Obituary: Nicholas Campanella, 21

Nicholas Campanella, 21, of East Greenwich, passed away at home peacefully on Wednesday, March 7, surrounded by his loving family.  Born in Warwick, he was the dearly beloved son of Richard and Sabrina (Frank) Campanella.

Nicholas was only on this earth for 21 years, but his impact on the lives of those who loved him, and on those he touched, was immense.  Nick has passed on, but his legacy of kindness, courage, humor, gratitude and empathy for others will live forever.  This can be said with certainty. We are all far better off for have knowing and loving him.  He was also a student at Providence College.

Besides his parents, he is survived by his dear brother Dean Campanella of NYC, and his maternal grandparents Thomas and Cindy Frank of Cranston.  Nick was the paternal grandson of the late Richard and Jenny Campanella.  He also leaves behind numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and his loving companion dog Jack.

His funeral will be held from the Nardolillo Funeral Home & Crematory, 1278 Park Ave., Cranston, on Monday at 8:45 a.m. followed by a service in the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 175 Oaklawn Ave., Cranston, at 10 a.m.  Entombment will take place in the Redwood Mausoleum, Swan Point Cemetery, Providence.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: Tomorrow Fund, 593 Eddy Street, Providence, R.I. 02903.

Obituary: Claire McCaffery Sharpe, 107

Claire (McCaffrey) Sharpe, a loving mother, grandmother and aunt passed away at the amazing age of 107 on Jan. 18, at the Saint Elizabeth Home in East Greenwich, R.I. She was predeceased by her husband Howard F. Sharpe in 1959. Mrs. Sharpe was born April 1, 1910, in Providence to the late Peter James and Mary Agnes (Scheuren) McCaffrey.

Claire was a member of Our Lady of Mercy Church and served as a Eucharistic Minister. She was a devoted Catholic and was faithful to the parish as they were also to her. She was the recipient of the Post “Golden” Cane as the longest and oldest resident in the Town of East Greenwich.

She is survived by her three daughters: Roberta McMahon (late husband Robert) of Warwick, R.I.; Kathleen Sharpe of East Greenwich, R.I., and Paula Hiebert (husband Theodore) of Homewood, Ill.; two grandchildren: Nicholas S. Hiebert (wife Eleanor Doig) of Concord, Mass., and Mary C. Hiebert (husband Clayton Shoppa) of Brooklyn, N.Y.; nieces: Anne McCaffrey of Seattle, Wash., Leah Miller of Riverside, Calif., and Ellen McKenna of South Kingstown, R.I. and a nephew: Paul McCaffrey of East Greenwich, R.I. She is predeceased by her brother, Joseph S. McCaffrey and sister Ruth McCaffrey.

Visitation and funeral gathering was Monday, Jan. 22, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at Carpenter-Jenks Funeral Home, 659 East Greenwich Ave., West Warwick, immediately followed with a Funeral Mass at Our Lady of Mercy Parish, 3rd Street, East Greenwich at 11 a.m. Burial followed in St. Ann’s Cemetery, Cranston, R.I.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Our Lady of Mercy Parish, Third Street, East Greenwich, R.I. 02818 or Saint Elizabeth Home, One Saint Elizabeth Way, East Greenwich, R.I. 02818.

Find the Carpenter-Jenks obituary.

Gill E. Thorpe, 86

Gill E. Thorpe, 86, of Wood River Junction, died Sunday, Jan. 14, at South County Hospital. Formerly of East Greenwich and Wickford, he was the beloved husband of Nancy (Aldrich) Thorpe.

Born in Providence, he was the son of the late Walter and Nora (Gill) Thorpe. Founded by his father, Gill was the pharmacist and owner of Thorpe’s Pharmacy in East Greenwich, with locations in Providence, Riverside and Warwick as well. He was also one of the founders of the East Greenwich Rotary Club in 1963. Gill was very active in various other community organizations throughout his life.

A true outdoorsman, Gill loved being on the water, especially racing sailboats, fishing, and cruising Narragansett Bay. Above all, Gill lived for time spent with his family.

