His laugh lives on
PV seniors get tattoos in memory of friend
In the summer of 2015, Pascack Valley was struck with the news that Zack Latteri, a former freshman, had died from cancer. Three close friends to Latterri, now seniors, wanted to find a way to remember the impact he had made on their lives. As a result, Gabby LoPiccolo, Alec Vignola, and Andrew Tateossian got tattoos in his memory.
LoPiccolo had wanted this tattoo, a soundwave of Latteri’s laugh, since her freshman year of high school because it was a way that she could carry him and his laugh wherever she went.
“I will always have the memories, but I wanted something physically on my body dedicated to him,” LoPiccolo said.
The process was not always easy for her. LoPiccolo found that she was hit with a whirlwind of emotions before, during, and after getting the tattoo. She was happy to finally be getting the tattoo, but it was also very hard for her since it was for a friend who was no longer with her.
“Zack was like a brother to me,”LoPiccolo said. “There wasn’t a second in the day when we weren’t together or at least talking.”
LoPiccolo was not his only long-time friend — Vignola and Latteri had been close friends since before kindergarten. They would have brief encounters with each other while their moms would pick up their siblings from elementary school. This was just the beginning of their close friendship.
Getting a tattoo was a personal decision for Vignola because he saw it as a way to heal and give his respects to Latteri. The tattoo is a ribbon with Latteri’s name.
“Just looking at the amount of people that even considered getting a tattoo for him shows how many people truly cared about him,” Vignola said. “He meant a lot to everyone, especially me.”
Soon after Vignola got the tattoo for Latteri, he went out to lunch with Sharon Latteri, Zack’s mother, to show her the design on his forearm. She was amazed that someone would do something like that for him.
“I think he [Vignola] thought about this decision for years, and when he finally got it, I was shocked to think how important Zack was to him,” Sharon Latteri said.
Tateossian, another one of Zack’s friends from kindergarten, has a tattoo that showcases an orange ribbon surrounded by rays of sunshine with Zack’s initials, “ZL.”
Tateossian knew that his classmates would not forget about Zack, but he wanted to keep a permanent symbol for him. Tateossian always knew that he wanted the orange ribbon on the upper left side on his back, but deciding on the rest of the design ended up being a struggle for him. He wanted to find the perfect one that meant the most to him.
“Zack was really lucky to have such great friends,” Sharon Latteri said.