Gitelman, Aaron S. (Al ) Private family services were held on D-Day, Friday, June 6, at DFW National Veterans Cemetery. Al, as he was affectionately known, passed away on May 21st at Medical City just two weeks before his 91st birthday. He encountered a number of problems following a serious fall during his return visit to Normandy last June. He was born in Brooklyn, New York, where he graduated from James Madison High School. Our country had been drawn into World War II and Al left college to volunteer for service in the US Army. He was assigned to the 29th Infantry Division and, after intensive training, found himself on a troop ship bound for England. In Cornwall, the troops learned that they were to become a part of the Allied invasion of Normandy, France. The plan became known as D-Day and ultimately became a reality on June 6, 1944. He successfully landed on Omaha Beach and, unharmed, he continued in combat throughout the European theater. He earned a number of medals including three Purple Hearts. He was honorably discharged from service in 1946 and moved to Dallas in 1949. On September 8, 1952, he married Mary Grimes, a secretary in the loan department of the Mercantile National Bank. For many years his business interests included photographic supplies and business machines, but his love of antique tapestry lead him to establish his own business in 1987 at the World Trade Center where he enjoyed his elegant surroundings for almost 20 years. Al was a 32nd degree Mason and a life member of Mt. Moriah Lodge #27 in New York. He was a member of the DAV and the Military Order of the Purple Heart; also, the Hella Shrine Temple for more than 50 years. He was a member of the Black Horse Patrol for almost 40 years. Al was honored on D-Day 2014 by the Patrol with the appearance of a riderless horse during the Texas Shrine Association meeting. Last October, he was awarded the Legion of Honor medal from the country of France. Survivors include his wife, Mary; his devoted daughter and caretaker, Caron Grant, both of Dallas; a sister, Esta Friedman of Coral Gables, Florida; two nephews, David and Damon, both of Denver; a niece, Claudia Goodman of Miami, Florida; and a niece, Jill Cardasis of Long Island, New York. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the Shriners Hospitals for Children. Plans for a memorial service will be announced at a later date.
Published in Dallas Morning News on June 8, 2014