Aside from his wife, he is survived by two daughters: Janet Thorpe and Susan T. Waterman, both of Wood River Junction; two grandsons: Richard R. Waterman, Jr. and Samuel T. Waterman; three granddaughters: Tyler A. Thorpe, Courtney E. Thorpe, and Allison G. Thorpe; and one sister: Nancy Widergren of Westerly. He is predeceased by his son: Richard E. Thorpe. He will be deeply missed by his loving family.

A private service will be held.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be sent to Hope Hospice & Palliative Care Rhode Island, 1085 North Main St., Providence, R.I. 02904; South County Hospital and Home Health Care, 100 Kenyon Avenue, Wakefield, R.I., 02879; or your favorite charity.

Visit the online obituary at the Carpenter-Jenks Funeral Home website here.

In Memoriam: Vince Bradley, Consummate EG Politician

By Elizabeth F. McNamara

Vincent D. Bradley

Vincent D. Bradley, who died Monday at the age of 94, served East Greenwich for 26 years, 22 of those years on the Town Council (from 1980 to 2002) and 4 on the School Committee (2002-2006).

Such longevity on the Town Council would be difficult to replicate now, since the town now limits a person’s time on the Town Council to five consecutive terms (10 years). Bradley liked being in office so well that as soon as he left the Town Council, he ran for School Committee and won. After he moved to West Warwick in 2008, he even ran for School Committee there, losing twice. He was in his mid-80s by that time.

He loved the game of politics.

“Vince Bradley ran one of the best campaigns ever,” recalled Joe Zenga, who was involved in Democratic town politics in the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s, “He had had a runner at each polling station to make sure people got out to vote.”

If the runner discovered certain people hadn’t yet voted, Bradley’s campaign would call them up and even offer a ride to the poll if that was necessary.

“He was a first-class setup man for the Democratic Party,” said Zenga.

Bill Sequino, who served as town manager from 1988 to 2013, recalled that Bradley was the Council president who hired him. Sequino said Bradley was fearless when it came to confronting tough issues. And he noted that the people he fought with politically later became good friends, including Republican Bob Holbrook and Al Verrechia.

“Vince was completely devoted to his wife, Helen,” Sequino said. She was very ill for several years before her death. Sequino said Bradley would always stop back at home if he and others were going to go out after a council meeting, to check in and let her know when he’d return.

Bradley was also a champion pool player, Sequino noted. “He would be playing pool down at The Oaks,” a bar on Queen Street.

Charlene Patriquin echoed that fact on Facebook.

“He even used to come down the hill for a pool game. Great guy. He will be missed,” she wrote. Patriquin said when she played pool, Bradley tried not to laugh “cause I can’t play,” she said.

“Vince was a throwback to another time,” EG drug counselor Bob Houghtaling said. “He like the deal, he liked the game of politics. He was an incredible character who liked to stir the pot. He was never afraid to say something –sometimes he’d give you a wink just to let you know he was saying something just to instigate something.”

Houghtaling also recalled Bradley’s heroism. Bradley was one of Merrill’s Maruaders, a U.S. Army unit that fought in the China-Burma-India Theater during World War II. The unit traveled through dense jungle behind enemy lines and was known for engaging Japanese forces superior in number. Bradley earned two Bronze Stars.

Before he was elected to Town Council, Bradley piqued the interest of then-Rhode Island Pendulum reporter Mark Thompson. It was 1977 and President Jimmy Carter was planning to hand over control of the Panama Canal to Panama. Bradley was born in the Panama Canal Zone, as it was known then, and spent the first 17 years of his life there. In Thompson’s subsequent article, Bradley talked about how he supported the return and he recalled the “bitter discrimination” by Americans towards the Panamanians. “The canal issue will never be resolved until the Americans living in the Zone learn to treat the Panamanians with dignity, mutual trust, and friendship,” Bradley told Thompson.

Jean Ann Guliano got to know Vince when she ran for East Greenwich School Committee.

