Family, classmates pack funeral for Massapequa teen

Family members and friends gathered in Massapequa Monday to remember and mourn 17-year-old Michael Gruber, who died suddenly of meningitis. Gruber died last Wednesday after a sudden onset of the disease.

News 12 Staff

Jan 29, 2008, 12:53 AM

Updated 6,017 days ago

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Family members and friends gathered in Massapequa Monday to remember and mourn 17-year-old Michael Gruber, who died suddenly of meningitis.
Gruber died last Wednesday after a sudden onset of the disease. Gruber?s family said he seemed fine and was taking his Regents exams that day, but fell ill the next morning and was rushed to the hospital.
Hundreds of Gruber?s classmates and friends packed the St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church. Friends remembered Gruber as a kind young man who loved basketball and dreamed of becoming a lawyer.
?He was just a very happy kid, always fun to be around,? classmate John Stevenson said. ?He was never in a bad mood, always smiling, always nice.?
A day after Gruber?s death, 27-year-old LeeAnne Burke from Bellerose also died from bacterial meningitis. Doctors say the two cases are unrelated. Burke's funeral will be held Tuesday in Malverne.
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