Gary Gelmini
1948 - 2016
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GARY GELMINI 1948 - 2016
Norwich - Gary Gelmini, loving husband, father and friend to many, passed too soon from our lives on June 30, at Suncoast Hospice, St. Petersburg, Florida, after loosing his battle with cancer.
Gary was born in Norwich, Connecticut on July 16, 1948 to Lisa (Scaia) and Mo Gelmini. He attended Norwich Free Academy, graduating in 1966. He received his Bachelors Degree in teaching from Castleton State University, Vermont; Masters from Eastern Connecticut State University; a 6th Year in Administration from UCONN. He was a science teacher at both Kelly and Teachers' Memorial Middle Schools and the principal of Buckingham Elementary until 2003. He enjoyed being the principal of a school where he always knew he had the most dedicated staff and students. Gary was also an adjunct professor at Sacred Heart University, teaching courses in school administration.
Upon retirement, he and his wife, Sandy became snow birds, living in Tierra Verde, Florida for the winters and their home in Lisbon, Connecticut during the summers.
Gary loved and was extremely proud of his children, Heather and Jason, who followed in his footsteps and entered the education profession. He had received the special gift of beautiful twin granddaughters, Ava and Sofia, and grandson, Sam, children of Jason and Alicia Gelmini.
Gary was a lifelong Yankee fan, living in Red Sox Country. He enjoyed fishing, golfing, playing at the craps tables with his lifelong friends, Tony Girard and Andy Nacsin, being a part of Isla Del Sol Yacht and Country Club in St. Petersburg, Florida, his morning coffee with the guys at the Bait Bucket Tackle Shop in Tierra Verde, his beloved Cavalier, Katie, and especially being with Sandy, his wife of 45 years.
Gary also leaves sister Marybeth Doherty and husband Jim; his dear sister-in-law, Maryann DiStefano, her husband, John; brothers-in-law: Dave and Joe Maniaci; nephews Nick and Vincent DiStefano, niece Meghan Taylor, her husband, Mike, cousins Karen Roy, and husband Roger, cousins Mary-Ellen Delaney and Lori Ratchelous and the many friends he truly enjoyed during his lifetime.
Gary's quick wit and sense of humor could always bring a laugh to all who knew him. He will be missed by those fortunate to have had him in their lives.
The family wishes to express its gratitude to the staff at Northside Hospital and Suncoast Hospice, Bayfront Medical Center for the exceptional care given to Gary.
Arrangements were with the Andrew and McQueen Funeral Home, St. Petersburg, Florida.
Services will be private.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Norwich Bulletin on Jul. 2, 2016.
Memories & Condolences
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29 entries
June 26, 2020
Gary is not forgotten. His sense of humor is sorely missed, especially during this terrible pandemic.
Sandy Gelmini
July 30, 2016
To the Gelmini Family,

I have been in the Norwich Public School District for over twenty years. Gary was one of the first principals I met. From the moment we were introduced, Gary extended to me kindness, consideration, and lots of valuable wisdom.
I will always remember him as one of NPS best!
My heartfelt sorrow to all. May your memories sustain you in this time of sorrow.
Monica Hall
July 30, 2016
We would like to thank all of you for posting on the webpage in Gary's memory. Your condolences have meant a great deal to us. If you are in the area on September 24, we are having a mass for Gary at 10:00, St. Joseph's Church in Occum. After mass, we will gather for food, etc. in the church hall. We hope many of you will be able to attend. Fondly, Sandy, Jason and Heather
Sandy Gelmini
July 17, 2016
On behalf of my mother, Madeline Sienkiewcz, who worked with Gary at Buckingham and our entire family, I would like to express our deepest sorrow for this loss. He was always a ray of light to all he meet; his love for all of the children in his care was evident. Considerate, kind, caring - words which can only incompletely describe him. God bless Gary and his entire family - Henry J. Sienkiewicz
Henry Sienkiewicz
July 7, 2016
My deepest condolences to the Gelmini family. The last time I seen Mr. Gelmini, I was 14 years old. I am now 55. He was related to my friend Karen. I would see him at her family functions in Occum and he would later be my science teacher at Kelly Jr. High. He was so funny and nice. He was a kid at heart and I felt like he treated me like I was his equal even though I was a kid. It made me want to pay attention to what he was saying. He could take a joke and he could clearly dish one out. I have many fond memories of the ribbings between the Red Sox fans and the Yankee fans in the family, the sole reason I am a Red Sox fan to this day. Gary if you are listening I hope you can be Big Papi angle in the outfield. God Bless
Corene Leone
July 6, 2016
It was a privilege to have had him as a principal he will be missed
Oldine Lamb
July 6, 2016
Sandy' I am so sorry to hear of Gary's passing. He was so kind and loving to the students at Buckingham school. I had the pleasure of knowing him there my first year as a para (and at Taft Station restaurant where I also worked. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Sue Koniecko
July 5, 2016
Mr. Gemini was "THE principal" for my three children. He was always professional, and above all, caring. He insured that each student knew that they were loved. He will live on in the hearts of the many who were fortunate enough to know him.
Ted Phillips
July 5, 2016
Dear Sandy,

My heartfelt sympathy goes out to you and your family. It was always such a pleasure working with Gary. His great sense of humor and dedication to his Buckingham kids and staff was what education is all about! Thoughts are with you and prayers are sent your way. He is gone all too soon. I hope that memories and time help you to find peace.
Pat Grondin
July 5, 2016
Sandy and family

