Gaetano Gebbia, 90, of Valley Cottage, died September 27, 2012, in Bradenton, FL.
He was born in 1921 in Bronx.
He married his wife, Marie, and moved his family to Rockland County in 1957.
He had a lust for life and adventure. As a teenager in Bronx, he was a Golden Glove boxing finalist in the 112-pound class. He served in the Army Air Corp in World War II as a gunner on B- 17 bombers, where he acquired a love for flying.
He worked for the New York City Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority for more than 20 years. He acquired a pilot’s license at age 55, purchased a Cessna 150 and pursued his passion for flying. He retired in 1985, moved to Florida and spent most of his time flying to various locations to play a round of golf, his second passion. His greatest flying accomplishment was at age 75, when he flew his plane solo the 8,878 perimeter miles of the continental United States and landed in each state.
Gaetano was also a great fan of baseball and had a special love and respect for Joe DiMaggio after having met and conversed with him. Gaetano was also known for his drag racing in the 1960s and for his Western attire and cigar smoking.
Survivors include two daughters, Cheryl and Kathryn and her husband, John; two sons, Guy and his wife, Karen, and Gary and his wife, Colleen; and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Marie; two brothers, Anthony and Paul; and a sister, Prudence.
Visitation is scheduled for Friday, October 5, 2012, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Hannemann Funeral Home Inc. at 88 S. Broadway in Nyack. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated Saturday, October 6, 2012, at 9:30 a.m. at St. Ann’s Roman Catholic Church at 16 Jefferson Street in Nyack. Interment will be at Oak Hill Cemetery, 140 N. Highland Avenue, in Nyack.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to United Hospice of Rockland County, 11 Stokum Lane New City, NY 10956.