Gaetano Martini, former WBCB personality and natural Santa, passed away Tuesday, Jan. 7 of a heart attack. Now his son and those who knew him are rallying to raise funds for a funeral and burial.
As the host of The Italian American Hour and Doo Wop with Gaet Martini, he reached many in the Levittown and Lower Bucks through the airwaves. He also spread holiday cheer to children throughout the Delaware Valley Area as Santa.
A viewing is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 11 at Calvary Full Gospel Church, according to son Paul Martini. The viewing will begins at 10 a.m., with a funeral service will starting at 11 a.m.
Paul reached out late Wednesday evening to his friends and family, asking for support. He created a Go Fund Me page asking for $15,000 in donations to give his father a proper ceremony.
“My father’s life insurance policy expired a year ago and due to his health he was unable to renew it. As such, my family and I are trying to come up with the funds to pay for a proper funeral and burial.”
In less than 48 hours, the page exceeded Paul’s goal. As of 5:30 p.m. Friday, it has earned $15,457.
Gaetano Martini’s legacy lives on through his family and friends, and also through Santa Scott. More than 20 years ago, Gaet took Scott Diethorne under his wing, transforming him into Santa Scott. After a long tenure at Oxford Valley Mall, he joined the Fairless Hills Garden Center in 2018.
Santa Scott says the news of Gaet’s passing shattered his day into a billion pieces.” Diethorne posted lessons he learned while training with Martini on Facebook.
“One thing that sticks in my head is we used to joke around and I would say thanks for taking me under your beard and teaching me the ropes. And he would just laugh or do one of his impressions and we will crack up in the break room.”
Calvary Full Gospel Church is located at 676 Lincoln Hwy in Fairless Hills.