Walter Gaj, Sr., 86, of New Bedford died Tuesday December 23, 2013 at Hathaway Manor after a period of declining health. He was the beloved husband of Gladys J. (Jaworski) Gaj; they had been married for 59 years.
Born in New Bedford, the son of the late Frank and Karolina (Hop) Gaj, he lived in New Bedford for most of his life.
Walter graduated from New Bedford Vocational High School in 1945 and later attended classes at New Bedford Textile Institute, now UMass Dartmouth. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II, having been stationed with the occupation forces in China.
After being discharged from the Marines, he worked as a machinist at the Continental Screw Company for ten years, participating in the Holtite bowling and softball clubs. He later served as a police officer for the New Bedford Police Department for 25 years prior to retiring.
He was a member of the Polish Benefit Club, the Massachusetts Police Association, the New Bedford Police Association, the Polish-American War Veterans Association, and the Retired State, County, and Municipal Employees Association of Massachusetts.
An avid gardener, he loved the outdoors and taking care of the many trees and bushes at his former beach home in Mattapoisett and at his home in New Bedford.
He is survived by his wife, Gladys; his children, Debra Ann Treager and her husband Jeffrey of Wausau, Wisconsin and Walter Gaj, Jr. and his wife Brenda of Fairhaven; two brothers, Mitchell Gaj and Stanley Gaj, both of New Bedford; five grandchildren, Adam, Eric, and Emma Treager, and Miranda Jean and Matthew Walter Gaj; and nieces and nephews.
He was the brother of the late Joseph and Edward Gaj and Genevieve Molleo Peltz.
The family would like to thank the staff of Hathaway Manor for their patience and kindness in caring for Walter during his illness.
His Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday at 10 AM at Holy Name of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church. Burial will follow in Sacred Heart Cemetery. Visiting hours will be on Friday from 4-8 PM at the Saunders-Dwyer Home for Funerals, 495 Park St., New Bedford. For directions and guestbook, please visit www.saundersdwyer.com.