March 19, 2021 1:44 PM
Dear dear Fred, where do I begin... My earliest memory of you was when I was a little girl and you and my sister Joan picked me up to go to the beach. This was very special to me since I had never been to the ocean nor did I know how to swim and you were both very patient as I chose to play in the sand. I remember being at your home in Warwick with you and Joan and little Christopher and I remember touching his little face before he was called to heaven. I didn't understand then the sadness both you and my sister were enduring since all I knew was that the whole family was sad. Oh, and I also remember using the bathroom and seeing "playboy" magazines next to the toilet and of course I peeked lol I left feeling guilty wondering if anyone knew that I had peeked My mother always thought of you over the years and would include you in our get togethers since she loved you. Around 3 years ago I received a call from your devoted daughter asking for help taking you to the doctors since she couldn't be here as much as she would have liked. Sooo I became your Uber driver from then till around 7 months ago. Fred, you referred to me as your sister in-law, friend and the best one was Sargent as Cindy had the "General" title haha I cannot count the number of times we would drive down Smith St. to the Roger Williams Medical Center and the amazing stories you would tell me of the way it use to be. back in the day as I enjoyed every story. Fred, I always fibbed to you about the time of the appointments (usually by 1/2 hour) because you were always late and that was probably because you ran into a friend on the way down to my car. I ended up bringing a book with me while I was waiting.. :) We use to stop at Friendly's on the way home which made you happy and you always wanted to buy me a meal. Thank you Fred it was much appreciated. We had many conversations during this time which are now part of my wonderful memories of you...I am saddened by this worlds loss of your wonderful spirit and I pray you are with those you loved in heaven right now. I visited you on March 1st as I brought you a phone from your thoughtful daughter Cindy and as I walked in you raised your hands and said, Patty how are you" I was happy you were alert at that moment as you soon drifted off and wasn't aware I had left :( God Bless you Fred, your forever sister in-law and friend. Love, "Patty"
March 19, 2021 11:33 AM
Hi Fred! Hope you are enjoying the huge welcome you are receiving. I know a lot of people have been happily awaiting your entry into that realm where the bliss is even better than a beer and a smoke...if that's possible 😉. They're waiting for a good story and a laugh because if anyone can provide that, it's YOU!!!
While I haven't known you as long as others here, I always found your voice and humor unique
When you'd talk with Paul on the phone I'd always chuckle when you started every conversation with "Hey Brotha!!!" ...but sweetly always end with "Give my love to Diana and the girls". That meant a lot. Your conversations with him always showed you were proud and happy for him, regardless of the hardships and losses you endured. You never made comparisons, just made him feel good. I know he's going to miss those phone calls and the occasional meals out at Chelo's. All the wait staff connected with you so easily...and you made it clear you were having the time of your life! And now you can hang out with George and reminisce about your lunches with him and Paul at Hometown Buffet. Those lunches ran a minimum of 3 hours and it was always fun to hear about it at night when I got home from work.
Well Fred signing off for now. Enjoy yourself and know you are loved.
March 18, 2021 2:44 PM
Papa, your impact on my life is immeasurable. You were my closest and favorite grandparent growing up, and for good reason. Anyone who knows me well, knows that I am passionate about history and Europe. This was for the most part thanks to you. My earliest memories of you are from when we still lived in Rhode Island. I fondly recall spending Friday nights at your place with Chris and Cha Cha (our cat), watching the history channel or a movie and eating Ronzio’s pizza and Snickers and Twix candy bars (a kid’s dream). Mom wasn’t crazy about Chris and I being exposed to the cigarette smoke and getting the smell in our clothes and hair, but it was a small price to pay to spend time with you.
Stepping into your home was like going back in time with all of your 1920s-1950s Americana decor and memorabilia. The black and white family photo albums of your parents and other relatives, jazz records and your book collection always provoked interest and wonder in me of the past. Now as an Adult, I understand that it was in this environment, at a young and impressionable age, that my innate passion for history was cultivated and nourished. You were my first exposure to the past. Your explanations of the Second World War, the battles, the major events and the individuals involved, always left me fascinated and wanting to know more. I especially enjoyed hearing your personal accounts of our own family’s history. Stories about your parents and grandparents and the things that happened in their lives long before my existence. You kept them alive by discussing their stories and passing them on to us, your grandchildren. Of course now, I will be the one to carry the torch and pass these stories on to the next generation, god willing. By passing on these stories it keeps our family’s memories alive.
Many family members have told me over the years that I inherited a great deal of traits and features from you. I suppose this is one of the reasons why I always felt a strong connection and bond to you, apart from being your kin. Of course, not everyone that drew these parallels between us meant it in a nice way. Saint Augustine famously wrote in his work, The City of God, that “a man has as many masters as he has vices.” As human beings we all have our weakness and vices. I am no exception and neither were you. Many in our own family were critical of your beer and cigarette habit, understandably so in some circumstances, but I personally never judged you for it, as you were my grandfather and I loved and respected you unconditionally. I have to say that I drew many lessons from your life, including what not to do. Thank you for showing me these things, the good and the bad, so that I could become better.
On a higher note, what I will miss the most about you is your humor, your laugh, your mannerisms, your one liners, your stories, your positive attitude, and your goofiness. You were a unique individual Papa, I have never met anyone else like you in my life. I always saw you as an English gentleman. What I will miss the most is seeing and hearing you, especially giving you a hug and a kiss on your freshly shaved face and getting that scent of cigarettes mixed with aftershave. The image of you wearing a New York Yankees hat with a polo shirt and khaki pants and boat shoes is forever ingrained in my mind. You were like a unique caricature of yourself, especially with your famous toupee, which had bald patches in it, ha ha! And was only worn on special occasions. I’ll never forget when you gifted me a blazer and told me that you got it for half the price cause the guy who owned it before died in it ha ha! It's things like these which always gave me a positive and loving perception of you. Life is not meant to be taken too seriously! The few times I saw you upset in my life were when you spoke about your son Chris. I know it pained you tremendously to have lost an infant child. Some wounds don’t always heal, but I take comfort in knowing that you now have the opportunity to be with your son that you internally mourned for so many years.
I will greatly miss coming to Rhode Island to visit you and our lunch and dinners at Twin Oaks and other famous Rhode Island establishments. I always loved to stand outside of the restaurants with you during your cigarette breaks to hear your stories. It’s the little things that make a big impact. Thank you Papa for teaching me to be a gentleman, countless smiles, moments of laughter, love and joy. I will miss you with all my heart until the end of my days. I hope and pray that we will see each other again on the other side. Until then, with love always, your grandson Peter.
Your former next door neighbor on Harvest street, Daniel Medeiros, when asked about you said, “One of a kind. He always reminded me of what was right about America. He loved baseball, enjoyed American beer and had old school values.”
I think that about sums it up perfectly, and I couldn’t have said it better myself. As your generation starts to go, we will unfortunately lose that connection to simplicity and decency from the past. Despite that, I promise you that I will do my best to carry on your legacy and values. Until next time, Papa.