alanna ferrelli close
Staff Sergeant Alanna Dawn "Grizz" Ferrelli Close, 31, of Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, passed away Thursday, March 20, 2008. Born November 16, 1976 in Steubenville, Ohio, she was the daughter of William M. and Sharon K. Craig Ferrelli of Paris, PA. Staff Sergeant Close entered the Air Force on June 11, 1997. While stationed at Ramstein Air Base in Germany from October 1997 until October 1999, she was assigned to the 86th Supply Squadron, working as an Equipment Management Clerk. She was reassigned to Whiteman Air Force Base from October, 1999 until her death. While at Whiteman, she was assigned to 509th Logistics Readiness Squadron, working as Flight Service Center Journeyman and Mobility. She was also assigned to the 509th Munitions Squadron, working as a Weapons Support Supply Liaison and worked in the 509th Civil Engineering Squadron as a Dormitory Manager. During her career, Staff Sergeant Close received many accommodations including Air Force Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Meritorious Unit Award, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Air Force Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Air Force Overseas Ribbon Long Tour, Air Force Longevity Service Award, Air Force Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Military Education Graduate Award, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon and the Air Force Training Ribbon. Staff Sergeant Close's accomplishments include 86th Supply Squadron Airman of the Quarter, April through June, 1999, 509th Supply Squadron Airman of the Quarter, January through March 2000 and she won numerous "Dorm of the Quarter" awards while assigned as a Dormitory Manager. Staff Sergeant Close received the Superior Performer Award for 2005 Headquarters Unit Compliance Inspection along with the Logistics Management Associate Degree through Community College of the Air Force. SSgt Close distinguished herself in the performance of her duties while assigned as Assistant NCOIC, Material Management at Detachment 7, 602d Training Group (Provisional), 2nd Air Force, serving at Fort Lewis, Washington and as NCOIC, Material Management at Detachment 5, 602d Training Group (Provisional), 2nd Air Force, serving at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. She helped manage the largest supply function in the Air Force's Combat Skills Training Detachments. Her tireless efforts keyed the successful completion of Combat Skills Training for 1.5K Airmen deploying in support of Operations IRAQI FREEDOM AND ENDURING FREEDOM. The distinctive accomplishments of Sergeant Close reflect credit upon herself, the United States Air Force and United States Army. In addition to her parents, Staff Sergeant Close is survived by her son Brady Patrick Close; daughter Madison Elizabeth Close both of Knob Noster, Missouri; her brother William M. Ferrelli II of Burgettstown, PA and nephew Trent Ferrelli of Weirton. Friends will be received Wednesday 6-8 PM and Thursday 2-4 and 6-8PM at the Greco-Hertnick Funeral Home, 3219 Main Street, Weirton where funeral services will be celebrated 9:30AM Friday. Interment will be in the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies, Bridgeville, PA with full Military Honors. Memorial contributions may be made to Madison and Brady Close Education Fund, c/o Hancock County Savings Bank, 375 Three Springs Drive, Weirton, WV 26062. Funeral Home: Greco Hertnick Funeral Home 3219 Main Street Weirton, WV US 26062

Memories Timeline


  1. Aunt Sharon, Uncle Bill and Billy-Our hearts go out to you and everyone whose lives have been touched by Alana. She will be sadley missed by many. I know when my sister died it was the hardest thing that ever hit our family and with Gods grace it gets easier, but never goes away. Please know we love you with everything we have in our hearts to give. God Bless you! Richard + Evelyn Craig Clint + Amanda Thompson and family!

  2. We send our condolences on your loss, May Laney forever rest in peace, and may God welcome her with open arms.

  3. Dear Sharon and Bill & Billy, We want you to know how much we love you and are praying for you all in your time of sorrow. We can’t say we know how you feel, because we don’t. We have lost loved ones, but never a child. But we do know that God loves you both and we love you also. We will be here for you if you need to talk. We will continue to hold you up in prayer. May God wrap His loving arms around you and send His Holy Spirit to comfort you. With much Love and Sympathy, Roger & Myrna

