Anthony Gaspich, OFM
1887 – 1975
Br. Anthony Gaspich, OFM, was born in Treboconi, Yugoslavia, on Nov. 2, 1887. As a young man Br. Anthony joined the Merchant Marine. The Province has no record of when he came to the United States, but there was a legend that he jumped ship in New York City just before World War I.
Fr. Anselm Kennedy, OFM, received him as a tertiary brother in 1915, and he entered the Province’s novitiate April 19, 1919. He professed temporary vows April 20, 1920, and made his profession of solemn vows June 11, 1923.
During his 55 years as a friar, Br. Anthony served as a cook in several houses of the Province. He was also sacristan at St. Anthony’s in Butler, N.J., and did maintenance work at St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y.
Br. Anthony was a man without guile and often gave spectacular expression to his carefree attitude toward life. During his retirement years, he cared for the gardens at St. Raphael Friary in Lafayette, N.J., and shared all with the poor people in the neighborhood. Wherever he went, his happy-go-lucky disposition brought joy to others.
He became a naturalized citizen in 1968, and two years later celebrated his Golden Jubilee as a friar. He spent the last two years of his life at the Provincial Infirmary at St. Bonaventure University, Allegany, N.Y., and he died at St. Francis Hospital in Olean, N.Y., on June 16, 1975. He was 87 years old and a professed friar for 55 years.