COLETTA, Gerard C. "Jerry" USAF, retired, 88, of Lexington formerly of Arlington, died peacefully Tuesday morning, July 20, 2010, joining his wife of 61 years, the late Eileen (Barrett) Coletta. He was the son of the late Anthony and Emily Coletta and the brother of the late Gilbert Coletta. Mr. Coletta served bravely during World War II in the European Theater, flying 30 missions as a B-17 navigator; he also attained the rank of Lt. Colonel in the 102nd Tactical Fighter Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard. He earned a business degree from Boston College, taking night classes while working during the day. After retirement from many years of civilian service in the Electronic Systems Division at Hanscom Air Force Base, he returned to school once again to pursue a life-long passion, attaining a degree in social work and devoting his time to care for the elderly as a case worker at Minuteman Home Care in Lexington. He served on the board of the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, and was honored by the Commission for his accomplishments; he was also a member of the Board of Directors for the Visiting Nurses Association in Arlington. He is survived by three sons, Gerard Coletta, Jr. and his wife Pamela of Carlisle, Lawrence Coletta and his wife Geraldine of Mendon, and David Coletta and his wife Laura of Cohasset; four daughters, Deborah Coletta and friend Janet Otovic of Waltham, Ellen Azar and her husband David of Cambridge, Mary "Connie" Moyer and her husband Arthur of Hampstead, N.H., and Julie Gallagher and her husband Robert of Scituate; 13 grandchildren; 4 great grandchildren; and a brother-in-law, Charles Barrett and his wife Marie of Milton. He was also predeceased by a grandson. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend a Funeral Mass on Thursday, July 22, at 9am, St. Camillus Church, 1175 Concord Turnpike (Route 2), Arlington. A private Burial Service will be held at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Chick's memory to the Perkins School for the Blind, 175 North Beacon Street, Watertown, MA 02472. Arrangements are under the care of the Keefe Funeral Home, ARLINGTON. For online condolences, visit www.keefefuneralhome.com
Published by Boston Globe on Jul. 21, 2010.