Garrett William Niland, 68, of Ashland and formerly Hopkinton, passed away peacefully at Metrowest Medical Center in Framingham surrounded by his loving family. Born in Boston, he was the son of the late Nancy (Norton) and George Niland. He was the beloved husband of 43 years to Jean (Caldaroni) Niland.
Gary attended Framingham State University, where he established lifelong friendships, met the love of his life and played football. Gary was inducted into the Framingham State Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995 for his football achievements and stayed involved in the school’s football community until his passing.
Gary was a man of character and integrity who never compromised his principles as he ascended the corporate ladder, holding various management positions and owning his own sales agency. Gary took the lessons from the football field and applied them to his everyday life — set your goals, work hard to achieve them, do the right thing and treat everyone with respect. He was absolutely respected by all who he came into contact with because he was a straight shooter. He never forgot who he was, he never forgot where he came from and he always took care of his own.
Summers were spent at Sagamore Beach with his family and closest friends. Gary was easy to love — he made you feel like the most important person in the room and always made a lasting impression. He was a man who loved deeply and never hesitated to let his loved ones know what they meant to him. Gary met the challenges of many health issues over the years and fought them courageously. He was loved beyond words and will be missed beyond measure.
Besides his wife, Gary is survived by his children, Christopher Niland and wife Abby (Francis) Niland of Hopkinton, Matthew Niland and wife Courtney (Day) Niland of Franklin, Kara Salvucci and husband, Scott Salvucci of Franklin and Molly Niland. Gary also leaves behind his five loving grandchildren, Grayson, Declan and Merrigan Niland, and Ryan and Connor Salvucci. He is survived by his siblings, Christina Joyce, Sharon Toomey, Bernadette Driscoll, Jacqueline Bates, Donna McGillvray, William Niland and Nancy Warfield as well as their spouses. He also leaves behind mother-in-law Marie Caldaroni and sister-in-law Judith Carr and her husband. Lastly, Gary is survived by an abundance of nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by brother George Niland and father-in-law Anthony Caldaroni.
Visitation will be held Wednesday, Feb. 1, from 4-7 p.m. at the Chesmore Funeral Home of Hopkinton, 57 Hayden Rowe Street. A funeral Mass will be celebrated on Thursday, Feb. 2, at 9 a.m. at Saint Cecilia’s Church in Ashland with a celebration of life to follow at the Warren Center in Ashland. Interment will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (dana-farber.org).
Obituaries are submissions, typically from funeral homes, that are not subject to the same level of editorial oversight as the rest of the Hopkinton Independent. Obituaries may be edited for grammatical and factual mistakes and clarifications and shortened for space considerations.
Gary was the greatest person, teammate and friend. He will be missed. RIP my friend.
Gary Niland, the most positive person I’ve ever known. A beautiful smile always , especially during the FSU 50 year football celebration was a reminder of how much he treasured being with all of us. I will miss you my friend, Rob Culgin
Gary was a true gentleman, and always treated people with respect. He will surely be missed. So happy I had the opportunity to know and work with Gary, a great friend. God Bless him and his family.
Gary called on me for many years and I can’t think of any rep that I ever respected more. The obituary described him perfectly. I’m a better person by knowing him.
Every word above is 100% true and Gary will be missed greatly by all. I was lucky enough to work with him the past 20+ years. No only was he a mentor but a great friend. A relationship that I will reflect profoundly upon the rest of my life. May he now have eternal happiness.
Gary was an amazing man and friend , who will be missed greatly by everyone he touched . We are all very fortunate to have know such a great man . Our prayers are with Gary and him family .
Gary was the nicest person in the sporting goods industry. I feel fortunate to have known him since his days with Bob Minihane. He will be greatly missed.
Gary was quietly a true Pro.
In his work, he excelled. His family was his pride and joy. Sharing family stories always gave Gary happiness. In this great loss, perhaps we can find some comfort knowing he is resting, pain free in the arms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
A true gentleman and man of his word. Gary will be greatly missed. May He Rest In Peace.
My Brother, my dear friend, my ex-teamate, devoted husband to his wife Jeannie, and Father to their wonderful children. You will be missed but due due to due to how you gave of yourself never forgotten. If the world was full of Gary Niland’s there would be some crazy fun moments but we would be in a much better place. I love you Gary
We’ve been in the sporting goods business for 38 years. Gary was one of the kindest, most honest and dignified individuals we ever dealt with. It was a pleasure to see him or just chat with him on the phone. He will be sorely missed!
An honest, kind, dignified man who was a pleasure to deal with. Will always appreciate the way he handle his business, he will be sorely missed.
I don’t know where to start. Gary and I had been friends (and business associates) for almost 35 years. Everytime we crossed paths, it was more than a friendship. It was more like a family reunion. He was always warm and welcoming and made you feel like the most important thing in his day. I am a better person today from my experiences of knowing Gary. With deepest sympathy I send my prayers.
Gary, pound for pound was the toughest inside linebacker that I played with at FSC. I was fortunate enough to have been his teammate for 4 seasons. Jean, My deepest condolences to you and your family.
Gary’s obituary says it all. You couldn’t meet a nicer person and family. My sincere condolences to all his loved ones especially Jeanie and their children