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Mr. Anthony Harold Gulla, Jr.

Obituary for Mr. Anthony Harold Gulla, Jr.

May 3, 1930 - November 29, 2017
Walpole, Massachusetts | Age 87


Anthony Harold Gulla, Jr., age 87, passed away peacefully in the Tippett Home in Needham, Massachusetts on Wednesday, November 29, 2017, surrounded by his loving family. Born in Norwood, Massachusetts on May 3, 1930, he was the son of the late Anthony H. and Delia (Locarno) Gulla. He was raised in Norwood and graduated from Norwood High School with the Class of 1948. After graduation, he continued his studies at Boston University, where Anthony earned his Bachelor's Degree in 1953, and at Bridgewater State University, where he earned a Master's Degree in 1965.

After B.U., Tony entered the service after where he was selected to serve as a "Tomb Guard", one of the best of the elite 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment whose highly choreographed 21 steps in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is well-known to anyone who has visited that memorial in Washington, D.C.

After his discharge, he and his brother, Arthur, opened a variety store in South Norwood on the first floor of the building at the corner of Washington and Dean in which he and his family had once lived. In time, he realized that the long hours of running the store did not align with the priorities that guided his life, paramount of which was his commitment to family. He followed his wife into the profession of teaching pursuing a graduate degree through study at night and then beginning a long and successful career at Nipmuc Regional High School in the Mendon/Upton district where he began as a teacher and later became Vice-Principal and, for many years, Principal, and that included a brief stint as Acting Superintendent, finally retiring in 1990.

During his more than 50 years in Walpole, Tony was an active member of the Saint Mary' Parish in East Walpole playing a number of roles as a faithful parishioner as a member of this community.

Retirement allowed Tony and Jane, the enduring love and faithful focus of his life, to travel extensively though the United States and Canada with a few excursions to their ancestral homelands of Italy and Ireland, often with Jane's sister Betty and her husband Fred.

Place meant a great deal to Tony and a vacation home on Cape Monday Cove in Maine was the location of many years of joy as his family grew and matured, eventually blessing him with seven grandchildren who would gather in the summer for sessions of "Camp Gulla". Tony and Jane also spent the winter months during many years of their retirement in Puerto Rico, both with friends from Walpole and new friends they made there. Whether the sun was setting on Long Lake in Maine or over the Caribbean, the end of the day on the dock or the beach was incomplete without the requisite happy hour.

More recent years weren't always easy as Jane developed Alzheimer's and increasingly needed Tony's full-time care and attention which he gave lovingly, gracefully and always with a smile, caring for his wife of 62 years first in their home for as long as he could and then visiting and feeding her daily after her needs required her to be in a care facility. The manifestation of his love and devotion to his wife knew no limits and was an inspiration to all who bore witness to this union of these two people.

Steadfast, organized, never without a plan, certain in his thinking without ever being arrogant, Tony also reflected a unique combination of frugality and generosity. He cared deeply about others and would do anything for his family, though it took him decades to learn to spend a little on himself. He was a strong man, he could be a stubborn man, but he was an extraordinarily loving man and always, always a very, very good man.

Beloved husband of Jane M. (Mahony) Gulla.
Loving father of John C. Gulla and his wife Andrea Godbout of Brooklyn, New York, Mary Jane Bush of Walpole, and Peter A. Gulla and his wife Kelly of Norfolk.
Cherished grandfather of Benjamin C. Gulla, Zachary P. Gulla, Molly Labb and her husband Marc, Cara L. Bush, Elizabeth C. Gulla, Andrew T. Gulla, and the late Lauren E. Gulla.
Brother of Arthur Gulla of Norwood, the late Marie O'Donnell, and the late Stephen Gulla.

Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend Anthony's Life Celebration on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 from 4-8 PM and Wednesday, December 6, 2017 from 9-9:30 AM in the James H. Delaney & Son Funeral Home, 48 Common Street, Walpole. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in Saint Mary's Church, 176 Washington Street, East Walpole on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at 10:00 AM. Interment will follow in Highland Cemetery in Norwood. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to: SIDS Foundation, c/o Boston Medical Center, 1 Boston Medical Center Place, Boston, MA 02118.

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James H. Delaney & Son Funeral Home

48 Common Street
Walpole, MA 02081
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