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With great sadness, we announce the unexpected passing of Christopher Allen Pedorella, DMD, of Saunderstown, on Tuesday, Dec. 27. Chris was the loving husband of Erin Marsh and father of McKenzie Marsh. He was the son of Marie E. (August) Petrarca of East Greenwich, and the late Americo J. Pedorella, Jr. He was the stepson of Robert H. Petrarca and the son-in-law of Lorraine Clarke and the late Don Clarke.
Chris was a beloved husband, father, son, brother, uncle, friend, colleague, and dog whisperer. Born Oct. 12, 1967, in Fort Carson, Colo., he was a bright light.
Chris graduated from Tollgate High School in 1985, and from the University of Hartford School of Music in 1989, where he was a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity. He received his Doctor of Medical Dentistry from Boston University Goldman School of Graduate Dentistry in 1997, before returning to Fort Carson to join the U.S. Army, earning the rank of Major.
His dental experience began in the U.S. Army, where he served for over 8 years with 5 of those years on active commissioned service across the United States and abroad as a dental officer. He also did an advanced education general dentistry residency in Colorado Springs, Colo.
During his service in the Army, Chris spent time in Hawaii and enjoyed showing visitors the vistas at Diamond Head, where Magnum P.I. famously drove his red Ferrari. After his military duties, Christopher moved back home to Rhode Island, eventually settling into his dental practice Smile Designers in East Greenwich in 2008.
In his youth, Chris was a talented musician, like so many in his mother’s family. He played piano and drums in grade school, then switched to strings in 6th grade and classical bass. He played for the Winman/Tollgate Orchestra and the Rhode Island Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. He purchased his first bass with the earnings from his paper route in East Greenwich.
Chris was a longtime member of Quidnessett Country Club, where he learned to play golf and eventually became a regular fixture. He loved playing with family and friends. He played in club tournaments with his father as a young man and later, with his brothers and friends when he became a member. On several occasions, Chris even came within a few inches of making that elusive hole in one.
Although Chris did not pursue a musical career, he never stopped singing. He sang in the car and while he worked. As his patients and co-workers will tell you, much to their delight and sometimes chagrin, Chris loved to sing country music and tell jokes as he worked. Never mind the audience, Chris laughed the hardest at the jokes, much like his Grandpa August.
Chris was not only a bright spirit while he worked, he was also a generous friend and family member. Chris was always the first person to offer to help – if you needed a doctor or a ride, and certainly advice, like it or not.
You could not have a meal with Chris at Siena, Plum Beach, or many other local establishments without several people stopping over to say hello. He knew and loved his Rhode Island community.
Chris owned a Ferrari as part of his ’80s ongoing love of Magnum P.I. In fact, he recently won an award for his Magnum P.I. costume at a classic car meet in Newport. He loved sharing his passion for his teams, the Bruins, Yankees, and Patriots, watching and attending games with family and a great circle of friends. He also made them watch the silly/terrible movies and videos he adored. Like those movies, Chris would revisit the things he and Erin loved, like Disney and the Caribbean. He knew how to have fun.
Chris was published in General Dentistry, a Journal of the Academy of General Dentistry; and was a member of the Kent County Dental Association, the East Greenwich Chamber of Commerce, the American Dental Association, and the Rhode Island Dental association. He was also a Pierre Fauchard Academy fellow.
In addition to his loving wife, daughter, and parents, Chris is survived by his siblings: John T. Pedorella (Marni) of Los Angeles, Calif., and their children Charlie and Ava; Joseph M. Pedorella (Maria) of Blackstone, Mass., and their children Cristina, Marissa and Anthony; his step-siblings and their children, Debra A. Smith (Wayne) of Warwick, Robert G. Petrarca (Brenda) of Warwick, and Mia Behjat (Alex) of Los Angeles. Chris is also survived by his brother-in-law, Don Clarke (Tracey), sister-in-law, Whitney Marzano (Capt. Todd Marzano), and their children. His beloved dogs, Gia and Lola, will miss him dearly.
Chris was predeceased by his brother Americo J. Pedorella, III, his stepsister Karen A. Petrarca, and his grandparents, Nicholas and Anna August, and Americo and Argia Pedorella.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, Jan. 4, at 10 a.m. at St. Gregory the Great in Warwick. Interment with Military Honors will follow at Swan Point Cemetery in Providence.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 3, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Urquhart-Murphhy Funeral Home in Warwick.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in Chris’ memory be made to either the Potter League for Animals, (Middletown, R.I.) or to the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra (Providence, R.I.).
You may leave an online condolence with the funeral home HERE.