Antonia J. Carlyon
November 16, 1953 – September 5, 2020
Antonia Jean Carlyon died on September 5, 2020 at Steere House in Providence, of complications of Type 1 diabetes. Antonia is survived by brother Albert Reis, Jr., sisters Lori Reis and Bobbie Shipman, and a wide circle of devoted friends. Antonia was born in Santa Monica, California in 1953 to Albert Reis and Alice LaFlamme Reis. The family moved to Rhode Island and Antonia graduated from Rogers High School in Newport. She then attended College of the Redwoods in Eureka, CA and graduated with her associate’s degree in 1979. After graduation she traveled to London, worked as a clerk assisting defendants in a British law office, and married. After her time in England she returned to Rhode Island in the early 1980s, first settling in Warren, then in Providence.
Antonia was a natural creative spirit and a talented seamstress and musician. She played mandolin and recorder, designed and created original clothing, studied shiatsu massage, was an avid reader and collector and a lifelong scholar of astrology, and was a beloved “fairy godmother” and adopted auntie to several dear friends’ children. She used her talents to create toys, doll clothes, Halloween costumes, parties and an array of arts activities for the children in her life.
Antonia enjoyed playing her Lyon & Healy mandolin as a member of the Providence Mandolin Orchestra for several decades, performing, touring, and rehearsing with the group through 2020. She was a fixture at the American Mandolin & Guitar Summer School, from the inaugural 1984 session on, playing mandolin in the orchestra and chamber music groups, and designing and hand-painting unique collectible T-shirts and tote bags for nearly every annual session. Anty was a fashion icon with a smile-inducing cartoon sense of style. Her banana-print pants, monkey camp-shirts, Tarot-T’s, and oversized jewelry made her a stand-out at every party. She was a loyal friend, never forgetting to send birthday cards, funny cards for the Chinese New Year, and the many photos she took documenting her large and disparate circle of loved ones. Despite long-term health issues, she was generous with her time, and always tried to greet friends with a smile. Antonia’s sense of fun was contagious. In the words of her close friend Lisa: “She had more than a knack for astrology and the curious serendipities of life as well as a penchant for lottery tickets and fortunes. Antonia had a tenacious desire for living life and her playful spirit touched many people.”
Antonia used her intelligence and resourcefulness to survive with Type 1 diabetes since childhood. Memorial donations to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation at www.jdrf.org. are being accepted in honor of Antonia’s love for children and her long battle with diabetes.
A memorial celebration for Antonia is scheduled for Sunday, October 4, 2020. Please contact the Wilbur-Romano Funeral Home at 401-245-6818, for details if you wish to attend.
Wilbur-Romano Funeral Home
Antonia J. Carlyon
September 25, 2020
I am so sorry for the loss of Antonia. She was a beautiful woman with a heart of gold. A forever young soul. I'll never forget those beautiful curls and that sweet smile. My condolences to the family; Laura, Bob and "the girls". Rest in sweet peace, Antonia.