Official Obituary of

Thomas William Gilleran

April 17, 1946 ~ March 22, 2024 (age 77) 77 Years Old

Thomas Gilleran Obituary

Thomas William Gilleran, 77, of Findlay, passed away peacefully at Birchaven Village on Friday, March 22, 2024. He was born, on April 17, 1946, in Biloxi, Mississippi at Keesler Army Air Field to Captain Thomas W. Gilleran, U.S. Army Air Corps, and Mary Noreen (Boyle).


He grew up in Detroit, Michigan where he attended St. Alphonsus High School. He shared stories of being asked to teach the day’s lessons to his classmates when teachers were absent and playing football. He continued his academic and athletic pursuits at Eastern Michigan University where he also played football for the University. He was the third-string Quarterback, laughing that he didn’t have a lot of accuracy or speed, but he could throw the ball farther than anyone on the team.


Tom left Eastern Michigan University after one year to start a family. He built a house in Milford and became a father to Lori and Tom.


He followed his stepdad Steve into the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) local 58 in Detroit, where he was proudly involved for 58 years. He worked as an apprentice, journeyman, foreman and general foreman, earning the respect of his fellow electricians and his employers.


He married Cindy in 1984 and became stepdad (“Papa”) to Jennifer. They spent their lives together in Lincoln Park, MI, Waterford, MI and White Lake, MI as they worked and enjoyed time with their children, families and friends. His children and grandchildren provided a constant source of immense pride and joy. 


Tom & Cindy retired in 2005 and moved to Florida, but kept strong ties to the Midwest, first snow-birding and then returning to Michigan and settling in Findlay, Ohio to be near his family.


His love for his family and friends was always on display. His annual reading of The Night Before Christmas was anticipated by all. His smile could light up the room. His beautiful blue eyes sparkled, and his spectacular moustache bobbed when he would throw his head back in a hearty laugh, which happened often. He was well read. He was a Jeopardy enthusiast with a love/hate relationship with Alex Trebek. Perhaps it was a moustache thing.


He also loved sports, both watching and playing. He played volleyball and softball, but golf was his true passion, once shooting a hole-in-one. He and his brother Steve had season tickets to the Detroit Pistons during the “Bad Boys” era, frequently playing ping-pong or pool to determine who got the aisle seat. He was an avid fan of the University of Michigan Football team and was pleased to see them win a National Championship just a few months before his death.


Tom liked to take motorcycle trips with his friends. A favorite story to be recounted and heard was his trip to Boston in 1976 to hear the Boston Pops for Independence Day, where Tom and a friend were welcomed into a Bostonian family and treated like honored guests at their celebration. He even took some airplane trips with his family after earning his private pilot’s license.


He loved to travel. He travelled extensively throughout the US, including at least 42 states.His farthest journey took him to China. He visited Ireland. Most recently he and Cindy travelled by train from Vancouver to Calgary through the Canadian Rockies. He wouldn’t have traveled that far in a train again, even if he could.


He was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas Sr., Mary, stepdad Steve Gruchala, and his brother Steve Gruchala.


He is survived by his loving wife of almost 40-years, Cynthia of Findlay, OH. His brother Jim and sister-in-law Nancy of Flat Rock, MI and sister-in-law Michele Gruchala of White Lake, MI, his children Lori Borgeld of Lowell, MI, Tom of Stockbridge, GA & Jennifer (Mike) Denike of Findlay, OH, and nine grandchildren; Eric, Ellen (Alex), Kelli, Haley, Tommy, Tori, Ivy, Ellie, and Drew; and nieces and nephews James (Sara), John, Alex and Andrea, as well as many cousins and friends.


His death was preceded by an “isolated incident” in July of 2022 that proved what a strong man he was, with a remarkable will to live. While the last 18 months weren’t what he’d hoped them to be, he was always surrounded by family, friends and staff who loved and supported him and were entertained by his quick wit, biting tongue and exceptional charm.


Tom’s family would like to acknowledge the village of Physicians, Nurses, Aides, Therapists and other caregivers who made his life not only better with their knowledge and skills but brighter with their friendship and care. The list is too long to run the risk of forgetting anyone by name, but just know, how deeply we love and thank you.


There will be a Celebration of Life for Tom  on Saturday, May 18, 2024 at 2pm. The Birchaven Clubhouse at 15100 Birchaven Lane Findlay, OH 45840. You may find the Clubhouse by driving past the main entrance and it is just around the curve on the right. Please feel free to dress comfortably and wear Michigan gear, if so inclined. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Grace Speaks at 1331 Tiffin Ave, Findlay, OH. 


Online condolences may be shared with the family via www.kirkpatrickbehnke.com

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Celebration of Life
May 18, 2024

2:00 PM
Birchaven Clubhouse
15100 Birchaven Lane
Findlay, OH 45840
Guaranteed delivery before the Celebration of Life begins


Grace Speaks
1331 Tiffin Avenue, Findlay OH 45840
Web: https://www.grace-speaks.org/donation


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