OBITUARY

Philip J. DePasquale

November 1, 1928October 20, 2018
Play Tribute Movie Play Tribute Movie

Philip J. DePasquale, 89, husband, father, brother and grandfather, passed away peacefully Saturday, October 20, 2018 at Grace Barker Nursing Center in Warren, with family at his side. “Phil” was the husband of the late Margherita C. (Vitullo) DePasquale. In a lifetime of hard work and unwavering family commitment, he and Margherita raised seven children, traveled extensively, and endlessly enjoyed the simple pleasures of hometown living.

Born in Bristol, Philip was the son of the late Salvatore and Filomena (Scolaro) DePasquale. As a graduate from Bristol’s Colt Memorial High School, Philip began a dedicated life to various professions. He was a reservist in the Army National Guard; a graduate of Chicago’s National College of Chiropractic, and during the mid-1950’s, Philip divided his time between his chiropractic profession and a job as an “oiler” on a dredge off the coast of Long Island. In the early 1960s, Philip studied orthopedic shoe repair in Lynn, Massachusetts and opened a cobbler shop, Phil’s Shoe Service, in Warren’s north end. Always a steadfast provider, Philip often added a second shift in several East Bay factories where he worked including Carr’s Manufacturing, Kaiser Aluminum and, finally, retiring from Lloyd’s Manufacturing in 1994.

Always included in Philip’s daily prayers were his predeceased siblings: baby Catherine, Nancy Belsito, and Stephen, as well as his granddaughter, Bethany DePasquale. He was surprisingly greeted in heaven by his recently deceased grandson, Matthew DePasquale.

Phil is survived by his “kid sister,” Carmela “Millie” Vacarro and her husband Francis; his seven children: Philip De Pasquale and his wife Virginia of Warren, John De Pasquale of Idaho, Paul De Pasquale of New York, Mary De Pasquale of North Kingstown, Michael De Pasquale and his wife Barbara of Idaho, Maria Latta and her husband Edward of Plymouth, MA and Joseph De Pasquale of Warren. Phil’s legacy continues in nine grandchildren: Peter, Michael, Gregory, Tonisha, Christian, Tessa, Shaylin, Santino, Dominic; three step grandchildren, Jeremy, Ashley and Kyle; three great grandchildren, Layla, Ryder and Rowan; daughter-in-law, Diane DePasquale of Pascoag and many, nieces and nephews.

To say Philip John De Pasquale lived a multi-faceted life would be an understatement. His children will always remember him as a man of multiple intense, often contradictory, passions. He was often the center of large family gatherings, yet would just as often take long, solitary walks. He was entirely committed to his large family, yet, this very commitment frequently kept him from it. For much of his life, he worked sixteen hours a day, six days a week. Because of this grueling regime, the fruits of his labor not only secured his family, but also were generously extended to many family friends at ample Sunday dinners, large sumptuous holiday meals and special occasion parties. During numerous “mystery rides” and Sunday family outings, with children’s friends adding to the numbers, the “gallivanting” could be as simple as feeding the ducks at Foxy’s pond, getting a cone at Grey’s Ice Cream or ice skating. More elaborate were a full day’s excursion to Newport, Lincoln Park or Edaville Railroad and the surrounding cranberry bogs at harvest time.

When Philip finally retired, “Phil and Maggie” became enthusiastic members of the Royal Travelers Club extensively touring the USA, Italy and the tropics. He was constantly fascinated and always amazed by Mother Nature’s beauty visiting many National Parks, the mountains of Sun Valley, Idaho, and beaches of Florida and Aruba. However, Philip’s favorite place to visit with his family or in the solitude of his later years, was Colt State Park. He was endlessly fascinated with Narragansett Bay: the tides, the boats, the waves, the birds and the ever-recurring, peaceful sunsets.

His Funeral will be held on Friday, October 26, 2018 at 9:00 AM from the Wilbur-Romano Funeral Home, 615 Main Street, Warren, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 AM in St. Alexander’s Church, 221 Main Street, Warren. Visiting hours, Thursday 4:00 to 8:00 PM. Burial will be in St. Alexander’s Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the memorial bench fund of the Warren Town Beach, where Phil and Maggie courted at Warren Memorial Bench Fund, In care of Philip DePasquale, Warren Recreation Program, 790 Main St., Warren RI, 02885.

Services

  • Visitation Thursday, October 25, 2018
  • Funeral Service Friday, October 26, 2018
  • Funeral Mass Friday, October 26, 2018
  • Burial Friday, October 26, 2018
REMEMBERING

Philip J. DePasquale

have a memory or condolence to add?

