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Soldier who served in World War II and Korea honored with street sign

NORTH BRUNSWICK – The final street naming of 2017 wrapped up with the symbolic naming of N. Boyd Parkway as Gaeta Way in North Brunswick.

The late Michael F. Gaeta was born on May 23, 1918, in Bayonne. He entered the U.S. Army in 1941 as a Private in the 44th Infantry Division. In 1942, he attended the Officers Training Center in North Carolina. He was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant.

Gaeta served in England as a captain during World War II and the Korean War. He served in the Army until 1946 and was recalled for duty in Korea from 1952-55, according to a proclamation read in his honor on Oct. 23.

He also served in the Army Reserves until 1967 when he was honorably discharged as a lieutenant colonel.

Gaeta was awarded numerous medals such as the Bronze Star, Good Conduct Medal, Korean Service Medal, American Defense Service Medal, a Presidential Citation as commander of his company and the World War II Victory Medal.

In 2006, he was the grand marshal in the North Brunswick Memorial Day Parade and in 2015 was named Veteran of the Year in North Brunswick.

Gaeta began teaching at Jamesburg High School in 1947. He went on to become the vice principal in 1950. From 1954-55, he taught Military Science at the University of Tennessee after returning from Korea. He then returned home to Jamesburg where he worked as the principal of Jamesburg High School until 1965, and then as superintendent from 1967-76, according to the proclamation. He retired in 1977 at the age of 59.

Gaeta was married to Ellanor for 68 years and they have three children: Michael Jr. married to Lorraine, Richard married to Katy, and Kathryn married to William. They also have eight grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. They lived in North Brunswick for 42 years before his passing on Aug. 9, 2016. Ellanor still resides in North Brunswick .

Gaeta was the 29th veteran family to be honored this year. To nominate a veteran for an honorary street sign, contact Lou Ann Benson at lbenson@northbrunswicknj.gov or 732-247-0922, ext. 475.

Pavers at North Brunswick Veterans Park are still available for purchase. Those ordered by March 1 will be installed by Memorial Day. For more information, contact Benson as well.

 

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