Thomas J. Gambacorta, born October 10,1931, our beloved ‘Poppy,’ devoted family man and proud Marine, passed away with his family and caretaker Ish by his side on Thursday, March 23, 2023. Thomas was predeceased by his parents Mary Gambacorto (née Clemente) and Joseph Gambacorto. He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Theresa J. Gambacorta (née Ferraro); two children and their significant others: Deidre Baker & Mark Veltre; and Donna & Matthew Hakim; three granddaughters: Dana Corcoran and her husband Colin; and Isabella & Lilliana Hakim; his great granddaughter and namesake, Daelynn Poppy Corcoran; his brothers Dominic ‘Chubby’ Gambacorto and wife Janet; Guy Gambacorto; sister Pauline Gambacorto; sisters-in-law Mary Ferrogine and Esther Lauer, and many nieces, nephews, and friends.
Thomas grew up in Red Bank, NJ and attended Red Bank High School where he played football and basketball earning the nickname ‘Footie’, served as Vice President of his Junior Class, and was voted ‘Best Eyes.’ He was invited to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers but opted to serve in the Korean War as a CPL in the U.S. Marine Corps. After serving in the Marines, Thomas studied Computer Processing and became District Manager of Pergament Home Centers, where he took an early retirement due to a workplace injury.
Being with family and friends mattered most to Thomas. He adored his granddaughters and attended as many of their school, dance, cheer and sporting events as possible. He loved watching the NY Rangers, Giants and Yankees, and spent many days with his friend George Tyluki watching ‘General Hospital’.
Deeply religious, Thomas considered joining the priesthood and served as an altar boy and communicant of St. Anthony’s, Red Bank. He later joined the Church of the Nativity, Fair Haven. He was a Eucharistic Minister and a longtime member of the Knights of Columbus, where he held the honorable position of Grand Knight. He was also an enthusiastic part of every ‘Let Your Hair Down’ charity event his family held for the National Alopecia Areata Foundation. Thomas always made his family and friends feel loved and cherished. He will be remembered for his kind heart and his ability to love and smile through pain which was a testament to his faith. We were all blessed to have him. Thank you for loving us, Pop.
Visitation is from 4-8 pm Thursday, March 30, 2023 at John E. Day Funeral Home, 85 Riverside Avenue, Red Bank. *If you would like to bring a fond memory/story to share or as a keepsake for the family, please bring it to John E. Day’s.* Funeral Procession/Mass: Family/Friends will meet at John E. Days at 10 am Friday, March 31st. Mass will be offered at 11 am at Church of the Nativity, 180 Ridge Road, Fair Haven. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, 65 Mitchell Blvd., Suite 200-B, San Rafael, CA 94903 or online https://www.naaf.org/donate-online/.
To send flowers to the family, please visit https://www.johnedayfuneralhome.com/tributes