Spirit in the Sky
The Gitto family did everything as a unit. They raked leaves together. They painted together. They fixed lights together. And everyone piled into the car for trips to the supermarket.
The only thing Salvatore Gitto did by himself was pilot planes. He had been flying airplanes longer than he had been driving cars. But being a Senior Vice President of Risk Management for Marsh & McLennan Companies, he was cautious not to take his wife along as a passenger.
Yet even his weekly trips were planned around his family. On Sunday mornings, Mr. Gitto, 44, would fly out of the local airport, in Old Bridge, N.J., and be back home by noon to spend the rest of the day with his wife, Angela, and two sons, Stephen, 4, and Gregory, 10.
His next big step was to buy his own plane. Being a pilot let him see the world spread out below him, not through the tight oval window of a Boeing 747 but in a glorious panorama.
Now, Stephen knows that his father is in heaven and that heaven is in the sky. When he is bigger, he says, he's going to go up and bring dad back down.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 18, 2001.