“People get into public service for different reasons but Vince genuinely loved the politics. He thrived on it. I met him at the end of his political career here in EG before he moved to West Warwick. When I first got on the School Committee, I would have breakfast with Vince, Carl Hoyer and Bob Holbrook and they would all give me advice and historical perspective on town politics. The ‘City Fathers’ I used to call them. What a treat, as I look back on it.”

She continued, “Vince always had good stories, a great smile and a twinkle in his eye. And, he was always looking forward to the next race!”

Read his obituary here.


Obituary: Gianna Cirella, 16

Gianna M., Cirella, 16, passed away peacefully Wednesday, Nov. 1, at Hasbro Children’s Hospital. She was the beloved daughter of East Greenwich Deputy Chief of Police Stanley F. “Skip” and Tara M. (Davoren) Cirella, and the loving sister of Cassie N. Cirella.
Gianna was easy going but certainly kept us going with her quirky ways. She was the ultimate “life of the party,” whether it was team practice, a nighttime campfire, or just a morning wake up. Gianna’s favorite things included the beach and mini-vacations to the family camp in Vermont. Gianna will be truly missed by all who knew her, but more importantly, her life and the memories will change us all and forever be part of the happiest portion of our years.
She was a junior at Tollgate High School and had graduated from Winman Junior High and Greenwood Elementary School. She loved country music and playing soccer. Gianna was a goalie for the Tollgate girl’s soccer team and also played soccer for the Warwick Firefighters Soccer Club. She had worked as a hostess at the Greenwood Inn and as front desk clerk for Unleashed Fitness Center. She is also survived by her grandparents, Paul Davoren (Karen), Jeanne Bavosi-Ammendolia (Mike), and the late Stanley Cirella and Constance Swanson. She was the beloved niece of Stephen Cirella (Lori), Carlene Gadoury (Ron), and Timothy Davoren (Stacy Cimino).

Her funeral will be held Tuesday Nov. 7, at 8:30 a.m. from the Thomas & Walter Quinn Funeral Home, 2435 Warwick Ave., Warwick, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. in St. Kevin Church, Sandy Lane. Burial will be in Quidnessett Memorial Cemetery, North Kingstown. Visiting hours are Monday, 4 to 7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to the Tollgate Girls Soccer Team, c/o Coach Lonna Razza, 575 Centerville Rd., Warwick, R.I. 02886 would be appreciated.




Remembrance: Domenic Iannazzi, 1923-2017

Longtime EGHS disciplinarian was both loved and loathed

By Mark Thompson

Dom Iannazzi’s photo in the 1970 Crimson. He taught, coached and disciplined in East Greenwich from 1951 to 1978.

If you think the turmoil now roiling East Greenwich is unprecedented, you weren’t around when Domenic Iannazzi became the lightning rod that polarized the town for more than a decade. “Dom” Iannazzi, who taught, coached and principaled in East Greenwich from 1951 to 1978, died Monday, Oct. 9, in Providence of cancer. He was 94.

He was a black-and-white guy in an increasingly Kodachrome world. A tad different—some would say odd—Mr. Iannazzi gave strict orders to his family and friends against announcing his death, publishing an obituary, or holding a funeral or memorial service.

But that wouldn’t be fair to the man, or to the town where he spent 27 years schooling its children, in life as well as math and sports. Love him or hate him—and Mr. Iannazzi had students in both camps—his death should not pass unexamined.

Besides, he’s no longer around to give me detention.

While he may have been a lifelong bachelor, his legacy is in the hundreds of East Greenwich students he taught, coached and disciplined during the tumultuous 1960s and 1970s.

I know. I was there.

His presence in town can be gleaned by how often his name surfaced in the weekly Rhode Island Pendulum newspaper over the decades: 10 times in the 1950s, 123 in the 1960s and 127 times in the 1970s—more than twice a week for 20 years.

Then he pretty much vanished from its pages, and the town.

Newcomers have no idea who he was. But it speaks to what the town was like as it grew from an insular bayside village into a bedroom community, with newcomers from far away who didn’t care for his approach, or his attitude.

