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Catholic News Herald

Serving Christ and Connecting Catholics in Western North Carolina

122917 Gettelfinger smNEW ALBANY, Ind. — Deacon Robert Jerome Gettelfinger, decorated World War II veteran and beloved father of Dennis, Nancy, Teri and Geoff, passed away peacefully on Dec. 23, 2017, after a recent period of declining health. He was 96.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Dec. 30, 2017, at St. Bernard Church, located at 7600 Hwy. 337 N.W. in Depauw, Ind., with burial in the church cemetery.
He was born Oct. 23, 1921, in New Albany, Ind., to the late Raymond P. and Margaret S. Gettelfinger.

During World War II he served honorably with the U.S. Army Air Corps in the Burma/China theater and was decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross as well as the Legion of Merit. He went on as a career officer to serve in the U.S. Air Force for 27 years, retiring with the rank of colonel in the Strategic Air Command. He then began a second career with Educational Testing Service in Princeton, N.J., in computer operations. He retired in 1988 and moved with his wife Doris to Charlotte to live closer to his family.

As an active, lifetime member of the Catholic Church, he served as a permanent deacon for more than 30 years. He was ordained in the Diocese of Trenton, N.J., and served first at St. Paul's Church in Princeton, N.J., and then at St. Gabriel Church in Charlotte.

He was a devoted father and husband and was dearly loved and admired by his family.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife Doris M.

Gettelfinger; sister Jane F. Block; and brothers John B., Daniel J. and Raymond P. Gettelfinger.

Surviving family members include his children, Dennis, Nancy, Teri and Geoff; brother Ralph; sister Mary; and five grandchildren.

Swarens Funeral Home Inc. of Ramsey, Ind., was in charge of the arrangements.

— Catholic News Herald