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Raider for Life: Leadership, Generosity, & Commitment to Innovation

Raider for Life: Leadership, Generosity, & Commitment to Innovation

As a CCHS community, we mourn the passing of G. Thomas (Tom) Catalano '50, who was instrumental in responding to the critical needs of Central Catholic over the years.

Tom passed away on February 6, 2021.

His generosity ensured that hundreds of Central Catholic students have - and will continue to make - incredible advances in the arts, technology and sciences. He was also willing and able to take on leadership roles on Central's Board of Directors several times. 

Tom was one of Central Catholic’s most generous philanthropists in the history of the school, giving over $1.4 million dollars to support a multitude of CCHS initiatives, including an endowed scholarship in his name - The G. Thomas ('50) & Marie Catalano Fund. He also included Central Catholic in his estate plans.
Tom, who grew up in Lawrence, MA, was an active CCHS Board member for 19 years - two of which he served as president, and in 1995, he led a successful multi-million-dollar capital campaign for the school which resulted in the renovation of the school’s classrooms and important Memorial Gymnasium infrastructure. He also  faithfully participated in the Annual Fund and was a member of the President’s Leadership Circle at the Marian Society Level.
As a full-scholarship student at Central Catholic, Tom’s leadership skills emerged by taking on the role of Class President for four years, serving as Student Council Secretary and President during two of those years, and he was a Legion of Honor member. He also played football for four years and served as Captain of the team in his senior year. He was recognized by his peers as the most influential 1950 classmate and a finalist for both most popular and the ideal 1950 Central Catholic student.
Following graduation, Tom headed off to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and upon graduation in 1954, returned to Central Catholic to teach Math, and serve as the freshman football coach for three years.
Off the field, Tom embarked on an almost 45-year career in the insurance business - as owner of The Catalano Insurance Agency which continued to grow to several locations before his retirement in 1999. 
Tom left a lasting imprint on the CCHS community and was honored for his commitment to Central Catholic with The St. Marcellin Champagnat Award for Philanthropic Leadership in 2012.
Tom and his wife Marie (Galvagna) Catalano, who passed away March 19, 2020, made their home in North Andover, Massachusetts, but also spent time in Florida and Maine.

They leave behind four children Thomas Catalano, Barbara Catalano Hey, Catherine Catalano Scott, and Claudia Catalano, and a long legacy of Raiders: Sebastian F. Catalano '48, Brother (deceased); Thomas B. Hey '70, Son-in-Law; Matthew Palmisano '10, Great Nephew; Rachel Palmisano '08, Great Niece; Andrew D. Scott '09, Grandson; Stephanie M. Scott '12, Granddaughter; Brian G. Sweeney '03, Great Nephew; and Tara M. Sweeney '05, Great Niece.


May perpetual light shine upon Thomas and Marie and may their souls rest in eternal peace. We keep their family and the families of all of our deceased alumni and friends in our prayers and thoughts always. 

Burning candle with crucifix in background

Central Catholic High School
A College Preparatory High School of Excellence in the Marist Tradition

Founded by the Marist Brothers in the heart of Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1935, Central Catholic High School enrolls 1,200 students from over 60 cities and towns and several countries. Students come from diverse backgrounds to form a caring community of faith, learning, and service. They advance to college in overwhelming numbers (nearly 100%) and move on to successful careers and positions of leadership in government, business, industry, academia, and professions.

Central Catholic High School is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

For more information, please visit, call 978-682-0260, or email

Mission: Central Catholic High School makes Jesus known and loved.
We educate the whole person for college and for life, with particular care for the least favored and those in need.