NEW YORK — Kathie Garetti, a layout editor at Fairchild Publications since 1989, died Monday at Muhlenberg Hospital in Bethlehem, Pa., after suffering a heart attack while taking a scuba-diving class at a nearby quarry. She was 56.
Garetti, a graduate of CUNY Staten Island, came to Fairchild as a copy editor on the now defunct M magazine, working there until 1992. After several months as a freelance copy editor for other Fairchild newspapers, she became a permanent part of the WWD layout desk in 1993, quickly becoming one of its most valuable members.
Her strength was an ability to remain unflappable under the frenetic deadline pressures that accompany the production of a daily newspaper — and to do so while transmitting a sense of serenity and congeniality to her colleagues.
At the time of her death, Garetti was working toward certification as a scuba diver, an activity that reflected the breadth of her interests. She was an enthusiastic sailor, and she was the organist and choir leader for the Church of the Assumption on Staten Island, where she lived. She was also a member of the Staten Island Home Brewers Association and the New York City Home Brewers Association, often bringing samples of her results to share with co-workers.
Garetti, whose husband, John, died in 1995, is survived by two sons and daughters-in-law, John and Claudia Garetti and Anthony and Catrina Garetti; a sister and brother-in-law, Eileen and Dino Mangione; a grandson, John Michael Garetti; two nephews, Christopher and Matthew Mangione; a niece, Elizabeth Mangione, and an aunt, Millie Mussmacher.
Services have been scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Church of the Assumption, 15 Webster Avenue, Staten Island.