Thomas William Velleca

November 5, 1933 ~ May 31, 2022 (age 88) 88 Years Old


Thomas William Velleca of Portsmouth, RI and Cypress, TX died on May 31, 2022 in the bosom of his beloved wife of 65 years, Theresa, and his very much adored family.

He was born on November 5, 1933 in Fall River, MA and spent his very happy childhood in Bristol, RI attending school and playing sports. Tom received his bachelor's degree in Geophysics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). He spent his career in the exploration and discovery of oil and gas domestically and abroad and eventually became Senior Vice President of Exploration for Shell and later BP.

Once retired, Tom enjoyed fixing things around both houses and playing golf as frequently as possible. He believed in working hard and having a daily list of chores to complete before he allowed himself the luxury of playing golf. Tom loved God, his family, and his friends and it was evident in the way he was able to attentively listen to everyone’s problems and offer helpful suggestions, providing individually tailored wisdom and advice that made you feel special. Tom especially loved his wife, Theresa. From their childhood courtship until he drew his last breath, he told her how much he loved her every single day. Even after the cancer and dementia had taken their toll on his body and mind, Tom was able to retain his compassionate spirit and amazing sense of humor which provided great comfort for the family. Throughout his life, Tom showed everyone that you never walk alone and his last steps were into the arms of Christ.

He is survived by his wife Theresa; his children Donna Gilley (and Gordon), Diane Velleca (and Charles), and Tom Velleca (and Angie); his nine grandchildren Mary Barre (and Michael), Clint Kirby (and Karen), Melissa Laycock (and Michael), J.T. Gilley (and Staci), Tom Velleca (and Stephanie), Amanda Saladino (and Paul), Brandon Velleca, Lily Velleca (and Nick), and Nic Velleca (and Zoe); and his fifteen great grandchildren Ben, Luke, Leah, Kingston, Grace, Isabelle, River, Conway, Forrest, Alex, Rosie, Finleigh, August, Ramona, and Vander. Everyone in the family was cherished by Tom.

Tom was preceded in death by his parents Isabelle and Tom and his siblings Robert, Henry, and Claudia.
His funeral will be held on Monday, June 13, , 2022 from Sansone Funeral Home, 192 Wood Street, Bristol, RI at 10 a.m., with a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 141 State Street, Bristol. Burial will follow in North Burial Ground, Hope Street, Bristol. Calling hours are Sunday, June 12, 2022 from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to any charity for children.

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June 12, 2022

2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Sansone Funeral Home
192 Wood Street
Bristol, RI 02809

Funeral services from
June 13, 2022

10:00 AM
Sansone Funeral Home
192 Wood Street
Bristol, RI 02809

Mass of Christian Burial
June 13, 2022

11:00 AM
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church
141 State St.
Bristol, RI 02809


North Burial Ground
1081 Hope Street
Bristol, RI


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