We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Vander Plaat Funeral Home
Gwen Malatesta, 88,Wife…Mom…Grandma…Friend… died on Saturday, September 10th , 2022 surrounded by her beloved husband of 67 years and family. Born in Paterson, Gwen was a graduate of Eastside High School and New Jersey State Teachers College at Paterson. Days after graduation, she married her high school sweetheart, Frank Malatesta, and moved into the house he built for them. They were deeply in love for all of the 73 years they spent together. Gwen taught elementary school in Clifton for four years until the birth of their first child. While raising their two daughters, she helped start Frank Malatesta Moving & Storage. Later, she co-owned Horseless Carriage Carriers with Frank and remained active in the business. Gwen and Frank loved to travel with family and friends including many destinations across the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Europe. Some of their favorite trips were to Alaska with each of the grandchildren as preteens. Many of Gwen’s happiest memories were created spending weekends with their five grandchildren on Long Beach Island. She made sure not a single speck of sand touched the floor for over 35 years – it was truly the cleanest beach house in the world! Those who knew Gwen and Frank would describe Frank as a force of nature, but it was Gwen who ruled over the home and family. That was a good thing as her sense of spontaneity, love of travel, and ability to enjoy life’s little moments made everything better for us all. Her sassy wit always kept everyone on their toes and she relished every opportunity to be a part of what her kids and grandkids loved. She lived her life giving an abundance of love and support to her family and enjoyed many lifelong friendships. She was fun-loving, steadfast, thoughtful, generous, diligent, wise, candid, energetic, and a dancing queen. All-in-all, Gigi was pretty darn fabulous! Gwen is survived by her adoring husband Frank, daughters Kate Moore and Kymm Malatesta, grandchildren Brad Zak (wife, Aisley Carter), Zack Moore (partner, Jamie Figari and her sons, Mateo and Luca), Austin Zak (fiancée, Emily Addison), Reed Zak, and Mackenzie Moore.
Visiting hours will be Thursday, September 15th from 4 to 8 pm at Vander Plaat Funeral Home, 257 Godwin Avenue, Wyckoff. Funeral Mass will be held at the Church of Saint Elizabeth, 700 Wyckoff Avenue, Wyckoff on Friday, September 16th at 10 am. Interment will follow at George Washington Memorial Park, 234 Paramus Road, Paramus.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Hope Christian Services (formerly Eastern Christian Children’s Retreat).