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Obituary: Col. Arthur Gailius, 88, of Waltham

Gailius died Sunday, Feb. 16.

Col. Arthur Gailius. Photo credit: Joyce Funeral Home
Col. Arthur Gailius. Photo credit: Joyce Funeral Home

The following is from Joyce Funeral Home.

Colonel Arthur V. Gailius, USA (Ret.), died Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014 at his home. He was 88.

Arthur was born in Dorchester on Jan. 19, 1926, a son of the late Joseph Ribokas Gailius and Mary (Kairiukatis) Gailius. He was raised in Dorchester and was a graduate of Boston Latin School.

After high school, he joined the U.S. Merchant Marine where he served for the duration of World War II. At the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and began a distinguished 29-year career, retiring as a colonel.

Starting out as a private first class, Arthur was soon promoted to sergeant before he was sent in 1952 to Officer Candidate School at Fort Sill, Okla., home of the U.S. Army Field Artillery School. Trained as an artillery officer, he earned his commission as a first lieutenant and later during the war became a training officer himself. In 2011, Arthur joined several fellow officers in Fort Sill's Hall of Fame.

While not serving with the Army, Arthur went to work for the Raytheon Company where he was a cost analyst. He also attended the Bentley School of Accounting and Finance in Boston earning a certificate in the subjects in 1956. When the school re-located to Waltham, he returned to earn his bachelor's degree in accounting in 1970. After his Raytheon career ended, he went to work as a cost analyst for the federal government at General Electric's Aircraft Engine Plant in Lynn.

During the Korean War while Arthur was serving with the Army, he met Irene B. Bovat, a fellow officer, serving with the U.S. Navy at the Chelsea Naval Hospital. The pair were married on Aug. 17, 1958 in Saint Peter's Lithuanian Church in South Boston. In 1961, they moved to Waltham where they have been residents and members of Saint Mary's Parish since.

In addition to his professional career, Arthur was passionate about music. He played the violin, accordion, piano, harmonica and the spoons, loved polka dancing and the waltz and passed on his musical talents to his children. He was an accomplished stamp collector and dealer and in later years enjoyed trips to Mohegan Sun in Connecticut to help the local economy there. Apart from all of that, his most profound joy came from the six children who called him 'Grandpa' and in whose company he became young again.

In addition to his wife of 25 years, Irene, he leaves his children, Suzanne Alter and her husband, Robert, of Chelmsford, Sandra Gailius-Garman and her husband, Dr. Richard Garman, of Natick, Sharon DiCicco and her husband, Stephen, and Sheila Brennan and her husband, Kevin, all of Waltham; his grandchildren, Rachel and Sarah Garman, Dante and Dominic DiCicco and Hailey and Cole Brennan; his brother, Gilbert Gailius and his wife, Lillian, of Sanibel Island, Fla., and several nieces and nephews.

Arthur was also a brother of the late Edmund Gailius and Vivian Plevock.

Family and friends will honor and remember Arthur's life by gathering for calling hours in The Joyce Funeral Home, 245 Main St. (Route 20), Waltham, on Wednesday, Feb. 19, from 3-7 p.m. and again at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday morning before leaving in procession to Saint Mary's Church, 133 School St., Waltham, where his funeral mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Burial will be in Mount Feake Cemetery, Waltham.

Memorial donations may be made to Saint Mary's Church, 133 School St., Waltham, MA 02451.

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