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October 14, 1942 ~ February 10, 2023 (age 80) 80 Years Old
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Michael Gatcha peacefully passed away Friday, February 10, 2023, surrounded by loved ones at the VA Medical Center in Orlando, Florida. An incredibly welcoming and friendly man, he famously claimed to have had “one foot on a banana peel and the other one on a tombstone,” since the early 1990s. Ultimately, he lost a 16-month battle with cancer at the age of 80.
Known as Dad, Mickey, Mike, or Pop-Pop, his universe revolved around his beloved wife of 56 years, Rosemarie, his children, and his grandchildren.
Michael was a 1959 graduate of Wilkes-Barre Township High School. He attended Fairleigh Dickinson University before joining the United States Navy in 1961. Michael served as an aircraft carrier Plane Captain, working on advanced semiconductor development and naval satellite telecommunications. Michael served with distinction during the Cuban Missile Crisis and was honorably discharged from the US Navy Reserves in 1966 after earning the National Defense Service Medal and the Navy Good Conduct Medal. He was based primarily out of Cecil Field in Jacksonville, FL, and Oceania Naval Base in Norfolk, VA.
After the Navy, Michael accepted an employment offer with Bell Labs in New Jersey, furthering wireless transistor research and development. A few years later, Pennsylvania called him back home to start a family and a long career with the United Parcel Service. Michael relished the opportunity to save the day with a timely medical or holiday delivery. Or, at the very least, to brighten up the day of the customers on his route. He adeptly delivered funny one-liners and self-deprecating jokes along with those UPS packages for more than 3 decades.
Outside of work, he was a member of the Knights of Columbus Assembly 1928, the Lions Club, and
Teamsters Local 229. Michael coached in both the Bear Creek Township Little League and Flag Football League for over 10 years. He served as Chairman of the Bear Creek Township Board of Supervisors from 1987-1999, and a Meadow Run/Mountain Lake Park Association Board Member. He proudly functioned as a member of the Board of Governors at Diamond Resorts International and Resort Condominiums
International for nearly 40 years, successfully transitioning old motel properties into world-class
vacation resort destinations.
Michael always said he was the nicest guy you’d ever want to meet, and if you didn’t believe him, you could just ask him. He was happiest when working the grill at Mountain Lake get-togethers, bowling perfect games, catching largemouth bass in the white canoe, cheering on Penn State, playing with his grandchildren, or traveling to warmer weather. Perhaps fittingly, Michael left this life while on vacation at his favorite resort in Florida, with his family, doing something he absolutely loved.
Preceding Michael in death are his mother, Anna Hannick; father, George Gatcha; brother, Daniel
Gatcha; and granddaughter, Cassie Ann Gatcha. Surviving is his wife, Rosemarie Gatcha; and his
children: Michael B. Gatcha, Mark A. Gatcha, Donna Hines, and David J. Gatcha; in addition to seven grandchildren.
His Memorial Gathering will be held Friday, March 3rd from 5-7pm at John V Morris Funeral Home, 625 N Main St., Wilkes-Barre. The Funeral Mass will be Saturday, March 4 th at 10 am at St. Elizabeth’s Church, 5700 Bear
Creek Boulevard, Bear Creek Twp. Burial with military honors will be at 11:30am at Chapel Lawn Memorial Park, 4115 Memorial Highway, Dallas. Followed by a funeral luncheon at Amber Palace, 228 George Ave.Parsons.