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Rev. Thomas F. Gardocki

1940 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Rev.  Thomas F. Gardocki Obituary
Rev. Thomas F. Gardocki

AGE: 77 • Wilmington

Rev. Thomas F. Gardocki passed away peacefully at home on March 23, 2017 after a long illness.

Fr. Tom was born 1940 in Wyandotte, Michigan and was the only child of Frank and Anne Gardocki. He attended St. Mary's Prep at Orchard Lake, MI, where he was co-captain of the football team, and went on to University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1961. While at Notre Dame, he played tackle on the varsity football team and boxed in the "Bengal Bouts."

Fr. Tom completed his studies for the priesthood in 1965 at St. Mary's Seminary and University in Baltimore. He began his graduate studies at the University of Villanova, and received a Masters of Education from the University of Delaware in 1970.

On May 22, 1965, Fr. Tom was ordained by Most Reverend Michael Hyle, and began his service in the Diocese of Wilmington as Assistant Pastor at St. John/Holy Angels Parish in Newark, DE. In 1967, Fr. Tom was assigned as Assistant Pastor at St. Hedwig Parish in Wilmington where he would later serve as Administrator and then Pastor until 1987. He was named Pastor of Corpus Christi Parish, in Elsmere, DE and initiated and oversaw the construction of the Parish Church. He retired from active parish ministry in 1995.

Fr. Tom served the Diocese in many capacities through the years. He was a member of the Cardinal Gibbons General Assembly of the Knights of Columbus and received the honor of 4th Degree in 1970. From 1972 until 1984, he served as Dean of the (Wilmington) City Deanery. He was a member of the Diocesan Pastoral Commission from 1982 to 1985, and was Executive Officer of the Presbyteral Council from 1984 until 1986. He was a former chaplain for the Notre Dame Club of Delaware, the Union of Polish Women, the Polish Library Association, and was a past-president of St. Mary's National Alumni Association.

In his retirement, Fr. Tom continued his ministry as a psychologist after receiving his Masters of Arts in Human Services Psychology from LaSalle University in 1994 and Doctorate of Psychology from Immaculata College in 2002. He served as a volunteer counselor at Ferris School for Boys and continued to assist as mass celebrant at other parishes in Wilmington until he was restricted by health issues.

Throughout his life, Fr. Tom was active in mind and body with a penchant for languages (he spoke Polish and Latin fluently) crossword puzzles, golf, skiing, cycling and spending time on the beach at Long Beach Island, NJ. He was an avid sports fan, particularly of his beloved alma mater, the "Fighting Irish."

Preceded in death by his parents, Fr. Tom was survived by his "adoptive family" in Delaware including Sheila S. Wozniak and John and Julie Wozniak, all of Wilmington; Ellen, Greg, Lauren and Christopher Pierce of Monkton, MD; and cousins John Gardocki and family, Dorothy Trela and family, and Larry Weglicki and family, all of Michigan.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Bishop W. Francis Malooly at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church on Wednesday afternoon at 2 PM. Friends may call at the church from 11 AM to 1:45 PM. Entombment will be in Cathedral Cemetery, Wilmington.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to SS. Cyril & Methodius Seminary, Orchard Lake, MI 48324.
Published in The News Journal from Mar. 26 to Mar. 28, 2017
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