Gil Petramalo

Obituary of Gil Petramalo

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Gilbert Petramalo, 85 years old, returned to his Father in Heaven on April 27, 2022 at Twin Falls, Idaho. He was born on May 6, 1936 in Rochester, New York, one of five children (3 girls and 2 boys) born to Thomas Petramalo and Mary Frances Williamson Petramalo. He is survived by Gretchen Smith Petramalo, his loving wife of 64 years, three sons – Thomas (Catherine-Jo), Michael (Ruth Ann) and Daniel Petramalo, 14 grandchildren, 31 great-grandchildren, his sisters Constance Wieschenberg and Donna Gainsborough, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, his twin brother, Thomas Petramalo, his sister Barbara Petramalo DeBurgomaster Nolan, and his sweet daughter-in-law, Ruth Ann Ray Petramalo. Gil joined the United States Air Force when he was 17 years old and retired in 1974 after serving 20 years. During his military career he was a member of the 90th Bomb Squadron, the Para-Dice Squadron. As a maintenance technician he worked on B-26, B-52 and B-57 bombers and was later assigned to the Strategic Air Command (SAC). Gil served in Korea and then the entire bomber wing was moved to Johnson Air Force Base in Japan. While in Japan Gil enrolled in a local judo course and joined a Japanese Judo Club as well as attending the Kodokan Institute in Tokyo. Before leaving Japan he earned a First Degree Black Belt in Judo. Gil became acquainted with a French Franciscan priest while in Japan who asked him to help at an orphanage he was in charge of in Tokorozawa. Gil took the train every day after work at the air force base and spent his evenings and weekends helping with 32 young Japanese boys. They played baseball for hours on end, took lots of hikes and he assisted in teaching them English. In addition to working at the orphanage Gil assisted the priest at a local leper colony. Gil was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having joined the church as a convert when he was 42 years old. Gil served faithfully in many callings in the church. Gil and Gretchen served 10 full-time missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints following their conversion. Locations for those missions included London, England; Ghana, West Africa; India, Singapore, Indonesia; Tanzania, East Africa; Salt Lake City, Utah; Rochester, New York Historical Sites; Washington D.C. North and Honolulu, Hawaii. Gil was called to preside over the Ghana West Africa Mission in 1988. The joy and focus of his life was to share with others the knowledge that we have a Father in heaven who loves us and that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. Gil had many interests in life! He loved the outdoors! He especially enjoyed fishing, hunting, trapping, hiking, biking, camping, running marathons, white-water rafting, and climbing mountains! Some of the more special events are listed in the following paragraphs. In 1980 Gil bicycled from Seattle to San Francisco with his sons, a distance of more than 800 miles. In 1985 Gil and Gretchen walked across Denmark together, a distance of 186 miles in 6 days, walking an average of 30 miles each day. In the summer of 1990 Gil bicycled (pedal power) across the United States, ocean to ocean, a distance of 5,235 miles. When he left Anacortes, Washington he dipped the back wheel of his bicycle in the Pacific Ocean and when he arrived in Belfast, Maine he rode right into the water completely submerging his front wheel in the Atlantic Ocean! In 1997 Gil participated in the reenactment of the original trek made by Mormon pioneers from Omaha, Nebraska (Winter Quarters) to Salt Lake City, Utah, April 21st – July 22nd, covering more than 1,000 miles. He walked the entire distance pulling a handcart with his grandson, Joseph Petramalo. Gil started running marathons when he was in his 50s and continued running well into his 70s, running a total of 13 marathons. When Gil was 73 years old he hiked 700 miles on the Appalachian Trail which begins in Georgia and ends in Maine. His son, Tom and grandson, Tommy, joined Gil to hike 101 miles of the trail that winds its way through Shenandoah National Park. Gil especially enjoyed a quote attributed to George Bernard Shaw which reads: “I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no ‘brief candle’ to me. It is sort of a splendid torch which I have got hold of for a moment and I want to make it burn, as brightly as possible, before handing it on to future generations.” Gil requested the following scripture be used at the closing of his life. It is taken from 2nd Timothy, Chapter 4, verse 7: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith!” A funeral service will be held on Saturday, May 14, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 421 Maurice St. North, Twin Falls, Idaho. Rosenau Funeral Home & Crematory, 2826 Addison Avenue East, Twin Falls, Idaho 83301 (208) 944-3373 is in charge of all preparations and information.
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Funeral Service

10:00 am
Saturday, May 14, 2022
Maurice St. LDS Chapel
425 Maurice St. N
Twin Falls, Idaho, United States