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5 Stories That Broke Hearts In 2012

Stories that touched the community over the past year.

Editor's Note: As journalists, we cover hundreds of stories every year. From politics to crime, features to education, as reporters, we cover every facet of the towns in which we live. But there are some stories of sudden loss so heart-rending and tragic, they touch our collective hearts as a community as we struggle to understand and make sense of the inexplicable. Stories that stay with us, as humans sharing the same journey, long after the headlines. While this list is by no means complete, here are some of the stories that broke hearts, as members of the community were lost suddenly and without warning -- individuals whose lives made a mark, and will be missed long after 2012.

1) : Family and friends were devastated after the devoted father and husband lost his life in a tragic Sound Avenue car accident.

2) : The community came forward in an outpouring of grief after an accident thatwho died after being struck by a man charged with driving high on methadone with four children in his car. Christmas was painful without him, his family said.

3) Young Mother Dies In Childbirth; Family Seeks Help To Send Her Body Home. The community rallied after learning that Raquel Reyes-Marin, 27, died on April 7 after giving birth to her third child, leaving behind the father of her three children, Cristobal Albidiz, 28, and her babies, Jaqueline, 6, Joshua, 3, and infant Jonathon. Her body was flown home to its final resting place soon after.

4) : Ruby Schwartz left behind a legacy of love and friendship, according to those who remembered her after the Manorville mom was struck by a car while jogging.

5) : John Romanelli, the president of Burt's Reliable fuel company, died in the early morning hours of Jan. 3 at Stony Brook University Medical Center. Romanelli, 47, was He was airlifted to Stony Brook Medical Center by Suffolk County Police medivac after a fuel hose from a bio-diesel fuel truck ruptured and sprayed a heat source that Romanelli was using.

John is survived by his wife, Heather, and his two children, Ethan and Tara. The North Fork community came together to grieve and remember Romanelli, sharing their thoughts about the well-liked businessman on Patch.

Oldvet December 30, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Only broke our hearts because the stories made the paper. So many other stories that are heartbreaking that aren't considered newsworthy.
Lisa Finn December 30, 2012 at 05:31 PM
As noted, the list is far from complete, Oldvet. If you have a story to share, please feel free to share your memories in the comments section.
Oldvet December 30, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Thank you Lisa, apparently I did sound critical.

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