Mr. Iannazzi was one of the few teachers in East Greenwich who hit the EGHS trifecta, beginning his career in town teaching at what had been the old East Greenwich Academy (Swift Community Center is all that’s left). He moved on when the Cedar Avenue high school (now Archie Cole Middle School) opened in 1956. He moved again to the current high school in 1967. He helped launch the town’s Citizen Scholarship Foundation, donated trophies to EGHS athletes and cash to EGHS scholars, supervised school dances, and served as the faculty adviser to the student council. And he coached lots of students, especially those who played football for the East Greenwich High School Avengers.

But that’s not what East Greenwich kids of a certain age remember. I met Dom Iannazzi 50 years ago this fall, and like most freshmen—who also feared sophomores, juniors and seniors—the high school’s assistant principal was the avenging Avenger. “Dom I’m-a-Nazi” we called him. He was a taciturn, difficult man, who embraced “tough love” for those under his wing. Some kids thrived; others rebelled. “He breathed fire. He ate raw freshmen for breakfast. He never slept and was stored in a closet at night,” Bruce Mastracchio, class of 1960, wrote of Mr. Iannazzi’s reputation several years ago.

I am sure he will give them hell where ever he goes,” a former female student said after learning of his passing. “I remember seeing him make girls kneel on the floor to check the length of their skirts,” she recalls. “Luckily I didn’t have to do that.”

“I know many wanted to make him a saint, but I wasn’t one of them,” says Alan Clarke, class of 1958. “If you were one of `Uncle Iron’s’ brotherhood, the slaps you got on the back of your head were love taps. If you were not in his band of brothers, he was a big pothole on your road to adulthood.” Many students found him uncaring and and even mean. Most would “get him” after a while but sometimes, Clarke adds, it was too late to save their grade point averages. “I felt his classes were a bit too much like Army basic training, and there was time enough for that ahead,” he remembers. “He wanted something I didn’t want to give him.”

Mr. Iannazzi had grown up in Providence and Johnston, earning degrees from Providence College and Northeastern University. He started his teaching (and coaching—football and hockey) career at La Salle Academy in Providence and Johnston. In January, 1951, he was hired as a math teacher at East Greenwich High School at $2,900 a year, along with coaching the junior high baseball and basketball teams.

In the spring of 1963, 12 years after coming to East Greenwich, he was tapped to serve as assistant principal at the high school, which by then was on Cedar Avenue. At the same School Committee meeting—on April 11 of that year, a date which lives on in infamy—Lou Lepry was promoted to be assistant principal at the junior high. Both served as the schools’ disciplinarian, and I felt the wrath of each back in the day. Mr. Iannazzi was Mr. Lepry, without the charm.

It didn’t take long for Mr. Iannazzi’s iron hand to generate ire among some of the high school kids’ parents. In January 1966, 50 parents complained about high school discipline, or the lack of it, in a petition to the School Committee. “The hearing came as a result of at least two different incidents in the cafeteria, one involving disobedience towards Mr. Iannazzi and the other involving blows exchanged by the vice principal and a student,” the Pendulum reported on its Jan. 13, 1966, front page.

“Mr. Iannazzi has proved to my satisfaction that he is not capable of applying discipline,” a Middle Road resident who launched the petition told the panel before 150 townspeople. Iannazzi, with his typical deft political touch, told the committee that the high school cafeteria had become a “blackboard jungle” until he set up a “student corps” to enforce lunchtime rules there. Principal Rufus Brackley declared, “I am behind Mr. Iannazzi 100%,” but grumbled that he would have appreciated it if the concerned parents had come to him, instead of his bosses on the school board, with their complaint.

Bill Foster, the editor of the Pendulum, came to Mr. Iannazzi’s defense on the paper’s editorial page that same week:

“As a disciplinarian, Mr. Iannazzi has helped create a high school environment that is the envy of other school systems. And the delight of many parents who feel that teaching and discipline go hand in hand. In performing his work, however, Mr. Iannazzi has demonstrated many `controversial’ characteristics. One is a short temper. Another, a vocabulary which can hardly be described as that of the suave politician. And on occasion, a lack of tact has irritated parents involved in disciplinary action. Still, as we review the 15.years he has taught in our system, we can’t help but come to this conclusion. What Mr. Iannazzi has done right so far outweighs what he has done wrong. East Greenwich might do better to treat him to a testimonial than harangue him with a hearing.”