ADD A MEMORY
The Family

November 13, 2018


Wharf Tavern: Benediction and Remembrance

“GOOD MORNING. How do you DO!!??!! I didn't know you were here! Nobody told me YOU were coming!”

Of course, that’s our dad talking.

Last night, while we were watching video-screen images of Dad's face, we knew if he had been by our sides he would have exclaimed: “UN-BEE-LEEVE...this is un-bee-leeve-able, HOW do they do such a thing?

If Dad sent you off this morning, moments before your departure, he would have asked "Do you have a handkerchief in your back pocket? And then he would have said, “Keep your nose clean.” And believe me, for a DePasquale, that’s a large order!

Regarding this morning's church service ... he would have declared it “Fantastic!” and this reception, “Amazing!” or, vice versa.

Now ... we know you'll find this next comment extremely difficult to understand, but --- one of the things that drove us DePasquale kids crazy was Dad’s repetitive phrases. And, as Dad’s final confusions revealed themselves, these automatic utterances became the foundation of his speech.

If you were rejoicing or complaining about the weather, “Phil” would wag that finger at you and declare “Every day is a good day if, you wake up in the morning, can put your feet on the floor and walk about!”

And, when you were saying goodbye, even if you visited him daily, he would have said, “Thank you for coming. I’m so glad you came. We don’t get together often enough.”

In the last two years, as his assertive language eased and his conscious memories faded, we all would cue him along to elicit our favorite stories and phrases. Only then, when the choice words came, were we reassured that our dad was “still here.”

The Family

November 13, 2018

In the last few weeks, as he diminished, we felt a new joy in our hearts when hearing those simple expressions ... his few ... remaining ... last words. And now, as he so seriously, often said, “I’m not joking!”, we all long to hear those words again and have been reciting them to each other more fondly, like never before.

When he presided over the dinner table, Dad always said ‘Grace.’ Please join with us now in saying “Bless us O Lord, and these Thy gifts, for which we are about to receive from Thy bounty, through Christ our Lord, ‘AAAy---men!’ ”

Thank you.

A salud!

The Family

November 13, 2018

“Fond Recollection”

When we were children, Dad cut an extremely imposing figure; he lorded with a commanding presence.

However, he had a soft touch that we “kids” have grappled with for our lifetimes.

For many years Dad worked two jobs, one as a shoe cobbler and the other as a factory laborer in several local mills. Consequently, while working sixteen hours a day, and six days a week, Phil was always exhausted.

Yet despite his grueling regime, Daddy reserved Sundays for our friends and us. Pals were always allowed an outing with our family to the Rhode Island School of Design art museum, or to a frigid afternoon of sledding at the Barrington Country Club, or to a Crescent Park midway romp. These Sunday activities were abundant, and quite often, priceless.

Since Dad didn’t have spare money, he took advantage of the myriad free activities offered throughout Little Rhody and the surrounding areas: various Boston museums, band concerts in Roger William’s Park, zoos in Pawtucket and Attleboro, or scampering on the battleship decks of the U.S.S Massachusetts -- these were the highlights. Standard fare was driving under the Mount Hope Bridge and running around on the rocks, fishing for flats off the Bristol State Street Pier, or riding around Colt’s Drive to watch the waves, the ships and the seagulls.

Sunday picnics were quite common on a summer’s day. With beach bags loaded and lemonade jugs full, the family would head for the brine off Newport’s Ten Mile Drive where feasting, tide pooling, and the ocean’s majesty made us think we were rich and wonder, ‘What do the poor folk do for fun?’

For hot dog roasts, Dad had a very special place off Mount Hope Bay in the Bristol Narrows.

The Family

November 13, 2018

Above the rocky shores, a freshwater brook ran from the surrounding woods and streamed into the bay. Our tribe would march to this estuary, plop down our picnic fare. And with jackknives in hand, we would whittle “hotdog sticks.”

Mary remembers, “If we cut a finger or two, Dad would tear strips of cloth and bandaged the wounds while admonishing, ‘This is why you should always carry a handkerchief!’ ”

Eventually, driftwood was gathered and a roaring fire blazed. In those evening twilights, fireflies blinked, frogs sang, and waves lapped endlessly. The chaotic excitement usually ended with the babies asleep on the blankets, and we older children seated around the glowing coals -- hushed by a rising moon, and calmed by an incoming tide.