I was saddened to hear of Gary's passing. He was an amazing man and never met a stranger. I had the pleasure of working with him in many capacities and came to admire him. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Cheryl Maynard
July 5, 2016
What a great guy. He was my principal at Buckingham and I have such great memories of him. RIP

-Jazmine Alba
July 4, 2016
Sandy & Family , Please accept my heartfelt condolences on the death of Gary , a wonderful family man, and above all a man of great humility, and good friend. I pray that God blesses his soul, and " May Bands of angels sing him to his rest" May the spirit of God bless you all.
William Kotrba
July 4, 2016
I am so very sorry to Mr. Geminis family, he was my son's principal at Buckingham School! He was an awesome man you can tell he had a love for kids!!! Prayers for peace
TammyJo Lake
July 3, 2016
Dear Sandy and family,

My sincere condolences on the too early death of Gary. I grew up in Occum, CT with Gary, Andy and the rest. Even then we knew Gary was a very special person. His sense of humor and caring was apparent even then. A good man is gone - a loss to us all.
Pat (Thomas) Farrell
July 3, 2016
To the Gemimi family. Sympathy and prayers to your family.I went to school with Gary in Occum. My son also had Gary as a science teacher at TMJHS. He was a wonderful, understanding compassionate man,and teacher.
I pray peace for your family.
Cathy Souza / Hunter
July 3, 2016
He was a great guy. My children had him as a Principal at Buckingham. They loved him, even named a fish after him. I would like to express my sympathy to his friends and family :-(
Wendy Rys
July 3, 2016
So sad to hear! What a great teacher...had him at TMMS and then again at Sacred Heart University! Prayers to family. Rest in peace Mr. G!

Kelly Cassidy-CT
July 3, 2016

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

A bright light in our world has been dimmed, but cannot be extinguished. Gary's wit, wisdom and stories and the people whose lives he positively impacted will carry his memory with us.

We will cherish the time spent together.

Jack and Roberta Levithan
Jack and Roberta Levithan
July 3, 2016
Sandy and family, I'm so sad today to read of Gary's suffering and death from cancer. I, like so many other people in the the Norwich Public School system, was a huge fan of Gary's sweet way. I have extremely fond memories of teaching Adult Education under Gary's supervision and direction at Buckingham School. Mo was also on staff and available evenings when we were at Buckingham. Everyone loved Gary and Mo for their wonderful personalities. They were both such standup gentlemen. They made reporting to work at night so much fun. May your wonderful, happy memories sustain you all as you grieve. Gary being reunited with his parents through death should give you some comfort and peace. He has gone way too soon, but he has gone before all of you to prepare the table for your arrival. May Gary rest in peace because his work here on earth is finished. Gary fought the good fight and is now being rewarded in heaven. I will say a prayer tonight for you, Sandy, and Gary's loved ones.
Jolene RUFFO
July 2, 2016
To Sandy and family I am extremely sorry for your loss, the Lord took him too soon, may this candle always be lit in Gary's memory.
Rusty Carr
July 2, 2016
So sad to hear this, Mr G was an amazing teacher! I had him at TMJHS. Condolences to the family
Christa Knowles
July 2, 2016
Sandy,Jason,Heather,Marybeth and family. I heard monday from Joe K. that Gary was in hospice and was shocked. Yesterday We learned that he had passed. We are very sorry and you have our deepest sympathy for tour loss. I dont need to tell you that gary was tops.I personally will remember all the good times I had with Gary poker etc.He will be missed! Remember all the good things about hin to get you through.You are in our thoughts and prayers.
Ed and Jan Dennehey
July 2, 2016
Sandy--I extend condolences on Gary's death...he was a dedicated educator whose competence and kindness were assets to the Norwich 5 sons benefitted from their days at Buckingham under his guidance...I will always recall his help for my wife, Wini, during her illness while a member of his staff...the world would be a better place if it had more people like Gary...
dennis riley
July 2, 2016
I am so sorry to hear of Gary's passing. I have fond memories of him while growing up in Occum and attending the Occum School. May he be at peace in heaven.
Patti (Mercier) Salpietro
Patricia Salpietro
July 2, 2016
To the Gelmini family, We are deeply sadden to hear of Gary's passing. we will always remember him for his compassion, generosity and smile. Both my children, Timothy and Sheena had the privilege of knowing him. You are all in our thoughts and prayers
Guy and Carol D'Andria
July 2, 2016
Sandy and kids, I am in shock, and my father will be devastated, as Gary was always a good friend of my dad's since they taught at Kelly together. I am so sorry for your loss. Gary used to call my younger sister speedy. We will never forget that. He was a great man. I can't believe he's gone. RIP Gary.
Lori Krieger
July 2, 2016
Jason and Family...

I'm so sorry for the loss of your father. I remember working with you at UCFS, and you and your father had to PUSH me out of the parking lot with my Mustang in a SNOW storm..... your father wearing a suit! and laughing it off....
Your father had a fantastic personality and I'm sure you followed in his foot steps....
May angels bless your family...

Heidi Franco
Heidi Franco
July 2, 2016
Dear Sandy,
I was so saddened to learn of Gary's passing. I send my deepest condolences to you and your family. Gary was a larger than life person and anyone who met him will never forte his lovable personality.
Pat Fitzgerald
July 2, 2016
Sandy, MaryBeth & Family, It is with a very sad heart that i learned of Gary's passing. As you must know, growing up with Gary was a unique experience. Gary always brought a fun aspect to everything we did as kids. His smile will be missed by all who knew him. God has a good teach in Heaven along with his parents! May he rest in peace.
Wil Chabotte
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