  4. Dear Bill, Sharon, & Billy, I’m so very sorry for your loss. Although I had not seen Alanna in years, I remember going to PA. during my childhood in the summer, and going to Aunt Kate’s house. I remember playing at your house with Alanna & Billy, whether it was with barbies, or running in the woods outback, and yearly reunions! I have the utmost respect for Alanna and her service to this country! May God give you all the strength to stand tall and the courage to move forward. Much prayers and love, Darla (Dulaney) Rogers

  5. My thoughts and prayers go out to Alanna’s family and friends in this most difficult of times.

  6. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. Laney will always be remembered for her bubbling personality and great smile. We have many great memories of Laney from the time she licked the frog at our wedding reception to the time she serenaded us after the Squadron Christmas Party. She was always fun to be around, and loved to have a good time. She will remain in our hearts always, we will truly miss her, and karaoke will never be the same.

  7. We are so proud to have known such a great person. I remember babby sitting Alanna and Billy,we had some fun times. I didn’t get to know the beautiful women she grew to be but I know now how much she did for all of us and the great sacrifices that she made. We not only lost a great freind we lost a great soldier also. may God give you both strenghth through this trial time. You have our deepest sympathy.

  8. I am lost for words. I’ve known you and your family for a long time Alanna and Billy are like family to us may god be with you in your sorrow our prays are with you know and always!!!!

  9. Sharon, Bill & Billy, My prayers & thoughts go with everyone today & always, I hope you can find comfort in knowing we care & we are here for all of you, May God keep you & hold you in his arms forever & may you find comfort there and know we will all be together one day again. My sincere condolences. Kathy

  10. Bill, You may not remember me from school, but I wanted to convey my deepest sympathy on the loss of your child.No matter what age,they are still our babies. She had many accomplishments to be proud of. Your family are in my thoughts and prayers.I am asking God to comfort you. Jeanie

  11. Laney will truly be missed. She was a geniune, caring friend. She always told it like it was! From rooting for each other at Bingo to laughing in the office, she was a true joy! We lost a good friend and heaven gained an angel!

  12. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Laney’s children and family in this time of sorrow. She will always remain in our hearts and memories as lovable, laughing Laney. she was truely one of a kind. We already miss her.

  13. Just wanted to say my Condolences to the family, i may have only knew lany for 4 months, but i felt like i knew her for a lifetime. I am sorry that her beautiful life had to end so quickly, but I know she is up above looking down.God bless to the family, and though i can not make it my prayers are with you all.

  14. To the Family of Laney, Laney is a very dear friend of mine. She will be truly missed. I want you to know that Laney was very well liked at Whiteman AFB. There aren’t many people on the base that did not know her. She was always around helping out in any way possible. I will miss hearing her voice on the other end of my phone. She was always someone that could make me laugh when times where tough. Laney was a wonderful mother. Maddie and Bradey’s eyes would just light up when she would walk into the room. Those babies where blessed to have Laney as a mother for the short time they did. A note to Laney: Laney, I miss you so much my dear friend. I wish you could have stayed longer on this earth with us. Look over your babies as they will need your help through the years. I hope you are in a better place with sunny days and no worries to trouble you anymore. Until we meet again on streets of gold my friend-I love you! Renee

  15. We are so sorry for the loss of such a bright, shining soul. Laney was a wonderful person who always put a smile on our faces. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless.

  16. Even though Sgt. Close just got transfered to our shop of Vehicle Maintence and was only here for maybe a week, she seemed to be an awesome layed back person. I spent just a couple hours talking to her the day of the accident. She was a very good person at heart and loved her work, even though you were here for a short time you memory will linger here in Vehicle Maintence. RIP Sgt Close you’re missed!

  17. I would like to send my condolences to Laney’s family. I had the pleasure of meeting Laney a couple of the times that I visited my daughter, Renee, at Whiteman. When I met her she was as they all say, cheerful and upbeat. Renee thought the world of Laney. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.

  18. Dear Bill, Sharon & Billy, No words can ever express how deeply saddened we are over the loss of our precious Alanna. Only one thought comes to my mind right now and that is the poem “Footprints” when the man asks, “why in my deepest darkest times is there only one set of footprints” and the Lord answered, “it is then that I carried you” and that is what He is doing right now, carrying us through this dark time. We will all miss her very much. Love you!!

  19. I would like to send my condolences to Laney’s family. Laney will be greatly missed and always remembered in our hearts and prayers.

