Members of the Jarheads Motorcycle Club and a police honor guard salute as the casket of Michael Ferazzi is loaded into a hearse outside St. Peter's Catholic Church in Plymouth, Mass., Friday, June 28, 2019. Ferazzi, a motorcyclist and retired police officer, was killed in a fiery crash that claimed the lives of seven people riding with the Jarheads Motorcycle Club in New Hampshire. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Bikers bid farewell to those killed in pickup collision

June 28, 2019 - 10:44 am

PLYMOUTH, Mass. (AP) — A motorcyclist who was among seven killed in a collision with a pickup truck last week was a family man, proud Marine and dedicated public servant, mourners said Friday at a funeral that drew about 200 people, including leather-clad bikers and law enforcement officers.

The funeral for Michael Ferazzi, 62, of Contoocook, New Hampshire, was held at a church in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The rumbling of motorcycles echoed through town as dozens of bikes made their way to the service.

Many riders were fellow members of the Jarheads Motorcycle Club, with which Ferazzi and the other six killed were riding when they died.

"He had a lot more life in him," said retired Lt. Col Joe Murray. Ferazzi, a former Marine, was in his American Legion post, he said, and the two marched in parades together.

"He didn't need to die when he was obviously enjoying the ride with his buddies," Murray said. "But it's good he died doing something he loved."

Ferazzi's oldest son, Matthew Ferazzi, spoke at the service and remembered a father who loved motorcycles and spending time with his family. He recalled golfing with his dad, going to Boston Red Sox games and how he enjoyed holidays.

His dad, he said, loved doling out nicknames and was a fighter, even in the face of cancer that had returned in January.

"The thing that brings us all together is love, love for my Dad," Ferazzi said.

A funeral also was held for Daniel Pereira, 58, of Riverside, Rhode Island. Visitation was held at a Laconia funeral home for Desma Oakes, 42, who died with her boyfriend in the crash.

They are among seven bikers killed last week when a pickup truck hauling a flatbed trailer crashed into the group in Randolph. The pickup driver, Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 23, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to negligent homicide.

The Jarheads, a group of about 80 bikers and their supporters from communities across New England, served as a second family and a refuge for the members, many who got out of the service but still craved the brotherhood they discovered in the Marines.

With a logo that is anchored by the military branch's bulldog, the group serves as a cross between a charity and a social club. Many chapters are housed in American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars posts.

Manny Ribeiro, the Jarheads president, who survived the crash, described a family-oriented group whose members have stuck together through the tragedy and are doing their best to support the victims' families. The group has received donations from Marines around the globe, and veterans are flying in from as far away as the Netherlands for the funerals.

Ferazzi was a father of four who served as a Plymouth police officer for 34 years. He served in the Marines for four years, including a stint at in security at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. He also was a National Guard member and worked as a courthouse security officer.

Ribeiro remembered Ferazzi as someone who always had a smile, even as recently battled cancer.

"He was happy to be with us, and he loved life," Ribeiro said. "I remember when he came in Friday. He had a big smile on his face. He was leading the pack from New Hampshire. He was just one of those guys who was genuine and funny."

Known as Danny Boy, Pereira joined the Marines after his 18th birthday and, according to his obituary, it was an experience that defined his life. A father of two, Pereira worked for the Narragansett Bay Commission.

Friends said Pereira, active in a gun club and an Italian club, was easygoing and would do anything to help someone in need especially fellow veterans. His funeral was held Friday in Providence, Rhode Island.

Oakes, of Concord, who lost her husband and young son in the past decade to lung cancer, was killed in the crash, along with her boyfriend Aaron Perry, 45, of Farmington, New Hampshire, according to the Concord Monitor.

Visitation was held Friday in Laconia for Oakes, followed by a celebration of life Saturday at the Hanover Inn in Hanover.

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Associated Press writer Patrick Whittle in Portland, Maine, contributed to this report.

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This story has been updated to correct the name of an organization to "Veterans of Foreign Wars" instead of "Veterans of Foreign Affairs" and to delete an incorrect reference to the State Diplomatic Security Detachment.

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