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William Gelman
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William Gelman

William Gelman, 91, of Livingston died March 10, 2013. He was born in Newark.

Mr. Gelman, a retired Air Force colonel, was founder of Gelman Lumber Company and chairman of the board of Coldwell Banker Feist & Feist Realty Corp.

He graduated from West Side High School in Newark and obtained his BA at Montclair State University and a master of arts at New York University. As a member of the Air Force, he attended the Harvard University Graduate School of Business, where he participated in the first class of a statistical control program dealing with logistics and mathematics in military planning and operations. He also attended the National War College in Washington, DC.

He saw military service during World War II as a member of the U.S. Army Air Corps. As a member of the Air Force Reserve, he was later recalled to active duty during the Korean Conflict in 1951 and again during the Berlin Crisis of 1961, both as a member of the 108th Tactical Fighter Wing of the New Jersey Air National Guard. During his later tour, he served as Comptroller/Deputy for the Commanding Officer, Chaumont Air Force Base, France. Among his military awards are the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, World War II Victory Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Award, NJ Medal of Honor, NJ Distinguished Service Medal, and the NJ Vietnam Service Medal.

He served as president and member of the board of trustees of the Montclair State University Foundation and was presented with a Distinguished Alumni Award. He also served as president of Temple Beth Shalom in Livingston and as a member of its board of trustees and founded the William Gelman Graduated Dues Program. He was active for many years in United Jewish Appeal and was a recipient of the Masada Award.

Predeceased by his son Steven (Janet), he is survived by his wife of 59 years, Shelva; two sons, Marc (Wendy) and Robert (Lori); and seven grandchildren.

Services were held March 12 with arrangements by Bernheim-Apter-Kreitzman Suburban Funeral Chapel, Livingston. Memorial contributions may be made to the Temple Beth Shalom Steven A. Gelman Youth Fund or Montclair State University.

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