Murdered Orsolya Gaal is commemorated at the funeral service in Queens

The mother of the assassinated Queen, Orsolya Gaal, was remembered by the family as “the most beautiful person” who was a devoted parent and avid world traveler during a memorial service Monday night.

“‘Orsolya, what a beautiful name’ was the response of many when first introduced to her, although few could ever pronounce her name correctly,” Howard Klein, the heartbroken victim’s husband, said during the ceremony at the Forest Hills Community Hall.

Klein, his two sons, family and friends looked back on Gaal’s life, which ended a month ago when her ex-lover David Bonola, a handyman, allegedly stabbed her with a knife at their home in Forest Hills.

Gaal’s husband described his late wife as someone who loved to travel, either with him, their two sons or alone. Born in Hungary, he has visited dozens of countries on multiple continents and countless American cities, as well as many cultural institutions and parks around New York City.

Klein met Gaal at a Christmas party in Budapest in 1994, just before he was reaching the end of his two-year reprieve from Columbia Business School. After exchanging love letters and then traveling together in Thailand for a few weeks, Gaal later moved in with Klein when she got a job in New York. She had moved in with Klein, allegedly only temporarily, he said.

A person believed to be Howard Klein, husband of Orsolya Gaal, leaves a memorial service for Gaal being held at the church in the gardens in Forest Hills.
Howard Klein recalled meeting his wife at a Christmas party in Budapest in 1994.
William C. Lopez/NYPOST

“I told Orsolya she could stay for a while, but I expected that once she settled into a new job, she would have to move out in about six months to make friends of her own. I had an important career ahead of me, I said, I wasn’t ready to commit,” Klein recalled. “Six months later I brought out a big matzo ball: I told her I loved her and didn’t want her to move out.”

After moving from Manhattan, the couple found a home in Forest Hills.

“What the last four weeks have shown me is my goal today and the foreseeable future remains in Forest Hills,” he said. “The outpouring of love, kindness and support to our family following this tragic shock means a great deal.”

Orsolya Gaal and family, LR: Howard Klein, Orsolya, Leo, Jamie.
Jamie, right, said his mother “found happiness” in the happiness of him and his brother Leo.

Gaal’s eldest son Jamie, speaking for him and his younger brother Leo, said his mother “found happiness in our happiness”.

“When I think of my mom, I think of all the work she put into our upbringing,” Jamie said. “Everyone who knew her told me how much she loved me and Leo, and it showed in her actions.”

Gaal made a big deal about her sons’ birthdays and stayed up all night getting ready the day before, Jamie said. When he had friends in middle school, she would give them a new supply of snacks every 20 minutes before they finished what they already had, he recalled.

The memorial service for Orsolya Gaal will be held at the Church in the Gardens in Forest Hills.
Gaal’s memorial service was held at the Church in the Gardens in Forest Hills.
William C. Lopez/NYPOST
Arrjuna Jack, 30 years old, is an electrician who has worked for Orsolya Gaal and her husband for many years to leave flowers at the home of Orsolya Gaal and Howard Klein.
Gaal was a native Hungarian who has visited dozens of countries on multiple continents and countless American cities.
Kevin C Downs for The New York

“We had barely finished eating the previous bag of goldfish when she brought two new ones,” he said. “It was sort of an inside joke between me and my friends that she was so nice and accommodating, and it showed what kind of person she was.”

Jamie will graduate from high school next month and Leo will celebrate his twice-postponed bar mitzvah next month.

“She had a passion for making her kids happy,” he said. “She found happiness in our happiness. It’s important to remember that right now.”

A funeral was held for Gaal a few weeks ago, Rabbi Mark Kaiserman of Forest Hills Reform Temple said Monday. Her ashes will be buried with family in Hungary and her family locally, he said.

Surveillance footage of a person dragging a suitcase containing Gaal's body.
Handyman and former lover David Bonola is believed to have killed Gaal. Murdered Orsolya Gaal is commemorated at the funeral service in Queens


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