On April 29, 2011, about 8 p.m., I kissed my husband goodbye and boarded a flight with my daughter for a weekend in Miami with my parents. Within hours of that goodbye, a complete stranger would make a choice that would change my life forever and end Dan’s. At approx. 4:52 a.m., on April 30, 2011, as my husband Dan and his foreman, Larry Scuteri, were heading to work, a drunk driver drove his minivan into Larry’s car causing it to leave the roadway and strike a tree killing both my husband and Larry instantly.

Dan was a husband, a father, a son, a coach, a carpenter and a friend to many. But the title of father was his proudest. The children were what he lived and breathed for. Dan was a family man and was happiest simply being Danny and Ava’s dad. Dan brought light into our lives – he was happy. He was a man of quiet strength and integrity who took pride in the simple things in life and had a way of making all who met him feel welcomed. He had an endearing gift for making others laugh and a way of telling a story that made you want to hear more.

Dan absolutely loved sports and loved coaching!!! Dan was a die-hard Mets and Jets fan. He coached baseball and soccer for many years in our town of North Babylon. Dan loved being a coach and was the coach all the boys wanted. Many of these same boys wrote their college entrance essays about my husband and the impact his preventable death had on them. This is evidence of the true Mentor he was to them.

Dan was a man who always found the good in others and who was loved by so many. He was a man who would say it took too much energy to be mad and that he would rather save his energy for what was important. Dan was a good man who had a lot more to offer this world. In his memory, I will personally offer families who are faced with life-alterating tragedies the same love and support that my children and me were given during our life-altering tragedy.

Copyright © 2012. Dan Gambardella Memorial Fund. All Rights Reserved.