Thomas J. Gargiulo

Thomas J. Gargiulo, age 98, former long-time resident of Norwalk, CT and West Palm Beach, FL passed away very peacefully at home in Prior Lake, Minnesota Monday evening after a brief illness with his loving wife, Mary, and devoted daughter, Maryanne, by his side; shortly after listening to his NY Yankees win their eighth straight game.

Born June 13, 1918 in Stratford, CT to Carmela and Gaetano Gargiulo, he was the middle child of 11 siblings, all of whom predeceased him. Tom was decorated for distinguished service in WWII, surviving both The Battle of the Bulge and POW internment in Germany. The traumatic memories of those experiences were deeply troubling and remained with him. As a result, he became a staunch pacifist. He believed that no one should ever again endure what he and his fellow soldiers had. Many years later, Tom found emotional release, in part, through the unconditional love of his golden retriever, Smokey, with whom he was inseparable.

Tom led a remarkable life. A proud man of tremendous strength in all regards, he was lovingly dedicated to putting family, friends, and country first. As a young boy, he decided to leave school to help support his family whom he cared for deeply. Despite this, Tom displayed both intelligence and an innate wisdom throughout his life. His career began building Corsairs at Sikorsky Aircraft where he witnessed Igor Sikorsky’s test flights of the first helicopter prototypes. Post-war studies led to a career as a master mechanic, even fabricating some of the tools that he used. However, Tom’s true love was for woodworking and for fastidiously maintaining his yard in Norwalk which he did with great pride into his 98th year.

Tom loved socializing with his family and friends, the Florida sunshine, making new friends, music, bowling, playing baseball and was adept at both pool and cards. An intensely passionate NY Yankees fan for ninety years, he rarely missed a game, critiquing every managerial and front office move as a true student of the game. Tom was a loyal friend to all without exception, had a great sense of humor and was always willing to lend a hand. A good man.

He is survived by Mary his loving wife of 73 years; daughter, Maryanne Running and her husband, Darcy; son, Tom Gargiulo; grandchildren, Christin Tackett and her husband, Duane, Meghan Running, and Drew Running.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Tom’s honor to Disabled American Veterans, PO Box 14301, Cincinnati Ohio 45250 ( DAV.org ) or the Honoring Veterans Fund, Allina Health Hospice Foundation, 3915 Golden Valley Rd, Minneapolis, MN  55422 ( https://www.allinahealth.org/Medical-Services/Chronic-and-advanced-illness/Hospice )

A Mass of Christian Burial with military honors will be held Friday morning April 21, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Michael Catholic Church, Prior Lake.  A memorial Mass and internment will follow at a later date in Connecticut. For online condolences visit www.ballardsunderfuneral.com

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Condolence Messages

  1. Juanita Castillo :

    I am so sorry for your loss. My prayers go to family.

  2. Jennifer Trichie :

    My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

  3. Holly Charney Yurch :

    So sorry to hear of Uncle Toms passing ,sympathy to all the family

  4. Sorry to hear about Tom’s passing. I learned more about him from the obituary than I ever knew from the time I was a young boy and for the many years I worked with him at Valleries. I ran the business from 1974 until 1998 and have only fond memories of him. He always did his job well with no fuss or problems. A real master mechanic.

  5. ~ The Family of Tom Gargiulo :

    A Mass of Christian Burial will be held for Tom at 10:00 AM on Friday, May 5, 2017 at St. Jerome’s Church, Norwalk, CT. Internment to follow at St. John’s Cemetery in Norwalk.

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