This early confrontation led the next week to the first letter from a former student to the Pendulum championing Mr. Iannazzi. “Mr. Iannazzi is by far one of the best teachers that I have ever had the privilege of encountering,” wrote Gail Graham, a 1957 EGHS graduate who received her bachelor’s degree from Pembroke College (which became part of Brown University in 1971), and a master’s from Stanford University, before becoming a high school teacher in San Francisco. “I remember him as being a strict disciplinarian, but never once as being unfair never mind `dictatorial,’” she wrote. “He expects much of his students and for this I think the students are grateful.” She suggested he might want to apply for better-paying jobs in California.

But Mr. Iannazzi was nothing if not stubborn, so he stayed put. That spat was only a warmup for what was to come. Three years later, he took a year’s sabbatical from East Greenwich High School (gym teacher and coach Nick Carcieri filled in). While he was continuing his studies at the University of Utah, he said he was stunned to receive a letter from the School Committee telling him he would be teaching math at the junior high school when he returned.

“When I entered into the Sabbatical Leave Agreement with the School Committee, I entered it in good faith. But, I wonder, did they?” he said in a letter to the Pendulum, as news of his long-distant demotion surfaced. “It is a known and public fact that I was to return to the School System in the same capacity that I was in prior to my leave. On January 20, 1969, only four months after the opening of school, I received the notification that I was being relieved of my duties as Assistant Principal. At the present time, it is almost impossible for me to do or say anything in my behalf, for I am almost 3,000 miles away.”

An avalanche of letters supporting Mr. Iannazzi tumbled into the Pendulum. One was addressed to the School Committee: “You are charged with providing the best possible education and guidance for the young people of East Greenwich, yet you are humiliating and, in effect, dismissing one of the most gifted and devoted teachers to be found anywhere,” wrote Robert Bergeron, Jr., a 1960 EGHS grad. He recalled dawdling his first two years of high school until he came to Mr. Iannazzi’s attention. He “felt I was capable of doing more and, with the support and cooperation of my parents, began to exert pressure. I resented it fiercely.”

But Bergeron’s resentment eased when Mr. Iannazzi began picking him up each school morning, along with another student, for 30 minutes of private tutoring before the school day began. “Then, in his senior year,” Bergeron remembered, “he gave up his free period every day to teach us college calculus.”

It must have worked: Bergeron graduated from Brown and went on to earn a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “Had I never known Mr. Iannazzi,” he added, “I doubt that I would be in teaching, or in mathematics.”

The following week, Jeffrey Lord conceded in another letter that he had been a “disciplinary problem” as a freshman in the class of 1968 when he first met Mr. Iannazzi. “However, I grew to love the man in my four years at EGHS,” he wrote. “I remember him once telling me: `It’s not what you have, it’s what you do with what you have that counts.’” Lord went on to serve as president of the high school’s student council in his senior year before heading off to the University of Rhode Island. He was killed in a crash in Narragansett a year after writing that letter.

In the same edition, Charles Keyes, the School Committee chairman, weighed in. The committee had discussed reassigning Mr. Iannazzi “for some time,” given that he was “extremely well-versed in mathematics,” Keyes said. The panel was forced to demote him long-distance when they realized he had to be informed of their decision to do so “before March 1st to conform to legal interpretations of the State Board of Education regulations.”

So they sent him a letter.

The committee had planned to keep their action quiet until they met with Mr. Iannazzi personally, but he had no intention of keeping their secret. “We feel it most unfortunate for him and for the youngsters that so much publicity has been given to the subject,” Keyes added.

“The School Committee is fully aware of Mr. Iannazzi’s interest in many youngsters in town . . . of the good work he has done for them . . . of his community projects and the benefits this town has received from them . . . and of his dedication to teaching,” Keyes concluded. Nonetheless, the committee felt it had to act “to improve the overall operation of a growing school system.”

