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Gerald Anthony Gatto, Jr.

November 6, 1948 February 21, 2020
Gerald Anthony Gatto, Jr.
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Obituary for Gerald Anthony Gatto, Jr.
Gerald “Jerry” Anthony Gatto, Jr. (Dad, Big Jer, Catman, Pop Pop), beloved husband, brother,
father and grandfather, died peacefully on February 21, 2020 at New York Presbyterian Hospital,
surrounded by his loving family. He was 71.
The son of the late Gerald A. Gatto and the late Frances Petrocelli Gatto, Jerry was born on
November 6, 1948 in Hackensack, NJ. He graduated from Wood-Ridge High School, where he played hockey, baseball, and ran track. He loved to make his fellow students laugh, and for this he was awarded “Class Cut-up” in the senior yearbook.
He was musically gifted. He was a self-taught guitar player and had a tremendous singing voice. He also wrote many of his own songs. When he was a teenager, he formed a band with his brother and two cousins, called “The Kuzins 4”, in which he was the lead singer.
Jerry was a decorated Navy veteran. He served his country during the Vietnam war, on the USS Dennis J Buckley, from 1968 – 1970, and served in the Naval Reserves until 1974. He was greatly admired by his fellow shipmates, and was given the title “Morale Booster” on his ship, for his ability to defuse a difficult situation, or comfort someone who had received bad news from home. He loved and respected his country unequivocally.
Jerry was an avid fisherman, and passed many a day fishing with his sons on Walton Lake; he also loved the ocean, spending every summer at the Jersey Shore. He was greatly loved at his favorite haunt in Middletown: Dunkin Donuts on Route 211. He was often teased that he was a celebrity there, like Norm in the TV show “Cheers!”, everybody would say “JERRY!!!” when he walked in. He also loved horror movies, the scarier the better!
He started his own business in 1981, “J. Gatto & Sons, Inc.”, a carpet cleaning and floor care
business which, against many odds, still exists to this day. He was greatly loved by his customers, whom he treated as family. He also worked for 14 years as the assistant manager of Custodial Staff at SUNY Orange, a position he loved and was loved in.
Above all, Gerald was a lover of life. He would often say how precious life was, how he had a
wonderful childhood, and a tremendous life in general. He loved people; he had an uncanny
ability to meet someone, and within hours, that person would tell him their life’s story. He
always seemed to know the exact words to comfort someone.
Most of all, he loved his children and grandchildren. He was known affectionately as Pop Pop to his grandkids, who adored him. He loved to tease them and make them laugh. Always a jokester, he made up stories, which he called “Fractured Fairy Tales”, inserting one of their names into the story, to their utter delight.
Jerry is survived by his loving wife, Diane Eccher Gatto, and by his beloved children, Gerald Gatto, III and his wife Nicole, Christopher Gatto and his wife Christine, Francesca LaRosa and John LaRosa. He is also survived by his deeply cherished grandchildren; James, Gerald, Grace and Jason Gatto, as well as his brother Thomas Gatto and his wife Theresa, and sister Mildred Biamonte and her husband Joseph, as well as many nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be from 5pm until 9pm on Tuesday, February 25, 2020 at Applebee-McPhillips
Funeral Home, 130 Highland Ave, Middletown, NY. A service to celebrate his beautiful life of love and compassion, will be held at 10 am on Wednesday, February 26, 2020, also at Applebee-McPhillips Funeral Home.
Family and friends wishing to make a donation in his name may do so to either Ronald McDonald
House or to Paralyzed Vets, or any Veterans organization
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Previous Events





5:00 PM 2/25/2020 5:00:00 PM - 9:00 PM 2/25/2020 9:00:00 PM
Applebee-McPhillips Funeral Home

130 Highland Ave.
Middletown, NY 10940

Applebee-McPhillips Funeral Home
130 Highland Ave. Middletown 10940 NY
United States





10:00 AM 2/26/2020 10:00:00 AM - 11:00 AM 2/26/2020 11:00:00 AM
Applebee-McPhillips Funeral Home

130 Highland Ave.
Middletown, NY 10940

Applebee-McPhillips Funeral Home
130 Highland Ave. Middletown 10940 NY
United States

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