Three of the nine people who died in a helicopter crash on January 26 were honored at a pubic memorial service on Monday. Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri Altobelli, and their daughter Alyssa Altobelli were all remembered by friends in family in Angel Stadium. An estimated 4,000 people attended the service.
Among those who spoke was John and Keri’s son, JJ, JJ Altobelli, who is a scout for the Boston Red Sox. He stood alongside his fiancée Carly Konigsfeld and younger sister Alexis Altobelli.
“On behalf of me, Lexi, Carly, I can’t thank everyone here enough,” JJ said. “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.”
— Nikki Kay (@NikkiKaySN1) February 11, 2020
Many others remembered the Altobellis, including John’s friend, Buck Taylor, who is also a college baseball coach. “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 You two are strong enough to work through this,” she said.
“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.”
“No matter how many times she got knocked down, she always got up stronger and fought harder,” Mambas teammate Allison Eadie said of Alyssa. “She was not only a great player but an amazing teammate. We planned on going to Oregon together and being a force to be reckoned with. This was our dream, and I will live it for the both of us.”
Three family members – John, Keri and Alyssa Altobelli – who were killed in the helicopter crash that also claimed the lives of Kobe and Gianna Bryant, were remembered at Angel Stadium Monday, @miguelnbc reports. pic.twitter.com/1ZZkLIIcOJ
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) February 11, 2020
The public service for Kobe and Gianna Bryant, who also died in the crash, is set for February 24th and will be in the Staples Center.
On Monday, Kobe’s wife, Vanessa, provided an update on her struggles to deal with the tragic loss.
“I’ve been reluctant to put my feelings into words. My brain refuses to accept that both Kobe and Gigi are gone. I can’t process both at the same time. It’s like I’m trying to process Kobe being gone but my body refuses to accept my Gigi will never come back to me. It feels wrong. Why should I be able to wake up another day when my baby girl isn’t being able to have that opportunity?! I’m so mad. She had so much life to live,” she captioned a video of Gianna’s basketball highlights at the Mamba Academy.
“Then I realize I need to be strong and be here for my 3 daughters. Mad I’m not with Kobe and Gigi but thankful I’m here with Natalia, Bianka and Capri,” she continued. “I know what I’m feeling is normal. It’s part of the grieving process. I just wanted to share in case there’s anyone out there that’s experienced a loss like this. God I wish they were here and this nightmare would be over. Praying for all of the victims of this horrible tragedy. Please continue to pray for all.”