Gizara, Thomas A.
Thomas A. Gizara, age 72, beloved husband of Jeanne M. Gizara and father of Thomas W. Gizara (Sharon Woodworth) of Florence Oregon and Randy J. Gizara of Port Charlotte Florida, died on February 23, 2017 at St. Peter's Hospital in Albany after a brief illness. He was the adoring grandfather of Thomas "little Tommy G" Gizara. He was also the loving caretaker of his cat Lavender.
Born in Detroit, MI in 1944, he was the son of the late Chester and Jennie (Wojcik) Gizara. He is pre-deceased by his brother William. He is survived by his sister Carol Harlow of Wynantskill and several nieces and nephews: George (Teresa) Harlow of Wheelersburg OH; Cindy Harlow of Bronxville NY; Lisa Gizara (Eric Cagle) of Santa Monica CA; and Chrissy Gizara of Lexington KY.
Tom received his bachelor's degree from Alfred University where he met his wife Jeanne, and he received two masters degrees from the College of St. Rose. He had many teaching positions, starting with a long tenure as a Social Studies and English teacher at Ravena Coeymans Selkirk Jr Sr High School and ending as a GED instructor for Cohoes School District. He also worked as an interpreter at Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield MA for many years.
Tom was very active in ministry. He served several years as the Chairman of the Missions Committee for the Albany Episcopal Diocese; he was a former Faith Alive National Chairman; and a former lay director of the Diocesan Cursillo Movement. He worked in prison ministry at Rensselaer County Jail and Great Meadows Correctional Facility and several other prisons as well. He was dedicated to helping Burmese refugees in the Albany area to get American citizenship. He was also very active in his home parish, Trinity Watervliet.
Calling hours will be from 3:00 to 4:00 PM at Trinity Episcopal Church, 1336 First Ave., Watervliet, NY on Sunday February 26, followed by the funeral mass of celebration of Tom's life at 4:00 PM. Bishop William Love will be the main celebrant and Bishop Dan Herzog will preach. Father Marty Wendell will officiate and other clergy are welcome to vest and process; priests can concelebrate as well.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Trinity Episcopal Church or the American Cancer Society.