Michael T. Ebetino was born April 12, 1915 in Rye, NY the son of Salvatore and Angelean (Vallarelli) Ebetino. They lived at 15 West Purdy Avenue in Rye and they owned their home then valued at $43,000 ($817,000 in today’s money). According to the 1940 census Rye had a small population at the time with only 9,865 people. Michael lived with his parents, his older sister Stella and her children Lucille, Albert, and Salvatore Jr. along with two lodgers Joseph Gewertzman and William Stward. Michael’s father and sister were born in Italy and later naturalized as U.S. citizens. His father left elementary school after the 3rd grade while his sister completed two years of high school and Michael was a Rye High School graduate, Class of 1935.. His father was at that time 65 years old and retired, his sister did home housework, and Michael worked as a bookkeeper and an office machine operator. Michael’s family were members of the Church of the Resurrection.
Michael was very active in high school and throughout the community. In school, Michael played checkers, chess, baseball, and acted in school plays. He received the varsity letter for baseball. Outside of school, Michael participated in more sports and volunteered his time supporting many activities. He was manager of the Rye town baseball team and played on the YMCA Ping Pong team. He also worked for school dances, local dinners, the community chest, and the Rye branch of Red Cross.
Michael later enlisted in the army in April of 1942, serving in the US Army. During this time he excelled up through the military ranks being promoted to Technical Sergeant, Master Sergeant and Captain. During WWII, according to the Rye Chronicle, Michael wrote of meeting other Rye boys in London, provided information of his contacts with people in France, and shared his thanks for the Christmas packages sent from home.
After the war he married Mary Basso and had a daughter. He helped around town with local baseball and basketball events, sending in suggestions for town organization in Rye, was the Treasurer of the Civil Association of Rye, the Civic Welfare chairman, participated in the community chest and spent his free time enjoying golf. He also continued his service in the army, attending finance school and officer courses.
Lt. Col. Michael Thomas Ebetino served in the U. S. Army for 26 years retiring in 1967, a veteran of WWII, Korea and Vietnam. He received the Army Commendation Ribbon, European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Army Occupation Medal, WWII Victory Medal, Korean Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and the United Nations Service Medal.
After his military service he became the Chief Bank Auditor of the Central Jersey Bank in Freehold, NJ. He lived in Oakhurst, NJ for many years before retiring to Fort Myers, Florida. He continued to stay involved in his new community being a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, The Disabled American Veterans, The American Legion, and the Retired Officers Association.
Michael passed away in Ft Myers FL on June 16th, 2008 at the age of 93. At the time of his death he was survived by his beloved daughter Ann-Marie Shields of Fort Myers and two grandchildren Danielle and Christopher Shields. He was predeceased by his loving wife Mary Basso Ebetino in 2002. Lt. Col. Michael Thomas Ebetino was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.
Rye High School, Class of 2024
Sources: Census Records, Rye Chronicles, Enlistment Record, Obituary