John B. Gaeth, age 73, of Bluffton, SC died Sunday, August 4, 2019, at Hilton Head Hospital. He was surrounded by his family at the time of his passing.
John was born December 4, 1945, in Defiance, OH, son of the late Ben & Thelma Gaeth (nee John). He attended Bowling Green State University where he met his wife, Annette (nee Gajewski). He pledged Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and graduated with a business degree. Having completed Air Force ROTC, John was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and left for training. After a year of flight school John was assigned to pilot a C-123K in Vietnam with Operation Ranch Hand. During his tour he received numerous medals, including a Purple Heart. After his war service, he flew a C-141 out of McChord Air Force Base in Tacoma, WA.
After five years in the Air Force, John worked in Human Resources for 36 years, including for Westinghouse and Mansfield Products Company in Mansfield, OH, HPM in Mt. Gilead, OH, and James A. Rhodes State College in Lima, OH. He was a respected leader in Rotary Club, American Heart Association, SHRM, Lima Memorial Hospital, Elks, and United Way, among others; and an active member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Mansfield and Zion Lutheran Church in Lima. After retiring to Sun City in Bluffton, SC in 2013, John was an active volunteer with Staying Connected and Sun City Veterans Association, and a member of The Church of the Cross.
John was an avid traveler with his wife, Annette. Over the years, they traveled to Japan, the Caribbean, Canada, Central America, all over the United States —including many National Parks—and much of Europe, with a trip to Paris and Normandy just this May.
John is survived by his beloved wife of nearly 52 years, Annette; children Jill Hughes (Bob) of Bellefontaine, OH, Michael of Deerfield Beach, FL, and Kate Davis (Mark) of Shaker Heights, OH; his grandchildren Ben, Megan, Andrew, Maggie, and Matthew who filled his heart with pride and joy; and his brother William (Bonnie), and sister Gretchen Landes (Chris).
A memorial service will be held on Monday, August 12, 2019, at 11:00 am at The Church of the Cross, 110 Calhoun Street, Bluffton, SC 29910, with a reception immediately after. Military burial will take place at 2:00pm on Monday, August 12, 2019, at Beaufort National Cemetery, 1601 Boundary Street, Beaufort, SC 29902.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to The Church of The Cross, PO Box 278, Bluffton, SC 29910 or Lima Rotary Club Scholarship, PO Box 1111, Lima, OH 45802.