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Harry Conrad Gambino

October 11, 1926 July 4, 2019
Harry Conrad Gambino
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Obituary for Harry Conrad Gambino

Harry Conrad Gambino went home to his heavenly father on July 4th, 2019, surrounded by his children and grandchildren.

Harry was born on October 11, 1926 in Iselin, New Jersey. He was the 4th of ten children born to Harry Gambino and Emily Saputo. The family later moved to New York City and later to Mansfield Connecticut.

At 15 years old Harry entered a preparatory seminary to study for the Catholic priesthood in the monastic order of the Capuchin Franciscan Friars.

In 1946 he left the seminary and joined the United States Navy at the age of 20 years old, where he was trained in psychological nursing and stationed in Fort Worth, Texas. Although he had planned to return to the seminary after his service in the Navy, he met Nancy Kate Wacaster. Six weeks later they were married. They remained married until Nancy’s death in 1975. In 1984 Harry married for a second time to Kathryn Vreeland and became a father to her infant daughter, Chrissy.

Honorably discharged on May 7, 1949, he enrolled at Texas Christian University working toward a degree in psychology.

When Six Flag Over Texas opened in Arlington, TX, Harry was hired as a singing bartender in the Crazy Horse Saloon.

All of his life Harry loved music and loved to sing. His beautiful voice was a gift he shared with all. He worked in summer stock performing in various musicals and Shakespearian productions. Kismet, Taming of the Shrew, Kiss Me Kate, and Twelfth Night are among the many productions Harry was a part of. Even at home, the bedtime stories for his children were more of a performance than a telling of a story. Performing different character voices as he moved around the room delighted his children. Many of his stories were his own creation. Some of Harry’s favorite stories to tell were: Three Billy Goats Gruff, The Old Man and the Sea, and his original story of the Rainbow.

He sang Irish songs, complete with accent, to his grandchildren. His performance was so convincing, for many years the kids believed he was really Irish. He also convinced his niece, Katherine Houghton that he was actually Santa Claus.

Harry was a devout Catholic all of his life and a devoted follower of St. Francis of Assisi. He patterned his life after the humility and simplicity of this saint. He always saw the mysteries and miracles of life, whether in clouds, in flowers or the birds on the wing. Harry worked to instill a love of the Lord and the Virgin Mary in his children. He was always active in the church, serving as an altar boy when he was young and later teaching CCD.

Just like the saint he so admired, Harry loved all living things. Even watching wrens at play would fill him with joy. During his life, he raised chickens, pigs, and goats, whistling the Gregorian Chant to his animals each day to bring them home.

Harry loved to sing to every person in his life. If he knew a song with your name, he sang it to you each time he saw you. Pennies from heaven, K-K-K Katie, Hey Marie, Nancy with the laughing face. If he did not know a song, he might just make one up for you.

Every person who spent more than a moment with Harry was touched in a permanent way. Yet this man, too humble to notice, was unaware of the effect he had. The love and joy flowed from him and over everyone.

For good advice, a shoulder to cry on, a song, a good story, or just to be in the warmth of his loving heart a visit with Harry could heal your soul.

Harry is predeceased by his wife, Nancy Kate and his son Gregory Joseph. He will be laid to rest in the Gambino family plot along with his parents, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews. He is survived by his wife, Kathryn C Vreeland Gambino, his daughters Sherry Kasper, Michelle Gambino, Ann Marie Gambino, Cecilia Horner, Monica Gambino and Christine Parker. He is also survived by many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.

Viewing will be Friday, July 12, 2019 from 7pm to 9pm at Tillinghast Funeral Home, 433 Main Street, Danielson, CT 06239, 860-774-3284. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, July 13, 2019 at 1 pm at St. Philip Church, 64 Pompey Hollow Rd, Ashford, CT. Burial will immediately follow at the church cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to one of the following charities:

Saint Anthony Shrine
100 Arch St
Boston, MA 02110
617 542 6440

Wounded Warrior Project
PO Box 758516
Topeka, KS 66675
support.woundedwarriorproject.org
855-448-3997

Dear Harry,
May the Lord bless you and keep you. May He make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift his countenance upon you and give you peace.
Amen


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Previous Events

Visitation

Friday

12

Jul

7:00 PM 7/12/2019 7:00:00 PM - 9:00 PM 7/12/2019 9:00:00 PM
Tillinghast Funeral Home - Danielson

433 Main St
PO Box 97
Danielson, CT 06239

Tillinghast Funeral Home - Danielson
433 Main St Danielson 06239 CT
United States

Service

Saturday

13

Jul

1:00 PM 7/13/2019 1:00:00 PM
St. Philip The Apostle Church

64 Pompey Hollow Road
Ashford, CT 06278

St. Philip The Apostle Church
64 Pompey Hollow Road Ashford 06278 CT
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

St. Philip Cemetery Final Resting Place

Pompey Hollow Road
Ashford, CT 06278

Pompey Hollow Road Ashford 06278 CT
United States
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