Thomas Graham Keller, age 66, of Milford, beloved companion of Judith Gargiulo, passed away on Wednesday, March 20, 2019, following a lengthy battle with cancer. Born in Jersey City, NJ, on March 5, 1953, Tom was the son of the late Frederick Keller and Jane (Driscoll) Mortola. Tom proudly served in the US Navy, was a true patriot, and prior to his illness was an active member of the American Legion Post 196, Milford.
After his honorable discharge from the Navy, he attended the Culinary Institute of America and, following graduation, worked first at the Waldorf Astoria and then the Racket and Tennis Club, both in New York City. He relocated to West Haven to attend the University of New Haven, and assisted a number of local restaurateurs with planning, opening, and cooking for dining establishments in the New Haven area. His remaining career was focused in the food service industry, holding managerial and cooking positions in institutional and private establishments.
He was a talented cook and very much enjoyed pleasing family and friends with his culinary skills. He was a passionate Duke Basketball fan and never missed a game. He was an enthusiastic gardener and kept his home meticulously landscaped. His spring tulip garden was exquisite, cheerful, and a joy to his neighbors. He was happiest in summer when he could soak up sun in the pool or on a beach.
In addition to Judi, his companion of twenty years, Tom is survived by his daughter, Marguerite (Brian) Gignac, of Colchester, brother, Gerald (Peggy) Keller, of Hoboken, NJ, and sister, Jane House, of Ringwood, NJ. Also surviving Tom are grandchildren Rosemary, Terrance, Joseph, and Edward Gignac, of Colchester, Cody, Christopher and Connor Malin, of Milford, Judi’s children Stacy Malin and Frank (Jennifer) Gargiulo, and several nieces and nephews. He leaves behind his most dear and longtime friend Eileen Finucane, of West Haven, and his adoring furbabies, Toby, Zoey, and Coconut.
Visitation hours for friends to call will be held on Saturday from 10:30 am to 1:00 pm at the West Haven Funeral Home at the Green. Burial will be private. Prior to his death, Tom requested that, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to Friends of Fisher House CT, c/o Tom Flowers, 21 Point Lookout, Milford, CT 06460.