Written by Joe Scotchie, JScotchie@Antonnews.com Wednesday, 30 October 2013 13:24
Longtime Roslyn Harbor resident Monte Getler hasn’t made it to 100 yet, but he’s getting there. Last Sunday, surrounded by loving friends and family, he celebrated his 95th birthday.
Getler attributes his longevity to “choosing the right woman to marry,” his wife, Helen. The couple is still going strong as they celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary on October 26.
“We love living in Roslyn,” Getler told The Roslyn News. “It’s very historic and has changed little over the years. Our children grew up here, and the school system has always been wonderful.” The Getlers have lived in the village since 1957 and naturally, have no plans of moving.
The day allowed Getler to reflect not only on the success of his immediate family members, but also on more distant relatives who have also achieved important things in the world at large.
“I am very proud of our nephew Eric Isaacs who is the head of the Argonne National Laboratories outside of Chicago,” he said. “It was great that he flew in for my party. I always love to hear from him about the latest developments in physics they’re working on at Argonne. And we were thrilled when our cousin Tom Sargent won the Nobel Prize in Economics two years ago. We are fortunate to have two such accomplished people in our family.”
A mechanical engineer by profession, Getler has long been active in the cultural and political life of Roslyn. He worked closely with Dr. Roger Gerry in the preservation of historic homes in the village. He is also a former president of the Roslyn Democratic Club. In 1962, he worked towards electing Eugene Nickerson as Nassau County’s first Democratic county executive. In the world of politics, he formed friendships with not just Nickerson, but also Hubert Humphrey and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., plus the futuristic author. Buckminster Fuller.
“The most memorable political campaign we were involved in was when Gene Nickerson ran successfully for county executive,” Getler said of his time in politics. “It was great to finally get a Democrat elected in Nassau County.”
On the subject of historic preservation and environmentalism, Getler worked not only with Dr. Gerry, but also with a famous neighbor, William J. Casey, who was Director of the Central Intelligence Agency during the administration of Ronald Reagan.
“We met our neighbor Bill Casey when we formed the Better Roslyn Association together to assure that the proposed incinerator in Roslyn would not be an environmental blight,” Getler recalled.
Getler was also involved in the Roslyn School District, where he was treasurer of the school board.
Early in his life, Getler displayed a talent for engineering as he once received an award from Amelia Earhart when he was a young model plane builder. A World War II veteran, he served on an aircraft carrier during that conflict. After the war, he began his career as a mechanical engineer and business owner making pipe connectors for nuclear submarines, among other projects. That took him to Roslyn, where he continues to enjoy the comforts of family and friends.