Eli Vetrano was born October 9, 1928, the 12th of 13 children born to Michael and Margaret Vetrano of Yonkers, New York. Eli Vetrano attended Yonkers Public Schools, and learned his trade as a Carpenter while a student at Saunders High School. Eli served in the United States Army from 1950 through November of 1952, and was stationed in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and Tulle, Greenland, helping to bring in supplies to build the Air Force Base there. Eli Vetrano received an honorable discharge from Governor’s Island as a Corporal in 1952. Since his discharge, Eli Vetrano has focused his talents on raising his family, helping veterans and supporting his faith.
He was named Grand Knight with the Cardinal Hayes Catholic Knights of Columbus Council, where he is a life member. As a Grand Knight, he has the responsibility of conducting monthly meetings and increasing membership, in addition to serving the community through food drives, working with young mothers, and striving to foster a spirit of patriotism and Catholic citizenship. Eli Vetrano comes from a family of Carpenters, Bricklayers and Union Leaders and worked for more than sixty years as a carpenter specializing in kitchen remodeling and was a proud member of the Carpenters Union, Local 188. Eli along with the help of his family built his home on Rumsey Road in 1987.
Eli has been affiliated with the American Legion for more than fifteen years. He served as Commander of the Donald M. Konrade Post 1954 for sixteen years and was Chairman of the Central Committee of War Veterans of Yonkers for two years. In addition, he served as Chairman of the Color it Proud Flag Contest for Public and Catholic Schools in Yonkers and as Chairman of the Veterans Memorial Day Mass for several years.
Eli Vetrano also served as Sergeant-at-Arms for the Westchester County American Legion of New York from 2004 to 2007, and served on the Westchester County National Commander’s Dinner Committee from 2006 to 2008, was on the Westchester County Executive Committee from 2004 to 2008, and also served as Westchester County Vice-Commander from 2007 through 2008. In addition to these major appointments, Eli Vetrano directed the building of one of the first Gold Star Mother’s Monuments in New York State. Additionally, he was the Memorial Day Parade Chairmen for two years, and has directed the Memorial Day Ceremony at the Homefield House in Yonkers.
He was instrumental in the Vietnam Dignity Memorial Wall coming to Yonkers in 2009; he has been fully involved in the City of Yonkers Veterans Appreciation Day, and the Westchester/Yonkers Veterans Standown in 2009. For many years, Eli helped to decorate the graves of every veteran, police officer and fireman for Memorial Day, bringing them much deserved honor and he has assisted with the Enrico Fermi Scholarship Award Breakfast. Eli Vetrano married the former Rose Gianzero on September 15, 1951, and they are the proud parents of two children and two grandchildren. Their son Frank Sr., his wife Kathy (Iannelli) and their two grandchildren, Frank Jr. and Katie, as well as their daughter Anita, and her husband Frank Pagnotta, have enriched their lives beyond measure. Eli Vetrano has been a true patriot, veteran, community member and family man and it is with great honor that he is recommended for this special honor by New York State.