Gaeta, Richard Joseph
Mr. Richard Joseph Gaeta of Hiawassee, GA entered his new life in Christ on June 1st, 2014 at the age of 76. He battled renal cancer for one and half years. A funeral Mass will be held on Friday, June 6th at 11:00 am at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 2839 Young Harris Highway, Blairsville, GA 30512. A gathering of friends and family will take place afterward in the church social hall. Richard was the younger son of the late Lucia and Aniello Gaeta and the brother of the late Anthony Gaeta of Ossining, New York. He was preceded in death by his wife of 47 years, Joan, who passed away in 2007. Richard is survived by his five children, Maria and husband John Cressler of Smyrna, GA, Theresa Andretta of Woodstock, GA, Richard J. Gaeta, Jr. of Stillwater, OK, Christina and husband Richard Pink, Jr. of Kennesaw, GA, and Joseph A. Gaeta and wife Alexa of Austell, GA; 14 grandchildren, Matthew Cressler and wife Mary Ellen Giess of Evanston, IL, Christina and husband Michael Gawrys of Buffalo, NY, and Joanna Cressler of Smyrna, GA, Joseph Andretta, Julia Andretta, Sophia Andretta and Francesca Andretta of Woodstock, GA, Anthony Gaeta and Joel Gaeta of Acworth, GA, Luciano Hinton, Damian Hinton and Richard Pink III of Kennesaw, GA, Paul Gaeta and Samuel Gaeta of Austell, GA; and two great-grandchildren, Elena Giess Cressler of Evanston, IL and Owen Gawrys of Buffalo, NY.
In 1960, Richard received his Bachelor of Business Administration from St. Bonaventure University in Olean, New York. Upon graduation, he began his 35-year career with GE Capital in New York City. After a modest beginning collecting on delinquent accounts, his career advanced within GE Capital's retailer financial services division. It would take him and his family from New York to Connecticut and then south to Georgia, where he ran GE Capital's Southeast Service Center in Atlanta, oversaw the creation of a state-of-the-art billing center in Macon, and eventually retired as Vice President of Business Integration. He was a Georgia resident for nearly 39 years. He and his family called Roswell home until his children were grown. After his stint in Macon, he and Joan retired to Lake Chatuge in Hiawassee where they lived out their lives.
Giving service and support to others was always a priority for Richard as evidenced by his work with the Glennmary Home Missions (a Catholic ministry for the rural poor) and with the St. Vincent de Paul Society (a Catholic ministry to for the needy and suffering). He and his wife Joan also volunteered and gave financial support to the Nazareth Home in Macon, GA (a group facility for unwed teenaged mothers). Richard was very generous with his time, talent, and treasure in support of several other organizations as well, including a lung cancer fund he co-founded in the memory of Joan. He was very active in every church parish he belonged to throughout his adult life - most recently at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Blairsville, GA, where he was a long time choir member, cantor, and president of the finance council.
Richard was very gregarious and had many interests that always made him close friends regardless of where he lived. He was a good neighbor and a good friend. A natural athlete, he played tennis religiously for nearly forty years - from his ALTA days in Roswell to his gang on the courts of Young Harris College (even as he began to suffer the effects of his cancer medication). A great father and the consummate family man, Richard was most content when entertaining his ever-growing family at his home on the shores of Lake Chatuge in Hiawasee. He will be missed greatly by all those who knew and loved him - family, friends, and everyone touched by his life.
In lieu of flowers, a donation to any one of the following organizations dear to Richard's heart is welcome: Ignatius House Jesuit Retreat Center[www.ignatiushouse.org
; 6700 Riverside Drive NW, Atlanta, GA 30328], Food for the Poor [www.foodforthepoor.org
; P.O. Box 979005, Coconut Creek, FL 33097-9005], or The Joan Gaeta Lung Cancer Fund [www.forjoan.org
; 860 Johnson Ferry Road, Suite 140-373, Atlanta, GA 30342].
Mountain View Funeral Home of Blairsville is in charge of the arrangements. You may sign the family guest book and send condolences on line at www.mounta inviewfuneralhome.com