But four months later, after a three-day hearing sought by Mr. Iannazzi, the state ordered him returned to his high school job in time for the 1968-69 school year. “By their own testimony,” the Pendulum grumbled, “the School Committee revealed little first-hand evidence to back up their action.”

Iannazzi in 1971.

Mr. Iannazzi was back at work, and I can attest that his bruising battle to hang on to his job hadn’t worn him out. I remember being summoned to his office in late 1970, along with several cowering classmates. Someone had burned down the temporary, and tiny, ramshackle snack bar at the football field the night after the last game of the season (the Avengers lost to the North Kingstown Skippers, 15-0). Our class of 1971 had built the 6-by-8-foot structure to help raise money. The arsonists also torched the heavy-timber football sled that Avenger gridironers pushed around the practice field. It was that second conflagration, no doubt, that most ticked off Mr. Iannazzi.

As I reported for the high school’s underground newspaper (The Subterranea—get it?), we “were called into the office of famed disciplinarian here at EGHS. He stated his case in the following manner:

“The remnants of the destruction must be cleaned up before Weds., the 25th of Nov. OR ELSE:

“—Seniors will lose their deserved privileges until the `fourth of July (1971)’.

“—If any student planning to graduate in 1972 is found to have been involved in this dreadful act of arson he will also lose the glamour of having senior privileges next year.

“—These recommendations have already been sent to our almost-retired superintendent, Mr. Cole, and he has backed Mr. Iannazzi fully in his endeavor to suppress any more such `Tom-Foolery.’”

I have no recollection what happened in the wake of that meeting. But I’ll never forget that I thought I detected a twinkle in Mr. Iannazzi’s eye as he scolded my classmates and me.

The next time Mr. Iannazzi ran into a buzzsaw, I had long since graduated from East Greenwich High School, gone to college, and returned to East Greenwich to help Bill Foster put out the Pendulum. By the time I got back, in mid-1975, the powers-that-be were trying to push Mr. Iannazzi out of the high school once again. He favored stern discipline, but his superiors, along with the School Committee and many parents, did not. 

Some students sensed the that the old paradigm that once pitted pupils against a united team of parents and school had broken. “Mr. Iannazzi will have to deal not only with a student but with his parents as well,” one told the Pendulum in December 1975. “It’s the parents who say, `What are you doing to my poor, little Golden Johnny,’ and all Mr. Iannazzi’s doing is to try and do his job.” A second agreed. “The parents just won’t believe it when they’re told that their poor, little Golden Johnny just blew up the bathroom.”

Relations between Mr. Iannazzi and his superiors frayed to the breaking point following a fire at the high school, where blame for a failure to sound the alarm bounced between him and the principal at the time.

In 1976 Mr. Iannazzi was tapped to serve as the “assistant to the superintendent for business”—basically, a glorified bean-counter. How a man who had been lauded for years as a teacher, coach and disciplinarian could be assigned to pinch pennies remains to some a mystery for the ages. “I am sure that I will miss working with the kids,” he said shortly before assuming his new position, “but I do think that perhaps it is time I had a change.”

Mr. Iannazzi was replaced by a young school administrator from Yonkers, N.Y., who was paid $19,500 in his first year for doing the job that Mr. Iannazzi had earned $18,150 during the last of his 13 years. “It sure does upset me,” said Mr. Iannazzi, never one to trim his sails as a storm brewed. “I’d be on that job for 13 years and then a new guy comes in and gets more in his first year that I did in my 13th?”

He wasn’t the only one upset. “I was told by a member of the School Committee three years ago that they were going to get Mr. Iannazzi out of the high school—by creating a position of business manager, or something,” Mike Romano, a beloved EGHS drama teacher, said at the time.

Some parents wanted Lepry to take Mr. Iannazzi’s high school post, but he declined. Lepry chose instead to fight for his job as principal at what was then known as East Greenwich Junior High School. The same forces trying to oust Mr. Iannazzi from the high school were trying to push Lepry out of his job there.

Things went downhill after Mr. Iannazzi left the high school. “The kids may have hated Dom while he was here,” one teacher told the Pendulum after he had moved on to the business office at Hanaford School, “but at least they respected him. The hate’s still there for the current administration, but there’s no respect.”

