Funeral services have been set for Wednesday for Vincent A. Altebrando, the head wrestling coach for Walt Whitman High School, who died Friday.
A viewing is scheduled Tuesday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. at The Branch Funeral Home, 551 Route 25A, Miller Place. The funeral is Wednesday at 10 a.m. at St Louis de Montfort 75 New York Ave, Sound Beach.
He was married and the father of four daughters. As of Sunday night, a Gofundme campaign with a goal of $50,000 had raised more than $35,000.
On the funeral home’s site, one visitor wrote, “It is so rare to touch so many lives in so many magnificent ways. New and old friends both share the same heartfelt admiration and love for a man who leaves this world far too soon. I join the rest of the family and friends who hold his memory as a truly kind and giving human being.”
On Facebook, the Wildcat Booster Club wrote, “Mr. Altebrando dedicated his heart and soul to the students, staff, and families of our community, serving these last 25 years as a teacher, coach, colleague, mentor, and friend in our schools. Coach Altebrando represented all that is great about teaching and his life‘s work created a ripple effect that will be felt by children and their families for generations to come. While Mr. Altebrando‘s time with us was far too short and our collective hearts are broken, we were blessed to spend each and every moment with this incredible human being. There are no words that can make sense of this tragedy but we do know that Mr. Altebrando provided us with a living example of compassion, strength, benevolence, and leadership that is far too uncommon in our modern world.”
In a 2017 Newsday story about a wrestler with a difficult home life, the coach was quoted as saying “I found out about his home situation . . . and I did what any coach would do. I took him under my wing,” Altebrando said. “Today I’m like his in-school father.”