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Diana memorialized in art

September 15, 1997

By DAVE McMILLION

Staff Writer

First it was teacher Raphael Pantalone who began remembering Princess Diana through his artwork, then all his students joined in.

Pantalone, art teacher at Conococheague and Hancock elementary schools, began sketching a picture of Princess Diana to go with 15 condolence books his mother is sending to London.

Pantalone said when he began drawing Princess Diana, his students wanted to know what they could do.

A week later, 1,000 students from the two schools added their own artwork of the Princess of Wales.

"It really surprised me. Every one of the students seemed to know a little about it," said Pantalone.

The pencil and crayon depictions of the princess and her funeral will be sent to London, along with condolence books that were signed by Princess Diana supporters at a Pittsburgh funeral home managed by Pantalone's mother.

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Pantalone's mother Natale discovered a lot of Pittsburgh residents wanted to express their feelings about Diana, so she made the condolence books available to the public at her Clement L. Pantalone Funeral Home in Greensburg, Pa. About 3,000 people signed the books, said Pantalone, who also sketched a picture of Mother Teresa to go with the package.

On Sept. 23, Pantalone said his mother plans to deliver the books and drawings to officials at the American Embassy in London, who have said they will give them to the royal family.

Two of Pantalone's students said they didn't know a lot about Diana when the accident occurred, but it influenced them.

"I feel sorry for them because they lost a part of their family," said Becky Sirokman, who drew a picture of Princess Diana wearing a crown and a flowered shirt.

"It's still sad," said her twin brother Bryan.

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