It was obviously a time of turmoil in the East Greenwich school system. Lou Lepry survived; Mr. Iannazzi didn’t.

When Mr. Iannazzi left East Greenwich for good in 1978, the School Committee decided the system no longer needed a business manager.

Mr. Iannazzi spent the final decades of his life quietly working for the federal government at Fort Knox, Ky., refereeing high school football games, and taking care of relatives as they aged, in California as well as Rhode Island. “He didn’t want anything publicized,” an old friend confided of the man’s life, and death. “But he often spoke of the students he knew in East Greenwich. He knew how strict he was with them, but felt they needed it—and he was proud of how many did so well.”

One of those was Bob Bergeron, that East Greenwich high graduate who had gone on to Brown and M.I.T. thanks to Mr. Iannazzi’s help. He ended up working for New Jersey’s Bell Labs—in math, of course—for 30 years. “Besides my parents, there is no one who had a greater influence on my life,” Bergeron said Sunday, Oct. 15. “He helped me learn how to get joy out of working hard.”

Bergeron and others say Mr. Iannazzi never expressed any bitterness at how he had been treated by the East Greenwich school system. But perhaps that was just part of his fervent lifelong desire for privacy. He spurned all honors, avoided photographs, and basically didn’t want to be remembered.

So it’s no surprise that Mr. Iannazzi didn’t go to his grave. Instead, he chose to be cremated.

That means there’s nowhere to go to thank him, or curse him, for his years in East Greenwich.

Obituary: Mary C. (Leary) O’Doherty, 92

Mary C. O'Doherty
Mary C. O’Doherty

Mary C. (Leary) O’Doherty, 92, of East Greenwich, passed away April 2, at Scalabrini Villa. She was born on the Fourth of July, 1922, in New York City to the late Timothy and Anna Leary. She was the wife of the late Niall F. O’Doherty.

Following her retirement as a Trust Officer for Chemical Bank in 1987, Mary moved to Rhode Island. She was longtime member of East Greenwich Leisure Learning, East Greenwich Professional Business Women’s group and East Greenwich senior center. She was a Eucharistic Minister and volunteer at Our Lady of Mercy Church.

She is survived by her children Anne Kamykowski and her husband Tom, Angela Cressman and her husband Robert Jr., and Niall O’Doherty and his wife Irene. She was the proud grandmother of Robert Cressman III, Molly Kamykowski, Niall O’Doherty III, Meagan O’Doherty, and Caitlin O’Doherty. She was the sister of the late Patrick Leary and Angela Rochford.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday, April 11, at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of Mercy Church, 65 Third St., East Greenwich. Burial will be at a later date at St. Raymond’s Cemetery, Bronx, NY. Calling hours are Friday, April 10, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Hill Funeral Home, 822 Main St., East Greenwich. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Scalabrini Villa, 860 North Quidnessett Rd., North Kingstown, RI 02852.

The online obituary and condolence page can be found here.


Obituary: W. Barbara O’Hara, 93

W. Barbara O'Hara
W. Barbara O’Hara

W. Barbara O’Hara, 93, of East Greenwich, and Naples, Fla., passed away peacefully March 28, 2015. She was the wife of the late J. Louis O’ Hara. Born in West Warwick, she was a daughter of the late Charles H. Kernan, Esq. and Winifred M. (McCusker) Kernan.

An elementary school teacher for 25 years, Mrs. O’Hara retired from the former Providence Street School in West Warwick. She is survived by her sons Edward F. (Deborah A. Wikander) of Lafayette, N.J., James L. (Patricia) of East Greenwich, and John F. O’Hara (Dorenne) of Lincoln; eight grandchildren Erin, Kaitlin, Meghan, Michael, Bethany, Matthew, Lindsey and Maggie; five step grandchildren, three great grandchildren and four step great grandchildren. She was predeceased by her son Stephen P. O’Hara and four siblings.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday, April 1, at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of Mercy Church, 65 Third St., East Greenwich. Burial will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery, West Warwick. Calling hours are Tuesday, March 31, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Hill Funeral Home, 822 Main St., East Greenwich. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the American Heart Association, P.O. Box 417005, Boston, Mass. 02241.

