Family Of 20-Year-Old Drowned Man Needs Help With Funeral

Arnaldo Galarza, 20, drowned Friday at Gravesend Bay Beach while his helpless friends and family watched. (image from Daily News)

Family members of a 20-year-old Bedford Stuyvesant man who drowned last Friday in Gravesend Bay say they are in desperate need of cash, in order to pay for his funeral.

Arnaldo Galarza spent his final moments fighting for life in the rough current off a secluded beach at West 37th Street and Bayview Avenue, as friends and family members looked on in horror.

The family has raised around $1,000 so far, but say they need at least $5,000 to cover the cost of both a wake and memorial service at R.G. Ortiz Funeral Home (201 Havemeyer Street) in Williamsburg.

They’re currently reaching out to friends, neighbors and local merchants for assistance in paying for the funeral.

From Daily News:

“He was a good, hard worker,” said Galarza’s brother, Nelison Galarza, 32. “He used to have fun with all the kids. You asked him to do something, he’d go do it fast, without complaining or arguing – nothing. He was a good, good guy who deserves to be remembered.”
Just before he died, the younger Galarza was knee-deep in the water, playing with several young nieces, nephews and a neighbor. As other adults picnicked on the beach, Galarza and the children splashed around and tossed a ball back and forth. About 7 p.m., Galarza – who could not swim – waded deeper to go after the ball.
“Then, all of the sudden, I seen my brother stick his hand up and he just went down,” Nelison Galarza said. “Everybody seen him go down. They thought he was going to go back up, but he never did.”

Arnaldo Galarza, a Brooklyn native, was in the process of completing a required GED program in preparation for his move to a military training base in Georgia, according to family members.

Anyone who would like to help may contact the R.G. Ortiz Funeral Home at 718 782- 6633.