"You only go around once, but if you play your cards right, once is enough" – Frank Sinatra
Michael Gudaitis, 72, of Bristol, loving husband, devoted father and grandfather, passed away surrounded by his family on Saturday, December 29, 2018 at Sheriden Woods in Bristol.
Born in Terryville on October 28, 1946, he was one of two sons to the late Steven and Genevieve (Szymanski) Gudaitis. A graduate of Terryville High School, Michael went on to attend both Western Connecticut and Central Connecticut State Universities, from where he earned multiple Master's Degrees. He married the love of his life, Dianne (Ferber) in 1972, and they settled in Farmington where they raised their two children, Chris and Sharon. Michael went on to become a well-loved, influential educator for Avon High School, where he taught English for more than 40 years. He had an eclectic taste in music and incorporated songs into his teaching methods to translate classical literature to the current music of the times. Michael was instrumental in developing the district's speed reading course, and eventually authored and published the course books, and served on various curriculum writing committees. A Teacher of the Year award recipient, Michael also assisted in coaching the school's Nationally ranked soccer and baseball teams, leading them to many championships and national achievements. In his hometown of Farmington, Michael was community minded, managing the Farmington Recreational department in the summer, was a reading and literature teacher at Tunxis Community College, and, a longtime member of St. Mary Star of the Sea Church, he was a Religious Education teacher alongside his wife, Dianne. Upon his retirement in 2007, they travelled and lived in their favorite areas, including Vermont, Florida, and Indiana. A sports enthusiast, he enjoyed any and all outdoor activities throughout all four seasons, and was an avid fan of the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers and Dallas Cowboys. Above all, he will be remembered for his love for his family, leaving them a legacy of kindheartedness and generosity, his adoration for Cape Cod, and endless corny jokes and one-liners.
In addition to his wife, Dianne, he leaves his son, Christopher Gudaitis and his wife, Vicki of Indiana and his four grandchildren, Jason, Colin, Ryan and Megan; his daughter Sharon Gudaitis and Tom Brackett of Avon; . He also leaves a brother, Paul and his wife, Dorine, his in-laws and extended family, including several nieces and nephews who held him in high regard.
Michael's love for sports and for his community may be remembered with contributions to Farmington Community and Recreational Services Scholarship Fund, 1 Monteith Dr, Farmington, CT 06032.
Family and friends may gather on Thursday evening, from 5-7 p.m. at Plainville Funeral Home, 81 Broad St, Plainville. A Mass of Christian Burial in celebration of Michael's life will be held on Friday, January 4, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Mary Star of the Sea, 145 Main St, Unionville.
Farmington Community and Recreational Services Scholarship Fund
1 Monteith Dr, Farmington CT 06032