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).
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