Obituary: Thomas J. Kabelka


NAUGATUCK — Thomas J. Kabelka, 78, the husband of Margaret “Marge” (Bendoraitis) Kabelka, died peacefully Friday, Feb. 13 at VITAS Innovative Hospice Care at St. Mary’s Hospital, surrounded by his loving family.

Tom was born Sept. 22, 1936 in Torrington, a son of the late Peter and Victoria (Sharack) Kabelka. Tom grew up in Torrington and graduated from Torrington High School; then went on to attend UConn and Boston University. Tom was a U.S. Air Force veteran, a member of the American Legion Post 137 in Harwinton and the B.P.O. Elks, #967 in Naugatuck. Tom lived most of his life in Naugatuck and worked as a professional photographer for many years at the Naugatuck Daily News and Waterbury Republican-American. During his career, Tom photographed many weddings, family portraits, sports teams and sporting events. He had the honor of photographing several U.S. presidents, he photographed the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, and he was published in Sports Illustrated. An avid fisherman, in June of 1983, Tom caught a record, 46-inch Northern Pike on Bantam Lake. Tom enjoyed golfing, and was a fan of his beloved New York Giants, New York Yankees and UConn women’s basketball team.

In addition to his wife of 51 years, Tom is survived by his son, Thomas A. Kabelka; his son, Michael J. Kabelka and wife, Lizzie, and their son, Apollo; his daughter, Peggi Rossi and husband, Jim; his sister, MaryAnn Rucci and husband, Ralph; and numerous nieces and nephews. Tom was predeceased by his brother, Peter P. Kabelka.

Tom’s family would like to give special thanks to the staff of the Harold Leever Regional Cancer Center and VITAS Innovative Hospice Care.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015 at 10:15 a.m. from the Buckmiller Thurston Mengacci Funeral Home, 82 Fairview Ave., to St. Francis of Assisi Church, 318 Church Str., Naugatuck for a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. Burial with military honors will be in St. Anthony’s Cemetery, Litchfield, in the spring. Calling hours are Monday, February 16, 2015 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the funeral home. Members of the Naugatuck Elks Lodge will meet at the funeral home, Monday at 6:15 p.m. Members of the Naugatuck Veterans Council will assemble at the funeral home, Monday at 6:45 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, contributions to honor Tom’s memory may be made to the Harold Leever Regional Cancer Center, 1075 Chase Parkway, Waterbury, CT 06708.

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