Peter Frederick Gacek, age 72, husband of Patty Madler Gacek, peacefully passed away at Apple Rehab in Rocky Hill this Sunday, after a courageous battle with Frontotemporal Dementia. Peter was born in Southington CT, and raised in Berlin, CT by the late Peter J. And Catherine Gacek. He graduated from BHS in 1967, moving on to UCONN where he found a passion in social justice, organizing peaceful protests and student strikes for civil rights and against the Vietnam War. He went on to receive his master’s in education from Southern University and became an employee by the state of CT for 44 years as a Special Education teacher.
Peter’s greatest joy was his family, especially his kids and grandchildren. Peter shared and taught his profound love of music to his family, and all those he encountered, touching the lives of many. He was an avid Yankee fan, church choir singer, lover of his 56 Chevy Bel Air, and one hell of a softball player.
He is missed, loved, and survived by his wife Patty Gacek, his brother and sister-in-law, Richard and Donna Gacek, his 5 children and their spouses: Rebecca Gacek and Zach Love, Peter and Brittany Gacek, Mark and Joelle Phillips, Josh and Lisa Heredia, and Matthew Phillips. His 8 grandchildren: Amelia Houston, Hayley, Ethan, and Mason Phillips, Devin, Eli, Aubrey, and Luke Heredia, and his 2 great-grandchildren: Reese and Weston Phillips.
His burial will be a private ceremony, at Maple Hill cemetery in Berlin, CT. There will be a public service on Sunday the 8th, at Berlin Congregational Church at 1:30pm, however due to COVID restrictions seating will be limited and masks will be required. Donations can be made in his name to the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration, Children’s Music Fund, or the National Foundation for Cancer Research. Erickson-Hansen Funeral Home of Berlin is in charge of arrangements.
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