July 13, 1915 – Nov. 26, 2015
Gerald F. Fredette, a Bethlehem Steel retiree and World War II army veteran, died Thursday in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital. He was 100.
He was born in Tonawanda, one of nine children, and grew up in an orphanage with his other siblings, two of whom died of influenza at young ages.
He attended Seneca Vocational where he ran track, excelling in the mile.
After high school, he was already working at Bethlehem Steel when he was drafted into the army.
During the war, Mr. Fredette served in Italy, France and Germany. He was trapped in a fox hole for almost three months during the battle of Anzio Beach in Italy.
After being honorably discharged, he went back to Bethlehem where he worked for 41 years as an electrician, retiring in 1980.
The longtime Cheektowaga resident was a member of the Pvt. Leonard Post Jr. Veterans of Foreign Wars in Cheektowaga and an avid bowler.
Mr. Fredette recently was featured on a Smuckers jar to celebrate his 100th birthday.
His wife, the former Viola Steinagle, died in 1998.
He is survived by a daughter, Janine; and a son, Craig.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at Our Lady Help of Christians Church, 4125 Union Road, Cheektowaga.