Brian Gennarelli

Brian Gennarelli walking into an event at school, surprising his students with his knowledge of rap.

His obituary tells us the “where and when” about Brian Gennarelli’s passing on Jan. 2 at his North Myrtle Beach home.

But what standard obituaries can’t tell us is about the love he left behind with those who knew him, and the legacy he left at Carolina Forest High School.

The obit tells us that Brian Anthony Gennarelli was born April 14, 1976 in Patchogue, New York, the son of Gabriel Robert and Lenora Deruga Gennarelli.

It tells us he is survived by his wife, April Wade Gennarelli, his daughter Megan Onderdonk, and his brother, Gabriel Gennarelli.

It also tells us a reception was held Jan. 7 at Lee Funeral Chapel in Little River.

What the obituary doesn’t tell us is that, “He believed in God and had a philosophy that you didn’t need to be angry. You didn’t need to let things pull you down. You just needed to be a better person.

“And that’s what Brian was,” his wife April said about him.

“He was a wonderful man who was so good at heart. And he cared so much for his students.”

Ruthie Warren, an instructional coach at CFHS, worked closely with Brian during his two years at the school, and said the best word to describe him is “passionate.”

“With almost everyone I talk to about him, that word is used because he so wanted to be involved with his students in a personal way.”

Brian taught U.S. history at the high school where Warren encouraged new teachers to observe his classes.

“He was such a natural teacher,” she said. “He was a mixture because he was totally intense but always happy, always felt like he could learn more…do more.

“Brian wanted his group of kids to learn together and something they loved about him is that he got to know their world.”

Warren said if there was something important to the students that the educator didn’t know about, he’d learn about it.

“That helped him make a relationship between history and their lives. He wanted to know what mattered to them so he could relate history in a better way.”

The Gennarellis were married about six years ago in a Catholic ceremony.

“But,” his wife said, “He believed in a lot of spiritual things that were a part of Christ. He believed in goodness and love.”

The day before he passed away, Brian and his wife went bowling, one of the things, like going to movies and talking walks, that the couple enjoyed.

“We were sort of homebodies, we were happy just being together,” she said.

“Brian was just an honest guy who was easy to love.”


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