Swan Funeral Home

80 East Main Street, Clinton, CT


Thomas J. Gunning III

May 1, 1937February 13, 2020

Thomas J. Gunning lll of Clinton CT passed on February 13, 2020 from a brief illness. Tom was born on May 1, 1937 in Providence, RI to the late Thomas J. Gunning Jr. and Sarah (Brooker) Gunning. Thomas was employed by the State of CT as a vocational instructor retiring in 1997. Tom was a veteran of the Vietnam War having served in the U.S. Army. He served as a paratrooper during his time and received many achievements such as the Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal and the Parachutist Badge. Tom was very proud to serve his country. He was a member of St Mary's Church of Visitation in Clinton. Thomas was a lifelong resident of Clinton, CT where he met and married his wife Terry. Tom was a devoted husband and father who cherished the time that he spent with his family. In addition to raising their children, he maintained his career as a vocational instructor. A light hearted man, he had a loving and gentle nature with a great sense of humor. Tom enjoyed playing a round of golf with his grandson Aiden and friend Bob West. He also enjoyed taking walks with Terry. Thomas will be most remembered for his kindness and gentle soul and his smile. In addition to his wife Terry, he is survived by his son Thomas J Gunning lV and his wife Kari Gunning of Colorado Springs, Colorado and Two daughters Rachel G. Coffin of Northeast, Maryland and Sarah G. Holt and her husband Eric Holt of Colchester, CT and as well as his sister JoAnne G. Sliva of Colchester, CT. Thomas is also survived by his ten Grandchildren and one Great-Grandchild and his dear friends Bob West his great golf partner and Bonnie Erich together they enjoyed singing and playing guitar. Thomas will severely be missed by all of his family and friends.

A graveside service will be held on Friday February 21, 2020 at 10:00 am with military honors at the Connecticut Veterans Cemetery, Bow Ln in Middletown, ct. Swan Funeral Home in Clinton is handling his arrangements. Please visit www.swanfh.com for tributes and more information.


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Thomas J. Gunning III

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Bonnie Erich

February 17, 2020

Tom and I met over fifty years ago when we were introduced by a mutual friend. Both Tom and loved folk music and playing our guitars so we often played and sang together. My boyfriend Randy who became my beloved husband some years later joined us and we became a trio. We played at church events and just for fun!
One time Tom encouraged me to sing a solo at an event as he accompanied me on the guitar! I was so nervous, but with his support I sang "There is a Ship" and it was well received! It was so rewarding for both of us.
Tom was a true hero having served in the military, a kind and loving person who always brought the best out in others. He loved his God, his family, his friends and even those he only knew briefly, basketball, golf and of course his guitar.
Both my husband and I were blessed to have Tom in our life during our formative years and beyond. Tom was a great man; a man of love and compassion that others would be wise to model their lives after. He'll always be with me in my heart. Bonnie