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Montrose Resident: Local Train Crash Victim 'Did Everything For His Family'

One community member is remembering James Ferrari, the 59-year-old Montrose resident who died in Sunday's train derailment at the Spuyten Duyvil curve in the Bronx, as a kind, hard-working man who put family first.

Montrose resident Joe Duraes, 40, called the Ferraris family friends. He and his wife have known them for about 10 years. 

"Jim’s wife Francie, and their daughter Rebecca, have been our 10-year-old daughter’s babysitters since she was an infant," Duraes told Patch, adding that Rebecca Ferrari is in her second year of college. "We’ve grown very close to them over the years and consider them family."

Ferrari worked as an office building maintenance person in Manhattan, and his shifts often fell on the weekend, Duraes said. From what he understands, Ferrari was on his way to work.

"Jim was a hard worker. He did everything for his family," Duraes said in an email. "...He was a kind, mild-mannered man. Everyone who knew him liked him. He was just a good person. Life is so precious and a gift—it’s so sad and so tragic. We’re still in shock. We will miss him terribly. Our hearts go out to Francie, Rebecca, and their family and friends."

Someone who answered the phone at the Ferrari home Monday decline to speak with a reporter, saying "Look, I'm sorry, we can't talk right now."

Stu Bayer moved into the same neighborhood as the Ferraris in August. Ferrari and his wife were among the first to come over and welcome them.

"Although we only knew him for four months, we became fast friends and would wave hello to each other most mornings as he and I left our homes and headed off to work," Bayer said. "If they saw smoke rising from our fire-pit, minutes later they would be at the front door with a bottle of wine in hand and joined [sic] us for drinks and great conversation. When we held a tag sale in October, he graciously lent us a table and pop-up tent for the weekend. The street is a cul-de-sac and all the families are very friendly with each other and everyone is devastated by this but will be there to support Francine and their daughter Rebecca."

Bayer said he "can't speak enough about how friendly he was—just a great neighbor who wil be missed."

Cortlandt town Supervisor Linda Puglisi heard the news from County Executive Rob Astorino Sunday night. 

"Obviously my heartfelt sympathies go out to Mr. Ferrari's family, his friends, neighbors and to our entire community," she said. "This is a very sad day for his family and our community.

While Puglisi did not know Ferrari personally, she called him part of "our family in Cortlandt." She also believes he was on his way to work in New York City. 

Puglisi said she was "totally shocked" by the incident, as she, like, so many in the area, takes the train often for work and for pleasure.

"Here's a gentlemen, he's leaving his family to go to work early," Puglisi told Patch. "...And just like 9/11, we lost about six wonderful people and they went into work early in the morning and never came back to their loved ones, so it kind of made me have similar feelings."

Jim Lovell, 58, of Cold Spring; Donna Smith, 54, of Newburgh, and Kisook Ahn, 35, of Queens; also died in the crash.


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Please join Patch in sending our condolences to the family of James Ferrari, as well as those of the three other victims. Leave your thoughts and memories here.

Stay with Patch for updates. 

Deb Carlin Polhill December 03, 2013 at 09:57 AM
Deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of those who passed in this tragic event. Sending love and light toward comfort in cherished memories. May their souls soar eternally free.

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