ANAHEIM (CBSLA) — Beloved Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife and his daughter were remembered Monday at a public memorial at Angel Stadium.
Altobelli, his wife Keri, and daughter Alyssa were all killed in the helicopter crash that also took the life of NBA superstar Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna. The helicopter with nine people aboard had been headed to Thousand Oaks for a game at the Mamba Sports Academy.
The service at Angel Stadium began at 4 p.m. and was open to the public with hundreds coming out to pay their respects. Free parking was available off State College Boulevard and Orangewood Avenue.
“Anaheim Stadium couldn’t be more appropriate because all those angels are looking over us,” one speaker said.
Altobelli, 56, was a father figure for scores of baseball players throughout the years at Orange Coast College, where he coached baseball for nearly 30 years. He and his 46-year-old wife leave behind another high school-age daughter and an adult son.
“If it wasn’t for him, I would have never had the opportunity to get back to the game and meet my best friends,” another speaker said.
The service began with a reading of the names of those who died as flowers and photos covered the podium.
“It’s still rough, we just try to remember the good times,” former OCC baseball player Austin Wobrock said as the memorial got underway.