  20. I would like to send my condolences to Laney’s family. Laney will be greatly missed and always remembered in our hearts and prayers.

  21. It’s hard to find the right words to say, because I have so many great memories of you and I. You were always so supportive in everything I did. I cannot not thank you enough for playing in a great deal of inspiration in my life. Your smile and laughter could light up any room. Your cheerful self will never be forgotten! I love you will all of my heart. Rest in peace girl.

  22. Sharon, Bill,& Billy, My deepest sorrow and condolences to your family during this difficult time. May you feel God’s presence and peace be with you.

  23. In the few years I’ve known her; she has touched the heart of many people. My thought and prayers are with her family. God bless.

  24. Dear Bill and Sharon…I want to send my deepest sympathy to you and your family, I had not had the pleasure of meeting your daughter, but Bill you and I go back a long way and believe me when I tell you I know how you feel, the loss is terrible, but just have the faith and it does get easier. If you ever need to talk, some days are very hard, I am just a phone call away, please call. My thoughts and prayers are with you!

  25. She always had me laughing! Great girl, great smile, just an overall awesome personality. Loved eating dinner with her and her babies at the club–boy did we love dollar night!!! Keeping her and her family in our thoughts and prayers.

  26. I give my condolences to all of the Ferrelli family. Alanna was a close friend of mine in grade school and high school. She will be missed.

  27. Alanna and I grew up together. We were cousins through marriage. I moved from Paris Pa in 1992 and pretty much lost contact from everyone I knew and grew up with. I never knew what anyone from that area grew to be, but I knew Alanna would go somewhere good in life. From the write up in the paper that has recognized all of her accomplishments she definately grew to be very honorable. I’m sure to believe that with such a successful Mother her children will grow to be just as wonderful. I give my sincerist condolences to her family.God Bless You. With Love, Vikki D. Law Barrett

  28. You will be surely missed Sweetheart! God bless you, your wonderful family, friends, and anyone else feeling this great sorrow! That smile always did brighten my day! Thanks for touching my life.

  29. I remember the first day I met Laney, her fun and upbeat personality immediatley drew me to her…she always gave me good advice and looked out for me like she did her own kids. She would always make me laugh. I’ll miss her laugh. Her smile & The funny faces she makes in the mirror, But most of all I’ll just miss her being around. I send my condolences to all friends and family of Laney…she will be missed.

  30. Dear Sharon,bill and billy May God be with you and comfort you.Alanna may be gone but she will never be forgotten.I wish i could take your pain away.When you see a beautiful rainbow,white fluffy cloud or a beatiful sunrise just smile and think of Alanna. May GOD Bless you and much love Sharon&Wayne Vanfossen

  31. Bill, Sharon, and Billy- You all mean so much to me and have been a part of my life forever. You will always have a special place in my heart and I will continuously pray for each of you. I love you. Alanna, Where would I even begin? There are no words for the emptiness that I feel. You have been in my life as far back as I can remember, since Kindergarten. I do not think that there is anything we haven’t gone through. I was always proud of you for who you were and what you accomplished. I will miss my yearly birthday call (always a day early) and the embarassing stories we remembered from growing up. I’ll never forget the time we wrote those silly songs and thought we were going to be on Star Search. The times we played football in my front yard in our pj’s. The camp outs with the guys….. and then we had to grow-up. You were always supportive of my husband, Garland. I remember coming to your house immediately after he proposed to me. You were the first person that we told. Thank you for helping me see who cared for me. I’ll never forget the first time you held each of my babies and the first time that I held each of yours. The late night talks with and without tears. Your encouragement prior to the opening of the Daycare and how you stayed up for hours putting together a proposal for me. You had a free spirit and told everyone how it was. Even with that you still had such a big heart and I will always love you. I wish that I could have just one more moment with you and I would tell you that I will definitely never forget you. We will forever be soul mates. Your children have been blessed to have had you as a mother and God will watch over them. Rest in Peace. You will never be forgotten and will ALWAYS be in my heart.

