Thomas J. Galka

February 24th, 2013

Thomas J. Galka, age 91, a life-long resident of Wilmington, died peacefully on February 23, 2013, at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington.  Tom was born at home in Wilmington on December 20, 1921, he was the cherished son of the late Anthony and Julia (Pulkowska) Galka.

Tom was one of eleven siblings that were raised and educated in Wilmington.  Tom graduated from Wilmington High School and went right to work .  Tom worked at Camp Devens, Harrimans Tannery and Wilmington Coal to help support his family.   He also spent time working for United Construction at a dry dock in the ship yard in Charlestown.

In 1942, Tom went off to serve our country in the US Army during World War II; he spent 2 ½  years in North Africa, Italy, Messina and Sicily.  Tom was assigned to more than 20 Divisions during his time in the service; they included the 442nd Infantry which was a Japanese and American Unit, while in Sicily he was with a Unit under General Patton and was witness to him  slapping a soldier. Tom also drove  Ambulance #11 in the 54th Medical Battalion, 379th Collecting Company.  Tom was a well decorated Veteran, he received many commendations including the European Theatre Medal, Asiatic-European Medal, Arrowhead Lapel Pin for Invasion, Good Conduct Medal, and American Victory Medal, as well as 2 Silver Stars for major battles, the Combat Medic Badge, 1st Edition, and a Bronze Star.  Following his honorable discharge, Tom returned home to Wilmington and his family.

Tom had a great work ethic, he went to work as a long haul truck driver for Warren A. McCarty, transporting trucks throughout New England, New York and Pennsylvania.  Tom became a member of the Teamsters Local # 42 out of Lynn.  He also drove for Allstate Sand and Gravel and Red E Mix for 31 years.  Tom retired from truck driving on January 1, 1983 at the age of 62, following many years of dedicated service to each company.

After retiring, Tom did a lot of traveling, especially in Maine and New Hampshire.  He loved the outdoors and the woods in Northern Maine and NH, always exploring new territory to hunt and fish.   Tom spent much of his time hunting, trapping and fishing in up North and due to his extensive knowledge he was even asked to be a Maine Guide.  One of his more memorable trips was when he guided Ted Williams on a trout fishing trip.  Tom had several hunting dogs that he loved, they enjoyed hunting bear and deer, he also trapped muskrats, foxes, and raccoons.  Tom was also an avid ice fisherman and enjoyed deep sea fishing.  Tom had his own spot in Lancaster, NH that his family referred to as “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”; he just loved spending time there.

Tom’s other love was racing.  He worked with his brother Pete on racing cars.  They would take them all over New England and New York and entered them in many championship races.

In his spare time, Tom enjoyed gardening; he grew his own vegetables and flowers, that he shared with family and friends.  Tom also liked to make “homemade” Christmas Trees that he would carefully decorate and give away to family and friends, he also made a tree for each family member that had passed and would go out to the cemetery and decorate their graves.

Tom will be fondly remembered as a kind and generous man, he was a hard worker, thoughtful, very Patriotic, dedicated to his family, and  he was a true friend to many.  He will be greatly missed.

Tom was the beloved son of the late Anthony and Julia (Pulkowska) Galka, dear brother of Francis Galka of Winchester, Betty Chisholm of Littleton, NH, the late Sophie Stachelek, Helen Dango, Gladys Puchowski, Alice, Joseph, Waclaw “Vut”, Peter, and Adam Galka. Tom was also the loving uncle of four generations of nieces and nephews and is survived by many dear friends.

Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Friday, March 1st at 9:00 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass in St. Thomas Church, 126 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington, at 10:00 a.m.  Interment with Military Honors will follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington.  Visiting hours will be held at the Funeral Home on Thursday, February 28th from 4-8 p.m.  Memorial donations in Tom’s name may be made to Local Heroes, Inc., P. O. Box 536, Wilmington, MA 01887.


4 Entries in Guest Book for “Thomas J. Galka”

  1. Mines family says:

    Those we love left us gifts in the form of precious memories that will live on forever in our hearts. Wisdom that we can still recall. May the God of all comfort become your refuge and strength during this most difficult time.(Psalm 46:1) Please accept our sincere condolences.

  2. Aylward / Couch Families says:

    Thomas befriended our mother when she perceived she had no friends and gave her the courage to stray from her apartment. Thomas graciously continued his friendship eventhough Mom couldn’t remember his name or face! Thomas’ life enriched the lives of those around him and he will be missed. Our sincere condolences to his family.

  3. Carol says:

    Farewell to a brave and honorable soldier who left this world a better place for having lved and loved.
    God Bless You.

  4. lisa, jay & eric says:

    Uncle Tom!!!! We will miss you greatly!!!!

    Our favorite memories about you will always be cherished in our hearts. Just like you always said, ” I’ll c u when I c u” & “I’ll be here” miss you so much!!!

RSS feed for comments on this post.