeral Home on Putnam Avenue in Brewster is handling the arrangements. Its website lists visiting hours from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday (Aug. 26) at the funeral home. Tuesday's service is slated for 11 a.m. at the same location.
Interment will take place at the St. Lawrence O'Toole Cemetery on Turk Hill Road in Southeast.
"He was fun-loving and
gentle-hearted," said Aine Chalmers, who graduated from Brewster High School (BHS) alongside D'Ottavio. While the two were not close, she recalled many hellos and "sincere" greetings that were accompanied by one of D'Ottavio's smiles.
"Steve was the type of guy who went with the flow; he
could lighten up a serious situation with a witty remark," she said. "Steve was a
reminder to our class, the class of 2012, that you had to take life in
strides, living each day to the fullest."
Officials say the 1994 Pontiac Firebird D'Ottavio was driving collided with a Chevrolet Blazer when he failed to stop for a flashing red light. His passenger, a 19-year-old from Hopewell Junction, was reportedly in a coma after the crash. The other driver was not seriously injured.
D'Ottavio, who volunteered with the Putnam Lake Fire Department and played on the varsity football team in high school, had epilepsy. His family is asking that in lieu of cards or flowers, donations be made in his memory to the Epilepsy Foundation (online or by mail: Epilepsy Foundation, PO Box 965460, Washinton, DC 20077-7222).
"Words cannot begin to convey how very sorry and saddened we are to hear
of Steven's passing," one person wrote in an online condolence note. "You are all in our prayers and thoughts and we
love you very much. He will live on in our hearts."
Chalmers said the death of D'Ottavio—a "fun and generous" person—is a loss to the community. She and BHS Principal Dr. Joseph Castagnola remembered how close the teen was to his family.
"He was an extremely polite young man, very respectful and respected by
his classmates and teachers," Castagnola said. "...[He was] just an all-around
really, really great kid."
Editor's note: This post, originally published at 8:30 a.m. Aug. 23, was updated Aug. 26 to include sentiments from community members.