Bob Ferrante’s life was full. He had music, he had very dear friends and family, and he had his faith. A true testimony to how he lived, is how he transitioned from this life.
Bob loved music and its ability to bring people together. People can speak the same language when they play together. This allows them to connect. As a teacher at Brockton High School, he saw it every day. A bandleader for this diverse population; he gave his students common ground. As a founding member of Dale and the Duds, he experienced it every concert, as they were asked to perform show after show.
In a recent conversation about his illness, Bob expressed a deep appreciation for life and expressed wonder at the diverse people who were praying for him. His music, faith and life had touched many and they were responding with prayer: “Not only do I have many different Christens praying for me; Catholics, Methodists, Baptists, Congregationalists; but I also have Jews and Muslims praying for me.”
Bob said that he could feel the warmth of the many praying for him. It kept him going, keeping the pancreatic cancer at bay for over a year so that he could play one more season with Dale and the Duds. He only stopped in August of this year when his body could no longer do it.
|Dale & the Duds & Four in a Row, Columbus Weekend, 2014
The seed for Dale and the Duds was planted just after Woodstock. Then teenagers, the guys got together just to play for the joy of playing. They didn’t have a name, they didn’t have a plan, they just wanted to get together and play music that made them feel good.
They played mostly music from the 50s and 60s, the kind of music that makes you tap your feet and sing along. There were a few other musicians in the beginning, up to eight at one time, but within a couple of years the band thinned down to lead singer Dale Julius and his brother, rhythm guitarist Randy Julius; lead guitar player Mitch Mackiewicz; bass player and vocalist Paul Ayers; and drummer and vocalist Bob Ferrante.
Officially starting to play publicly in 1971, people have continuously turned out to hear Dale and the Duds and be reminded that people are good, that life can be fun. Some years they played over 100 shows. The Duds were dedicated to each other and their music. Bob took joy in the connection that happens in music and there never stopped being a demand for it. It was needed back in the 1970s and it is needed now.
Robert M. “Bob” Ferrante, age 64, died Saturday October 3, 2015 at his home surrounded by his family. He was the devoted husband of Martina J. (Turowski) Ferrante for 39 years and loving father of Marc A. Ferrante.
Bob was a 1969 graduate of East Bridgewater High School where he was class president and president of the National Honor Society. He earned his bachelor’s degree in music magna cum laude from Boston University and master’s degree in education summa cum laude from Fitchburg State University. Bob enjoyed a lengthy and accomplished career
in music as both an educator and performer. Visiting hours will be held in the Conley Funeral Home, 138 Belmont Street (Route 123), Brockton on Sunday, Oct. 11, 2-5 pm. His Memorial Service will be held Monday, Oct. 12 at 10 a.m. at the Mayflower Congregational Church, 207 Main St., Kingston. In lieu of flowers, mourners may donate to the Robert Ferrante Memorial Scholarship Fund through any Rockland Trust Bank branch in the area www.rocklandtrust.com or Cure Pancreatic Cancer Lustgarten Foundation at www.lustgarten.org.