Francis X. Gildea | Mall manager, 69

Francis X. Gildea
Francis X. Gildea
Posted: March 14, 2012

Francis X. Gildea, 69, formerly of Radnor, a Vietnam War veteran and shopping mall manager, died Saturday, March 10, of complications from cancer at Waverly Heights, a retirement community in Gladwyne.

A native of Lackawanna County, Mr. Gildea graduated from Scranton Preparatory School and earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Scranton.

From 1966 to 1968, he served in the Army and completed a tour of duty, including jungle operations in Vietnam.

After his discharge, he was an analyst for the National Security Agency in Washington, where he met his future wife, Joyce Asher.

They married in 1969. In 1971, he earned a master's degree in business administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He then was director of education and research for the Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics and Allied Workers International Union in Media for several years.

Later, he was a vice president for Rouse Co., a real estate developer, and managed the Plymouth Meeting Mall, a Rouse property. He continued to manage Plymouth Meeting Mall after it was purchased by Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust. He retired in December 2008.

Mr. Gildea blended his interest in photography and painting, producing oils of his favorite photos. He was a student of philosophy, art history, and cosmology.

He traveled extensively with his wife until her death last year.

Mr. Gildea, who was "Sparky" to close friends and family, is survived by sisters Kathleen and Marita Gildea; two nieces; and two nephews. 

A life celebration will be from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, March 17, at the Manor House at Waverly Heights, 1400 Waverly Rd., Gladwyne.

Donations may be made to Living Beyond Breast Cancer, 354 W. Lancaster Ave., Haverford, Pa. 19041.

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