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Matthew Richard Gilardi, Sr. (89 years old) lost his battle with cancer on December 13, 2018, surrounded by family. His sons and granddaughter sang Christmas hymns at the bedside as he prepared for his eternal life with Christ.
Matt was born on May 5, 1929 in Sidney, Ohio, to Frances (Gentile) and Anthony Gilardi. He married the love of his life, Esther Marie (Sherman) Gilardi, more than 68 years ago on April 20, 1950. Matt and Esther have been members of Holy Angels Catholic Church in Sidney, Ohio, all their lives.
Matt (Papa G) is survived by his wife, his brother, Frank (Carol) Gilardi, his sister, Joann (Jerry) Boyd, as well as 105 family members: five sons and three daughters, Michael (Pam) Gilardi, Gary Gilardi, Deb (John) Schlater, David Gilardi, Matthew (Julie) Gilardi, Dan (Chichi) Gilardi, Mary Ann (Jeffrey) Liddy, and Kathy (Kevin) Copella, 44 grandchildren, and 46 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by one sister, Netta Stewart.
Matt attended daily mass and prayed his daily book of prayers from the little blue book for the intentions of his children, extended family, and friends. He prayed the rosary daily and emphasized the importance of Christ in the lives of his children and grandchildren along with serving the church and the community through good works of faith and kindness. Family has always been Matt's biggest treasure, and he also enjoyed a round of golf when he found time. He and Esther played euchre with family and friends often, very rarely getting outbid.
Matt grew up in family businesses, A.M. Gilardi & Sons Produce, Gilardis Wholesale Fruit and Vegetables, and Gilardis Pizza Restaurant and Grocery with his father and siblings. Gilardi Frozen Foods was started with his son Michael Gilardi. Matthew worked for The Fathers Table, the current family operated business which supports The Fathers Table Foundation, a faith based charitable organization supporting women and children.
Matt was a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Holy Angels choir. He served on the Parish Council and sang in a renowned Barber Shop Quartet. Matt soloed weddings for many of the church's young couples. Out of his own love of singing, he fostered a love of music in many of his children and grandchildren. Matt was a man of passion, hard work, loyalty, and faith. His legacy will be lived out as his many family members strive to knit these qualities into the fabric of their own lives.
A Mass of Christian Burial will take place in Matt's honor at Holy Angels Catholic Church December 21, 2018 at 10:30 AM with Fr. Frank Amberger officiating. Burial will follow the mass at Graceland Cemetery in Sidney. Friends may call December 20, 2018 from 4 PM until 8 PM and December 21, 2018 from 9:30 AM until 10:15 AM at Cromes-Edwards Funeral Home 302 S. Main Ave Sidney. A Knights of Columbus ceremony will be performed at 7:45 PM by the K of C Council 659 of Sidney.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to:
Lehman Catholic High School
2400 St. Marys Ave
Sidney, Ohio 45365