Richard (Dick) G. Gelak
Richard (Dick) G. Gelak, 92, passed away peacefully Friday at his home surrounded by family and friends.
Born in Trenton, he lived in Cherry Hill for 61years.
Richard attended Trenton Central High School – Class of 1941, after which he enlisted in the Navy. He is a veteran of WWII, most notably serving in the Guadalcanal Campaign as an aviation metal smith at Henderson airfield as part of the Acorn Red 1 unit.
Following an honorable discharge in 1946, Richard attended the Philadelphia Museum School of Art for Industrial Design.
Richard was a self employed model maker/industrial designer. He owned and operated Richard Gelak Associates in Runnemede, NJ for 32 years.
After he sold the business and retired in 1992, he enjoyed photography and painting for which he won numerous awards. Reliving his youth he also enjoyed building model airplanes and ships.
Preceding his retirement, Richard realized his love of sailing. The family owned several sailboats over the years, sailing on both the Barnegat and Chesapeake Bays and making life-long friends along the way.
Richard, son of the late John “Jack” and Mary (Wasco) Gelak, brother of the late Dolores Angeline, is survived by his wife of 69 years, Mary (Dzurisin); two daughters, Sandra Gelak of Cherry Hill and Barbara Kavanagh of Ashburn, VA; 3 grandchildren, Drew and Kelly Kavanagh and Alex Cooper; and many nieces and nephews including his sister’s children, Linda Angeline and Donna Chancellor.
The family will receive friends on Wednesday from 6 – 8pm at the M. William Murphy Funeral Home, 1863 Hamilton Ave., Hamilton, NJ 08619.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday at 9:30am in St. Raphael’s Church, 3500 Broad St., Hamilton.
Burial will follow in St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Cemetery #2.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you donate to one of the following charities: Navy-Marine Corps Relieve Society or Puppies Behind Bars, an organization that trains prison inmates to raise service dogs for wounded war veterans, among other purposes.
Posted on 21 Feb 2016 by MFH