The online obituary and condolence page can be found here.


Obituary: Angelina ‘Lena’ (Cerini) Alfano, 96

lena alfanoAngelina “Lena” (Cerini) Alfano, 96, of East Greenwich, died peacefully on March 26, surrounded by her loving family. Born in Providence, Lena was the daughter of the late Vincenzo and Giuseppina (Amore) Cerini, beloved wife of the late Antonio Alfano and the sister of the late Olga Napolitano.

A graduate of Bryant College, she was the office manager for the former Blacher Bros. She was the Rhode Island state president and past national president of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Italian American War Veterans.

She is survived by her loving children, David and his wife Milly of Cranston, Raymond and his wife Carol of East Greenwich, and Steven and his wife Jackie of North Kingstown. Lena also leaves eight grandchildren, Bethany, Allyson, Scott, Jenna, Stephanie, Danielle, Amanda, and Christopher and ten great-grandchildren.

Funeral from the Nardolillo Funeral Home & Crematory, 1278 Park Ave., Cranston, on Monday at 9 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. in St. Mark Church, Cranston. Burial will take place in St. Ann Cemetery, Cranston. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, P.O. Box 1000, Dept. 142 Memphis, Tenn. 38101-9908.

The online obituary and condolence page can be found here.

Obituary: Jeanne Frances Hagerty, 93

Jeanne Hagerty
Jeanne Hagerty

Jeanne Frances Hagerty, 93, of East Greenwich, passed away Tuesday, March 24, in Virginia Beach, Va. She was born August 29, 1921, in Toledo, Ohio, to the late Charles and Frances (Connors) Rimmelin. She was predeceased by her husband Patrick Henry Hagerty, her brother William Rimmelin, and her dear friend, Frank Chipak.

Jeanne lived in East Greenwich for 50 years, moving to Virginia Beach in May 2013.

She leaves behind her children Timothy Hagerty, Mary Pat Marcello (Patrick), Kathleen Seraphin (Robert), Barbara Chegin (George) and Sheila Hagerty; grandchildren Katie and Christine Hagerty, Elizabeth Marcello (Scott Currence), Jeffrey Marcello (Christina), Rachel Grof (David), Andrew Seraphin (Jessica), Catherine Seraphin, Michael, Matthew and Christopher Chegin, as well as five great-grandchildren. Jeanne is also survived by her sister, Dolores Reis, sister-in-law Joyce Rimmelin, and numerous nieces and nephews.

A 1939 graduate of Notre Dame Academy in Toledo, Jeanne continued her education after raising her children. She graduated as an RN from CCRI, class of 1975, and worked for 10 years for Drs. Robert Curhan and Martin Schwarz in Wakefield. Jeanne was always an active volunteer, working as a Gray Lady at the Quonset Point Naval Hospital; the Mothers Club at both Our Lady of Mercy School, and later at Prout Memorial High School, where she served as president during the school’s early years. As the multi-term president of the East Greenwich AARP Chapter #1365, she worked more than 25 years with the Tax Aide Program, becoming the state director and assisting at the East Greenwich sites until 2011. She served on the Senior Advisory Council for East Greenwich Senior Services, and was active for several years on the Parish Council at Our Lady of Mercy Church.

Jeanne enjoyed traveling, having seen most of the United States, much of Europe, as well as China, Iceland, Russia, and Israel. Her favorite trips were family cruises to Bermuda. She loved nothing better than spending time with her children, and later grandchildren and great-grandchildren. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Monday, March 30, at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of Mercy Church, 65 Third St., East Greenwich. Burial will be in St. Patrick Cemetery, East Greenwich. Calling hours: Sunday, March 29, 2 to 4 p.m. at the Hill Funeral Home, 822 Main St., East Greenwich. Memorial donations in her name are requested to the Missionaries of the Poor, P.O. Box 29893, Atlanta, Ga. 30359.

The online obituary and condolence page can be found here.