Obituaries: Mary A. Gaj

Mary A. Gaj, 87, of Bristol passed away at home on Monday, January 1, 2018. She was born in Bristol on December 27, 1930, a daughter of the late Agenor Gideon and Irene (Lacourse) Veilleux. Mary was the wife of the late Edward A. Gaj.


A life-long resident of Bristol, Mary graduated from Bristol High School and then Waterbury Hospital School of Nursing as a Registered Nurse.  She worked at Bristol Hospital in various departments showing her great love for children while serving as an OB-GYN nurse, and finished her career in pediatrics.  Her interest in all aspects of health care also led her to apply her special talents to the fields of geriatrics and Public Health nursing in the City of Bristol.


Mary contributed in many ways to the local community as a member of the Ladies Guild of St. Matthew Church in Forestville, a Boy Scout volunteer, a Girl Scout leader and as a volunteer in her children’s schools.


Mary had a passion for crafts.  She excelled at knitting, crocheting, sewing, baking, woodworking and painting among other things.  There were many recipients of her talents, including the Saint Matthew’s annual Christmas bazaar which she co-chaired on several occasions. Mary had a generous spirit and numerous sweaters, afghans, baby afghans and baptismal stoles were just a few of the treasured items she created to share with those she loved.


She travelled extensively with her husband to many states and international locations visiting all Air Force bases where her son Thomas was stationed.  She had a particular love for San Antonio, Texas, and went there frequently.


Her three grandchildren were her pride and joy, and she could often be seen sharing pictures to update anyone she met on their accomplishments, their growth and their individual personalities which she loved so much.


Mary is survived by her son Lt Col Thomas Gaj, USAF (retired), and his wife Cynthia of San Antonio, Texas; her son and devoted caregiver, Peter Gaj of Bristol; her daughter Lisa Gaj Proctor and her husband Stuart Proctor of Newbury, Massachusetts; grandchildren Elizabeth, Aidan and Sophie Proctor; many cousins, nieces and nephews; and friend Madge Lefebvre. Besides her husband, she is pre-deceased by her son Michael Gaj, sister Elizabeth Archacki and her husband Henry, sister Jeanne Veilleux, and brother Edward Veilleux and his wife Jean (Wilde) Veilleux.


In her final years she enjoyed the company of her special companions Lucy, Irene and Raven as well as others.


Services and burial will be at a later date. To make a memorial contribution in her name, please consider Bristol Hospital Home Care Hospice, 222 Main Street, Bristol CT 06010 or St. Matthew School Development Fund, 33 Welch Street, Bristol CT 06010.


To leave an online message of condolence, share a memory or a photo, please visit Mary’s memorial web page at