Laurence P. “Lolly” Gilgun

September 15, 2008

Laurence P. “Lolly” Gilgun
U.S. Veteran

US Army

Korean War Veteran

LAURENCE P. “LOLLY” GILGUN – in Woburn, September 15th. Beloved husband of Ann M. (Murphy) Gilgun. Devoted father of Laurence P. Gilgun, Jr. and his wife Kathy of Salem, Ann Gay Gilgun and her husband Brian, Susan J. Mateus and her husband Ted, and Frank M. Gilgun, all of Woburn, Kathleen Colangelo and her husband Steve of Wilmington, and the late Marybeth Gilgun. Dear brother of Margaret Collamore of Peabody, John F. Gilgun, Hon. Fredrick Gilgun, Richard E. Gilgun, and David I. Gilgun, all of Woburn, Rev. Bernard E. Gilgun of Shrewsbury, and the late Mary Cullinane. Loving grandfather of Kristin and Allison Gilgun, Brian, William and Brendan Gilgun, John and Lauran Mateus, and Steven Laurence and Ryan Samuel Colangelo. Funeral from the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, 263 Main Street, Woburn, on Friday, September 19th at 10:15 a.m. Funeral mass in St. Charles Church, 280 Main Street, Woburn, at 11. Calling hours Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m. Interment in Calvary Cemetery, Woburn. Donations may be made in Mr. Gilgun’s memory to the Woburn High School Scholarship Fund, PO Box 202, Woburn, MA 01801.

OBITUARY:

Laurence P. Gilgun, affectionately known as “Lolly” to his family and many friends, passed away peacefully following a brief illness on Monday, September 15th, at Winchester Hospital, surrounded by his family. The beloved husband of Ann M. (Murphy) Gilgun, he was seventy-seven years of age. Mr. Gilgun was a respected educator and musician, having been a teacher in the city and principal of the Joyce Middle School, and a crowd-pleasing entertainer throughout his life.

Lolly was born in Woburn, one of eight children of the late John F. and Rose (O’Donnell) Gilgun. He received his early education at St. Charles School and graduated from Woburn High School with the Class of 1948. Lolly continued his education at the University of Lowell where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Education and played on the basketball team. He later earned a Master’s degree in Music from Salem State College. A veteran of the Korean War, he served in the US Army, stationed at West Point.

His teaching career began in 1953 at the Goodyear School in Woburn, and in 1961 he was appointed Assistant Principal of Woburn Senior High School. When the new Dr. Daniel Joyce Junior High School opened in 1970 he became the first Principal, a position he held until his retirement in 1992.

Aside from his family, music was Lolly’s greatest enjoyment in life. He learned to play the piano when he was taught by his aunt at the age of three and had the gift of being able to play by ear. His musical talents provided entertainment throughout the years for school groups, community events, and a variety of musical programs. Lolly was a fixture at the annual Mayor’s Appreciation Dinner for seniors since they began twenty-nine years ago, an event at which he was scheduled to perform this fall, as well as the Lions Irish Needle Night. He was also a composer who wrote and produced “The Grandsons of Honey Fitz,” a musical based on the Kennedy family which was performed throughout New England. When he was assistant principal at the high school, he became very involved in the production of the Black and Orange Revue, the annual talent show at Woburn High. When he became principal of the Joyce Middle School, he brought musical talent to the stage there by starting the Green and Blue Revue, a tradition that continues today. His final performance as a musician was on August 24th, when he played Happy Birthday for his wife Ann.

In addition to his duties with the school system and his musical endeavors, Lolly owned and operated Gilgun Travel along with his wife Ann. Together they were able to travel the world, often with other family members accompanying them. They also enjoyed summers at their home in Marshfield, where Lolly served as President of Fieldston Recreational Association. He enjoyed politics and served as a member of Woburn’s Democratic City Committee, and was also a Life Member of the Woburn Lodge of Elks.

A wonderful husband, father, and grandfather, he loved spending time with his family, whether at the Cape, by the pool, or watching sporting events.

Preceding him in death was a daughter, Marybeth Gilgun, and a sister, Mary Cullinane.

Surviving along with his wife Ann, with whom he had recently celebrated fifty-four years of marriage, are five children: Laurence P. Gilgun, Jr. and his wife Kathy of Salem, Ann Gay Gilgun and her husband Brian, Susan J. Mateus and her husband Ted, and Frank M. Gilgun, all of Woburn, and Kathleen Colangelo and her husband Steve of Wilmington. He was the dear brother of Margaret Collamore of Peabody, John F. Gilgun, Hon. Fredrick Gilgun, Richard E. Gilgun, and David I. Gilgun, all of Woburn, and Rev. Bernard E. Gilgun of Shrewsbury. He also leaves his beloved grandchildren: Kristin and Allison Gilgun, Brian, William and Brendan Gilgun, John and Lauran Mateus, and Steven Laurence and Ryan Samuel Colangelo.

The funeral will be held from the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, 263 Main Street, Woburn, on Friday, September 19th at 10:15 a.m., followed by a funeral mass to be celebrated by his brother, Rev. Bernard Gilgun, in St. Charles Church, 280 Main Street, Woburn, at 11. Interment will follow in Calvary Cemetery, Woburn.

Relatives and friends are invited to call at the funeral home on Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m.

Donations may be made in Mr. Gilgun’s memory to the Woburn High School Scholarship Fund, PO Box 202, Woburn, MA 01801.