  32. Alanna… “My God Lauren, you act JUST like your cousin Alanna.” That’s all I have ever heard my entire life. She was my identity, my rolemodel, my hero, my big cousin. When I lost her…a bit of me died too. I love her. It’s going to be hard not to have her to talk with, to laugh with, to fight with. TO FIGHT OTHERS WITH! One day, I hope I have a daughter and I hope she is just like us. She was everything to her family. We will always be SO proud of her. “AIM HIGH SHOOT TO KILL” Uncel Bill and Aunt Sharon…be strong. We will get through…she may be gone but the strength she has is with us now. Love, Lauren

  33. Bill..Sharon and family, Our deepest sympathy in your tragic loss, you are in our thoughts and prayers…May he grant you the strength to carry on. Fondly, Trudy & George

  34. Sharon, You and your family have my deepest sympathy. You are in my thoughts and prayers at this difficult time. Your memories of your wonderful daughter will fill your heart with peace. God Bless .

  35. To All Our Family, Even though we could not be physically present know that our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this saddest of times. Remember and share your special memories of Alanna with each other, so that each of us continues to carry a piece of her heart with us. Love and prayers from Florida.

  36. May I extend my deep gratitude for your soldier’s service to our Country and my prayers and sympathies on the loss of your daughter. Jodi Proud Army Mom of Steven

  37. Deepest of condolences go out to the family and loved ones. Lanny was a loving and caring person who was full of life. Being able to have shared a short time with Lanny was truely all of our great fortune.

  38. I knocked at heaven’s door this morning, God asked me….My child, what can I do for you? And I said, “Father, please bless the people reading this message and the family of Lanna. I will miss her dearly as everyone will

  39. I’ve known and worked with Alanna off and on for a period of 8 years. Our last visit together I welcomed Alanna into the Vehicle Maintenance Flight and complimented her on her bright smile. That smile will remain with me forever. May God comfort each of us with His love and grace.


  41. You will always be in our thoughts and prayers, Laney. Our deepest sympathy goes to the entire Ferrelli Close family.

  42. With deepest sympathy for your loss. Laney will be missed dearly. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  43. Aunt Sharron and Uncle Bill, “Alanna Dawn!” I can still hear you both calling her name… Her smile could light up a room! Her light now shines down from our Heavenly Kingdom onto us all. May God grant you comfort and peace. We love you, Patrick & Amy Fairfax

  44. It is very hard for me to come up with any words that express how I feel. This is still absolutely unbelievable to me. Alanna is my friend that would always be there, even though, we may have not talked in a while. She is lucky and fun. Nothing could ever phase her. I have so many awesome memories with her because no matter what we did it was always an adventure. Alanna and her family will always hold a special place in my heart. She truly is a forever friend. Thank you, Alanna, for letting me be a part of your beautiful life. With love and gratitude,

  45. Dear Billy, My parents and sister told me about Alanna. Though I have not see you since childhood I wanted to send you and your family my sympathies. I can’t imagine loosing one of my children. Please know how much we appreciate your daughters service to our country. We love her for it. May our Almighty God comfort you and your family during this difficult time. Sincerely, Donna

  46. I haven’t talked to Alanna since grade school but remember her so fondly as a girl who loved life and was always so positive! Even though it has been so long – I still remember her smile and laugh and thought of that immediately upon hearing her name. It is not surprising to me that she went on to serve in the military – she was very kind hearted and hard working. My heart and prayers go out to her family during this tragic time. I am deeply sorry for the loss of such a sweet daughter, sister, and mother. Blessings~ Nicole (Stump) Sergent

  47. Bill, Sharon, and Billy, Hello I know I am probably the last person you expected to hear from but when I heard about the tragedy of Laney I was overwhelmed with emotions! My heart goes out to you all!! I know how close you all were and I admired you for that. Alanna was a remarkable person, she was beautiful, smart, strong, a good singer and dancer, great mom, and adored her family!!! I truly admirred her. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

  48. I only met Alanna once- I was a student teacher in Madison’s classroom. She had just returned from deployment and Madison simply cried and hung on to mom. She was so happy to have her home. Madison loves her mommy. It is a vision I will carry with me always. My heart goes out to the entire family.

