This man really saw a lot...seven major battles in the Pacific, all before he was 22!
Livingston, NJ - Kenneth A. De Ghetto, Ph.D, P.E., passed away peacefully in his home in Livingston, NJ, on September 27, 2016, a retired Chairman of the Board of Foster WheelerCorporation from 1982-1987 and a Navy World War II Veteran.
Born April 1, 1924 in Clifton, NJ, following his graduation from Clifton High School in 1941, he entered a four-year program at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, LI.Eighteen months later, at the onset of World War II, he became a cadet Midshipmen in the Atlantic transporting war supplies in 1942 to Glasgow, Scotland, and Casablanca. On New Years Eve 1942 he experienced his first German bomber raid. Returning to the academy, he received 3rd Assistant Marine engineers license.
At the age of 19 ½ he was activated as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy and assigned to the USS Cimarron AO22 in the Pacific Theater, where he participated in seven major battles, before being reassigned as Engineering Officer aboard the USS Taconic. Having received the rank of Lieutenant, in 1946 he resigned from the Navy and entered Rensselaer Polytechnic
Institute (RPI) in Troy, NY, graduating with a BMEC in June of 1950. He holds Professional Engineering licenses in the states of New York, New Jersey, Washington and Alaska.
Ken began his career with Foster Wheeler Corporation in 1951 as a Project Engineer, retiring 51 years later from a consulting agreement. His career included three years as CoChair of Foster Wheeler Italiana in Milan, Italy, and eight years as Managing Director and Chairman of Foster Wheeler Limited in London, England. In 1975 he became Chairman of
Foster Wheeler International, followed by Chairman of the Board.
On November 5, 1944, he married Helen Nee Schack, his wife of 72 years, who survives him along with his daughter, Donna MacConnel of Rhode Island and son Glenn De Ghetto of Tennessee, three grandchildren and four great grandchildren. A pillar in the community, Ken was currently serving as a Director of the Metro YMCA of the Oranges (since 2003), active member of the Rotary Club of Livingston Foundation, and Advisory Board member and fundraiser of the Engineering Department of RPI. As Chair at Kings Point Challenge he, with the help of Academy Superintendents, raised over $12 million for the Alumni Association Foundation Endowment.
He is also a member of Sigma XI, honorary scientific society, Tau Beta Pi honorary engineering society and Pi Tau honorary mechanical engineering society, and a fellow of the FIMechE and ASME. Long time member of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews Scotland and past president of the engineering Golfing Society of the UK, he participated in annual golf events until 2015. He loved golf and was often seen with the dawn patrol as a member of the Montclair Golf Club.
A private funeral was held. At Ken’s request, please consider making a contribution to the Metro “Y” of the
Oranges, 139 E. McClellan Ave, Livingston, NJ 07039.