Thomas Abbiati PLAINFIELD — Thomas Abbiati, 58, passed away Aug. 12, 2019, with his loving family at his side. Born on Dec. 31, 1960, to Stuart Milne and Georgianne (Sylvester) Abbiati, Tom graduated from Montpelier High School in 1979 and Paul Smith’s College in 1981. Tom had many interests throughout his life but at the core of his well-lived life were his family, friends, food and fun. No gathering at his home, be it a family holiday celebration, dinner with close friends, or a blowout 50th birthday party (his own and planned by him), was complete without plenty of good food and a libation or two. A self-proclaimed foodie, Tom got his start in the hospitality and food business at 16 years old. As the story goes, he had a job as a dishwasher that summer. One Friday evening, he was pressed into service on the line when the chef failed to show up. Tom accepted the challenge, called his mother for guidance on preparing rack of lamb, and a future restaurateur was on his way. In 1981, with his Hotel Restaurant Management degree in hand, he returned to Montpelier and put his talent and skills to work at several local restaurants. His short-term goal was to open his own establishment. What he didn’t know was that he, a manager at the time, would meet his future wife, a waitress, while employed at the Wayside Restaurant in Berlin. Tom married Gloria Ennis in 1986 and in 1988, they opened Chadwick’s Restaurant on State Street in Montpelier. While the restaurant was one brand of fun, yearly cruises to the southern Caribbean provided the couple with another source of fun, and gave Tom inspiration for new food and beverage items to offer at Chadwick’s. Each trip was an adventure for the couple, complete with oft-repeated stories shared with family and friends. Tom loved good food but recognized that easy access to such food wasn’t a reality for everyone. Consequently, he partnered with local soup kitchens each holiday season, in a variety of ways, to support their efforts to reach individuals struggling with food insecurity. This was the beginning of things to come on his foodie career path. Chadwick’s was sold in 1995 and for the next 10 years, Tom worked in the wholesale food sales industry. In 2005, Tom accepted a position as the director of Food Resources with the Vermont Foodbank. This opportunity showcased his ability and skills to procure, prepare and source good food to those individuals in need. Tom also loved things that moved fast like Indy cars, stock cars and Formula One cars. In 1994, with a group of friends and a rented van, he trekked to Indianapolis, Indiana, for the inaugural run of NASCAR’s Brickyard 400. The stories from that trip continue to reveal themselves. Tom was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in November 2018. This diagnosis was shattering to everyone, but Tom faced this challenge with courage and strength until his passing. One bucket list quest of Tom’s was to attend the Formula One car race in Montreal, Canada. This adventure proved to be elusive until this year. Life was meant for good friends and great adventures and on June 9, 2019, with the blessing of his oncologist and support of his good friend, Guy Badeau, Tom made the trip to Montreal to experience that race. This quote best sums up that trip “a good friend listens to your adventures. A best friend makes them with you.” Tom leaves his devoted wife of 33 years, Gloria (Ennis); his loving mother, Georgianne Abbiati; his sister, Mary Sklon; brother, Richard "Rick" Abbiati; and uncle, Richard Sylvester. He was predeceased by his father, Stuart Abbiati, in 1988. Visitation will take place on Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, from 4–6 p.m. at Guare and Sons Funeral Home, School Street, Montpelier. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, at 1 p.m. at Christ Episcopal Church, State Street, Montpelier. Tom’s family would like to thank his doctors and the compassionate staff of BAYADA Home Health Care for their care during these last months. At Tom’s request, memorial contributions may be made to the Vermont Foodbank, 33 Parker Road, Barre, VT, in lieu of flowers.

(2) entries

Mary Maclay-Gehlbach

Gloria and family, I am so sorry for your loss. Please know that I am thinking of you at this difficult time.


gloria, our deepest sympathy. you are in our thoughts and prayers. ellen and jim ryan

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