March 6, 1944-July 29, 2023
Menlo Park & Portola Valley, California
John Gaetano, formerly of Menlo Park and Portola Valley passed away peacefully at 79 surrounded by his family in El Dorado Hills, CA. John was born March 6, 1944 in San Jose, CA to Clara (Geraci) and Dominic Gaetano.
A lifelong peninsula resident, he grew up and raised his family in Menlo Park and Portola Valley. As a young man, he was known among friends for his athleticism, as he was a state champion wrestler, and played semi-professional football in later years with an offer to participate in the San Diego Chargers training camp before injury changed his path. He worked in the sporting goods industry for his entire career and was particularly proud of his accomplishments in the football and boxing industries with Tuf-Wear Inc. and Dial-a-Down. He built strong ties with the NFL, NCAA, as well as the US Olympic Boxing team. He was also proud to have served as varsity softball coach at Menlo-Atherton HS in the late 1980’s for his daughter Nicole’s team..
He was a dedicated husband of 37 years to the late Donna (Skrabo), the love of his life from the time they met as teenagers. He was the adored father of Nicole Hughes, Nino Gaetano, and John-Nick Gaetano. His pride and joy were his seven grandchildren; Carter (23) and Taylor (16) Hughes; Leo (13) and DonnaBella (17) Gaetano; and Grace (12), Eleanor (10), and Lucas (6) Gaetano. His legacy also lives on through his brother and sister in law Paul and Donna Gaetano, and their children Lia and Nick Gaetano. John’s journey in life may have come to an end, but the impact he had on those who knew him will remain etched in their hearts forever. His kindness, wisdom, and love will be remembered by all who had the privilege of knowing him.