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Friday, November 3, 2006

Funeral for Needham High crash victim

NEEDHAM

Classes were in session at Needham High School early yesterday, but at least 200 students, mostly seniors, took time off from their studies to attend the funeral of Keith MacLean, one of two classmates who died in a fiery car crash Oct. 27.

Several students helped roll MacLean’s pewter-colored casket into St. Joseph Church in Needham Center as a single bagpiper stood outside the church, in the light rain, and played a solemn tune that could be heard faintly inside. MacLean’s family followed the casket. After the congregation of approximately 500 mourners sang a song titled "I Have Loved You," about a half-dozen youths wearing black and yellow letter jackets walked in and sat side by side near the front of the church.

As the prayers and the songs continued, many of the students sat in stunned silence and others wept softly. Approximately 45 minutes into the ceremony, Patricia Flueckiger, MacLean’s mother, addressed the mourners, saying that her son and Igor Guralnik, 18, who also died in the crash, "were both bright stars." Guralnik’s funeral was held Tuesday.

-- Brian R. Ballou

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