Gaytan J. Saia, 88, died Friday, November 28, 2008 in Abilene. Funeral mass with Msgr. Fred Nawarskas officiating will be held at 3:30 PM on Tuesday, December 2nd at the Holy Family Catholic Church. A private entombment will be held in Elmwood Memorial Park. Mr. Saia will be moved to the new Texas State Veterans Cemetery when it opens at a later date.
Gaytan was born the son of Sam Saia and Grace Maggio Saia on June 27, 1920 in Helena, Arkansas where he grew up and graduated from High School. He joined the Navy on his 21st birthday and served until 1947, seeing the invasion of Okinawa in 1945 and witnessing atomic bomb testing at Bikini Atoll in July of 1946. After two years away from the service, he enlisted in the Army in 1949 and served until 1963. In 1966, he was recalled to active duty for service in Vietnam and retired a second time in October of 1969. Gaytan had accumulated a total of 24 years in service to our country.
After his life in the military, Mr. Saia graduated from the University of Las Vegas and became a Registered Nurse. He worked several years at the El Paso State School and later came to Abilene after taking a position with PASSAR as a nursing home inspector. He was a member of DAV, American Legion, VFW and NCOA. Mr. Saia was an active member of the Holy Family Catholic Church.
Survivors include his wife of 31 years, Carol Saia of Abilene; two sons, Gaytan Saia Jr. and wife, Jeannette of Georgia and James Saia and wife Amy of Pennsylvania; one daughter, Kitty Gelberd and husband Morton of Florida; three step-sons, Anthony Lally and wife Mary of Hawthorn Wood, Illinois, Thomas Lally and wife Kathy of Romeoville, Illinois, and Timothy Lally and wife Monica of Aurora, Illinois; five sisters, Florine Walters, Sister Grace Saia, SCN, Virginia Egan and husband Leo, Joy Hibbard and husband Pete, and Agnes Smith and husband J.T.; 16 grandchildren, Dory, Jake, Jana, Luke, Riley, Brandon, Emory, Cody, Maggie, Sam, Stacy, Lisa, Tommy, T.J., Ryan and Paul.
His parents and three brothers preceded him in death.
I just read the obituary. Although I never knew Mr. Saia, I knew Kitty and Guy in High School. My deepest sympathies to the whole family.
Hank BasseCedar Park, TX
My dear sweet brother you are so missed and so loved.
You will forever be in my heart.
Agnes R. SmithBrownsville, TN
Ive missed you for many years, and now I miss you even more I love you with everything in me......I will see you at the pearly gates.....your little angel
Jana SaiaJacksonville, FL
just wanted to express our deepest sadness and our love. We all love you and loved Dad very much Just know that our thoughts and prayers are with you. We are truley sorry that we cannot be there with you Tuesday. We will however be there in spirit. Love you always
Your Son and DaughterInLaw
Guy and Jennette Saia
Mr. Mrs. Gaytan J. Saia Jr.Plains, GA