  49. Hi Billy I have not talked with you for years but my heart and prayers go out to you and your family. Mere words cannot express the sorrow when you lose a child. love you guys Butch & Cindy

  50. Rest in Peace my Friend A note for Alanna You will be missed, you made me laugh the first time I met you and I can’t get that out of my thoughts…Everytime I think of you I smile and shed a tear but only because I am glad I was blessed with the chance to know you. My prayers are with you Ferrelli and Close Family

  51. Sir/Ma’am, Although I did not personally know your daughter, I would like to send my condolences to you and your family. My co-worker Tracy Sanders spoke very highly of your daughter and their friendship. As I said, I didn’t know your daughter, but I feel that the service and sacrifices we made in the military makes us family. Anyone who puts on a uniform to protect and defend the rights and freedom of our country and millions of people they don’t even know is a GREAT individual. Your daughter, to me, is such a person. Her children should know that their mother was a true hero. I know from my own personal experience being a military mom that it took a lot for her to leave them every day, but she did it to make things better for them. They were her motivation and her fuel for continuing in this sometimes unpredictable military. I have been in the military 19 years now and it takes a special person to commit to this life. I wish you and your family peace and pray for your continued blessings during this trying time. Very Respectfully, CEMENTHIA R. SCOTT, TSgt, USAF

  52. I am truly sorry for you loss. My prayers are with you and your family. I was Laney’s supervisor for the last 18 months. Below is the Eulogy I gave at her Memorial Service here at Whiteman AFB. I thought you would like to have a copy. Good morning everybody and thank you all for attending. First I’d like to say, from my family and the Air Force family, our deepest sympathies and condolences to the Ferrelli and Close Families. You get to know a lot about a person when you work with them for as long as I have. I’ve known her since I was stationed here in 01. I worked directly with Laney for the last eighteen months as her supervisor, mentor and friend. Some of you may have met Laney thru the LRS Booster Club. Others from the holiday party decorating committee. She was also involved in the WAFB haunted house and she was also a member of the Base Advisory council at one time. She held various jobs throughout the base all the way from Material Control at MUNS to Dorm Manager. For those that knew SSgt Close (Laney) knew she always lived life to the fullest. She was always upbeat and laughing, even during stressful times. She was always complemented on her bright smile and her outgoing personality was always evident. Laney was a remarkable person, she was smart, strong, a good singer, dancer, and proud mother. She loved to cook, go antiquing, bingo, karaoke, and playing cards. She also loved spending time with her children. Someone once told me it’s the idiosyncrasies about each individual is what makes them special. You will never remember the day-to-day things that people do. But the little things like, “how to be a better poker player book lying by the toilet in the ladies room”. Or maybe showing the airmen, the proper way to dance working in the warehouse. Little things like these are what seem to stick in my mind when I think about SSgt Close. There were so many accomplishments during her career but what I remember clearly was 18 months ago when I first started in Mobility. How she was the “go to person”. How she took up the slack for the first couple of months when I started. She kept me out of trouble quite a few times until I could swim on my own. I could always count on Laney when the pressure was on and I needed someone to step-up and take on a project. She also took on many projects no one else was willing to tackle. Many of you probably knew her from working the gas mask accountability project. Or possibly when you picked up or returned deployment gear. She also led the airman during deployment briefings…for some reason she had no fear of getting on the microphone. I think she might have had a lot of practice during karaoke night…at least that’s what I hear. She used to joke with me she was going to break out in song during the deployments briefings in the warehouse. She never did. But I always had this nagging fear in the back of my mind she would. That’s just the way she was. I ran across a poem that I would like to share with you that reminded me of Laney and her free sprit. Don’t weep at my grave, For I am not there, I’ve a date with a butterfly To dance in the air. I’ll be singing in the sunshine, Wild and free, Playing tag with the wind, While I’m waiting for thee. Author Unknown Laney you will be missed by many. My prayers and everyone’s prayers are with you and your family.

  53. The kids and I will always love you and will miss you terribly, my prayers go to the Ferrelli family during this tragic situation. Alanna we love you! Love, Jason, Madison and Brady Close

  54. May God bless Laney’s family and friends in this difficult time. Laney will be deeply missed by all the lives she’s touched throughout her journey here on Earth. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family. Marty

  55. Bill Jr., I was so sorry to hear about the passing of your sister. Even though its been years since Burgettstown HS, You are in my thoughts often especially at this sad time. Rich..BHSSS.


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