Guestbook

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  1. Ann,Kathy,Sue and Family,
    So sorry to hear of the loss of your father. I know how hard it is to loss a parent know matter what age you are, My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I remember your father as the Vice Principal of Woburn High.
    Ellen (Coakley) Szetela

  2. Leo Thifault (President Woburn Host Lions)

    The Woburn Host Lions would like to pass on it’s deepest sympathy on the loss of Lolly. He will be greatly missed at our Needle Night event. He was a great friend to our club an it was honor to know Him.

    Again our deepest sympathy to the Gilgun family

  3. Go Gils. I am so sorry to hear about your Dad. He was such a great man, always so nice and adorable. I can hear him now at the piano,”It’s gonna be DIGNAN I can feel it in the air……..” Remember that? So many memories….I am thinking of you all.I am sorry I can’t make the services, I am with you though. We should have a good old fashion GILGUN-DIGNAN reunion get together, definite marshfield days! That would be fun. I will have it , ok? let’s do it. life is too short. We’ll get the Dignan boys and Larry together. FUN. OK Gil, when we get together on the 11th I think it is, we will discuss it. ….I know what you are all going through , it’s that time in our lives that we all know is coming, but I don’t think we ever really think it will happen. I am thinking of you all, I love all of you. Take care, Dig.Give your mother a hug for me.

  4. Judy and Nelson Schultz
    Dear Larry and Family, You are always in our thoughts, our hearts and in our prayers.

    His love and ours,

    Judy and Nelson

  5. Ann, Sue and Families,

    So sorry over the loss of your Dad. Know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Lois Friedrich

  6. Dear Ann, I,m so sorry to hear of your loss. Your father was my Freshman Principal and he gave me every break in the book and I respected him so. He was a Hero who served his country,loved his family and freinds. God Bless, Mike Winn.

  7. Larry,

    Please accept my sincere condolences on the passing of your father. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    Respectfully,
    Jim Brigham

  8. I was so very sorry to hear about your loss. I just wanted to extend my condolences to the entire family.
    Gail Kerr (Chalifour)

  9. When Cynthia and I moved with our family to Woburn from Mexico City, the Gilgun family took us in and made us feel part of the family. Lolly and Ann always included us in their well attended family holiday parties. Great men leave great impressions. Lolly lived his faith with love, joy and song. We will miss him and pray for him.

    Mark Hamlet and Family

  10. Barbara (McHugh) Donovan
    I remember fondly going on the Sunday “day trips” for skiing at Gunstock. I grew up with the Gilgun’s and Ann is my dear friend. I am so sorry to hear of Lolly’s passing. He was a wonderful patient man. Please accept my condolences, I know it is a very difficult time when this time comes.

    Love,
    Barbara

  11. Sue and family,
    We are so sorry to hear about your dad. We are all reminded to frequently about the loss of one so dear. Please accept our sympathy during this very difficult time and keep your memories close to your heart. We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers.
    Ellen Brown and the Brady family.

  12. Lolly was a key person in our plans for the yearly Senior Appeciation Dinner event.We are truly grateful his important contributions to our community. Lolly will be sorely missed at this years event and it’s hard to imagine how we will pull it off without his presence and participation.

  13. Kathy:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. My thought are with you and your family and I hope the beautiful memories you have of your dad will comfort all of you.

    Love, Cathy

  14. Dear Kathleen,

    My heartfelt condolences to you and your family. I know how much your Dad meant to you.

    Love,
    Carolyn (Suite 107)

  15. Dearest Gilguns:

    My heart sank, when I heard of the news of “Mr. Gilgun’s” passing (I could never call him Lolly!). Although too many years have passed, since I last saw him, the impact that he made on my life is timeless. Mr. Gilgun gave me first real exposure to the stage, and it changed my life, forever. To this day, music/theater is a part of my everyday life and I take great pride in knowing that I touch many young lives, in the same way, that your beloved Lolly touched mine. I have many wonderful memories of my years at the Joyce, and the man that always called me “Laurie” (he could never get my name right!). Please find comfort in knowing that Mr. Gilgun lived his purpose well and to the fullest, and made a great difference in the world. God bless all of you, during this tough time. I promise to keep his music alive each time that I sing, play and direct shows.

    Laura Rotondo (Canfield)

  16. We have wonderful memories of Mr. Gilgun back in the 70’s. He made everyone involved in the Green and Blue Review feel like they were on Broadway. Our sincerest condolences to Mrs. Gilgun, Kathy and family.

  17. Lolly will be missed by all of us. He will be remembered for all the wonderful talent shows he directed. Jane Linn

  18. Mary Ellen (Farynaz)DeTeso
    Sorry to hear of the loss of Mr. Gilgun. He truly was a wonderful man and teacher.
    He taught me for just a few months, grade 5, Goodyear School. The whole class missed him when he suddenly left for the Military, (in 1953?) Later, in high school, we enjoyed singing & dancing as he played the piano during the ‘shows’! Our Sincere Sympathy to his family.
    Paul & Mary Ellen DeTeso

  19. Bob McKillop
    As chairman (or ringleader) of the Lions’ Irish Needle show, I was blessed with the opportunity to work with Lolly, each spring, over the past 20 years. A wonderful man and a superlative pianist, Lolly’s musical directions and spontaneous suggestions always took our show to a higher level. We will miss him dearly. I honestly don’t know what we’ll do without him. Our sincere condolences.

  20. Our thoughts & prayers are with you all during this stressful & difficult time. We will remember him always at his piano.

    The Winn Family

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