Similar to tides, winds, and storms, these memories flow, linger and swirl...

--Dad emerging in a blizzard, calling out to Philip and Johnny who are struggling with newspapers. Dad carrying the bag, encouraging them in the storm.

Maria recalling, “... nine years old ... my newspaper route ... the weather bad ... Dad arriving ... throwing my bike into the tailgate and driving me around.”

Johnny recollecting “... Dad & picking me up with my newspapers on Friday afternoon, then ... going to Carr’s Manufacturing Plant in Bristol and getting Dad’s paycheck ... stopping at the Tupelo Street turkey farm, reading the newspaper, then him driving me to deliver papers.

--Dad giving Mom bear hugs in the kitchen ...

--Dad with us on a Saturday morning watching cartoons ...

--Getting the Christmas tree and hanging the lights. Dad never decorating the tree but always stringing the lights.

The Family

November 13, 2018

--Christmas presents despite Dad’s sometime Christmas unemployment.

--Dad’s annual bedside reading of The Night Before Christmas

--Dad always providing late-night transportation from school activities for us and our friends, taxiing everyone to their front door and driveways, usually between the hours of 10 PM, and 1 AM … and he having to be up for work by 6 AM.

--Dad popping corn on Sunday nights before Walt Disney TV show. Spreading a bed sheet on the floor and all of us enjoying the treat.

--Ginger Ale.

--Visiting Angelo and Nancy Mascena’s real yard with a dog!

--Rhode Island History. Bristol History. Family History. Cemetery History. History. History. And then some more history!

--Five Movies: Paths of Glory, Stalag 17, On the Waterfront; The Bridge Over the River Kwai, 2001: A Space Odyssey.

--11:30 PM. Dad Picking Johnny up from work at WJAR because Johnny didn’t own a car.

Joey: The fondest memories with Dad include gallivanting and going to Jack Ogg's after church. Fishing. Camping. My wrestling matches. Dad never missed them, even when working second shift (his supervisor would let him leave).

--Buying shoes and learning what made ‘a good shoe.’

The Family

November 13, 2018

--The first day Santino was day-cared by Mom and Dad. Dad doubted his babysitting abilities When we returned, Dad wanted to keep Santino. The next day Dad was at our house at 6:45 AM ready to take back Santino. And then, in the evening, Dad said it would be fine if Santino stayed the whole night! It was amazing to watch Dad beam over Santino and Dominic. Dad was a very good grandfather.

Maria: Other thoughts. As a child, Dad loved his pigeons and his dog.

He loved his hometown of Bristol, especially Colts Park. He gained pleasure from fishes and birds and the simplest, tiniest creatures in nature ... I am happy he had that.

... When I was in the fourth grade, Dad would take Mary to her private flute lessons at Barrington College. I went with them just so I could hang out with Dad. While we waited for Mary in the hallway, Dad would prompt me on multiplications tables or tell me stories.

When I was in the fifth grade and probably nine or ten years old, brother Paul arranged for me to participate in collegiate gymnastics practice. So, every Thursday night Dad taxied me to Rhode Island College and I would practice for two hours with the gymnastics team. That drive time with Dad was quality time.

On other days, Michael would be fishing at the trestle. So, Dad would and I would check on Michael. As Dad and I walked the tracks, we made up songs and Dad would whistle that funny whistle that he had. He would also sing and make me laugh. I still remember: "I'm so glad we have noses to smell wild roses. I can smell them to the tips of my toes-es,"

Then there were the drives to ballet lessons and for high school Junior Achievement. Dad again took me to Providence once a week from 7-9 pm. Some nights we would get a late night hot dog at the Haven Brothers Diner. That was great!

The Family

November 13, 2018

During my junior year, after five weeks of mono-sickness, I had the midnight cravings and couldn't sleep, so Dad took me to Lums for a hot roast beef sandwich.

One of our best days was right before I left for Syracuse New York to attend college. It was a beautiful summer day and just Dad and I went on a day trip to Block Island.

One of our best days was right before I left for Syracuse New York to attend college. It was a beautiful summer day and just Dad and I went on a day trip to Block Island.

Then, the weekend before I graduated from Syracuse Dad drove six hours just to take me to the mall and buy me a new dress for my graduation.

I could go on. Dad and I had a different relationship than you guys did. Times were different. I am so happy to recall those times now.

As I sit beside him he is almost catatonic. My heart breaks. I say goodbye and I get a whisper and a wisp of a smile ...

Peace Dad. Rest in peace.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY