Slain Millbrae Police Officer Memorialized on Facebook
By Paul Larson
MILLBRAE Facebook is hard to avoid. For a long time I assumed Facebook was a time waster…and I dont have the luxury of extra time to waste. But, due to reasons of practicality and communication I gave in and created a CHAPEL OF THE HIGHLANDS FB page.
While exploring the Facebook world I stumbled across a page that is devoted to late Millbrae Police Officer Dave Chetcuti who was killed in the line of duty. This memorial page accepts comments and recollections from those who remember. I had memories of my own to share and posted the following observations:
The Chapel of the Highlands in Millbrae was the attending Funeral Home and we did our best to serve Gail, and Daves family. We also had several meetings with the city of Millbrae, the CHP, etc. to coordinate details so events would unfold smoothly.
On the day of the funeral it was pouring rain and I remember seeing hundreds of officers from various departments participating…not only from all parts of California, but from all parts of the country. During the Funeral Mass these officers all stood in a long row at attention outside Saint Dunstans Church and didnt flinch.
As the Mass concluded I led the pallbearers carrying Daves casket down the front stairs of the Church and we were met by news crews taking pictures & video of us placing the casket into the Funeral Coach. After the attendees returned to their cars the funeral continued in procession north on El Camino Real toward Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma. The CHP had shut down El Camino and the funeral proceeded without any traffic. I was driving the funeral coach and Father Dermot Kavanagh, Pastor of Saint Dunstans, was in the passenger seat. We were escorted by dozens of motorcycle officers, and followed by a good number of family limousines which we borrowed from various funeral home colleagues on the peninsula. As we continued north we noticed groups of bystanders on the sidewalks waiting for us to pass (the route had been well publicized by the media), many of whom were tossing flowers at the funeral coach (this was shortly after the death of Princess Diana and her funeral procession was met with grieving Londoners also throwing flowers).
As we arrived at Holy Cross the cemetery staff was prepared to lead the procession directly to the grave without stopping. Motorcycle officers & hundreds of cars made up the procession, and as we were arriving at the grave wewere told that cars were still leaving the church in Millbrae. We were also informed by the powers-that-be at Holy Cross that this funeral was the largest that the cemetery had ever experienced, and I am confident that this was the largest that Chapel of the Highlands had ever coordinated.
Our condolences will always go out to the Chetcuti family. Gail Chetcuti is now gone too, and both Dave and Gail would be proud of how their kids have turned out.
If you ever wish to discuss cremation, funeral matters or want to make pre-planning arrangements please feel free to call me and my staff at the CHAPEL OF THE HIGHLANDS in Millbrae at (650) 588-5116 and we will be happy to guide you in a fair and helpful manner. You may also visit us at www.chapelofthehighlands.com.