George and Genevieve Damaschi

Funeral Information for George and Genevieve (Pecora) Damaschi is as follows...

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday July 1, 2015 at 9:00am in St. Mary's Church in Cranston. Burial with Military Honors will follow in The Rhode Island Veterans Cemetery Exeter. Visitation will be held on Tuesday from 4:00-7:00pm in The Butterfield Chapel 500 Pontiac Avenue Cranston. In lieu of flowers donations to the Izzy Foundation C/O Jennifer Collins 122 Harris Drive North Attleboro, MA 02760 would be appreciated.

George Rocco Damaschi died June 19, 2015 of natural causes with his family by his side at Brentwood Nursing Home in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, where he spent the last year enjoying the view of Narragansett Bay. He was 92. Damaschi, born in Hartford, Connecticut to Italian immigrant parents, worked hard almost every day of his life. He was a decorated Army Sergeant, serving in World War II from 1942 to 1946 in the Philippines and in New Guinea. He spoke little of those years, except to entertain with light stories about driving an ambulance, tending to a pet monkey and marveling at the local culture. He came home from the war and proposed to the love of his life, Genevieve (Pecora), a dancer from Brooklyn who passed up a chance to be a Rockette in order to marry him and settle down in Connecticut. He owned a gas station, and then drove a bread truck, supporting a growing family of three daughters in South Windsor, Connecticut. He later joined the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad as a conductor in the 1950s, and always bought the most expensive work boots and watches money could buy, wearing out many of both in his long career. He also served as a representative and as treasurer of the United Transportation Union. Damaschi ‘retired’ in 1985 and he and his wife moved to West Warwick, Rhode Island, to be close to where their daughters had relocated. Never one to have clean hands for long, Damaschi -- a curator of epic tool sheds (which he would build for himself) and basement workbenches (which he would fill with gadgets) -- took up wood-working, throwing sawdust around like confetti. He carved decoy ducks that Genevieve, a talented painter, would decorate with realistic markings. He also planted robust gardens, ranging from vegetables and herbs to a rainbow of annuals and perennials. His heirloom tomatoes were the best and his moonflowers planted in the front yard were so large, they often stopped traffic. He taught his grandchildren ripe from wrong, rode them around on his tractor with a cigar dangling from his lips, and may have been his most gleeful when the manure truck arrived each spring or when he was mulching in some leaves in the fall on his hands and knees. As much as he loved his hobbies, he soon took up a second career as a maintenance man and worked at that well into his 80s, when creaky knees forced him to park his blue Ford pickup truck for good. But it wasn’t all work. Damaschi loved being with his family and they loved being with him. When he saw any of the children in the family he did two things: let out a hoot that was the word equivalent of “lookie here!” Then he'd pucker his lips, inviting kisses. When he moved in for a bear hug, you would get squished by his eye glasses and pens in his shirt pocket. Or he’d pinch your cheek. It was awesome. Whether it was Monday night meatballs at his house or Sunday dinner at one of his daughters’, he was the silent patriarch at the head of the table, winking, making mischief with his food, asking for “two-finger” refills on his coffee or wine and teasing the toddlers. When he spoke Italian, you always knew it was something he should not be saying. He made a perfect mall Santa, bouncing kids on his knee beneath a big white beard and belly that didn’t need fake padding. Damaschi also was an indulgent grandfather, always zeroing in on the one with the greatest need, and handling it, which often meant buying a puppy, bunny, goldfish, dirt bike, or perhaps a doll, financing Spring Break or ice skating lessons, encouraging the path less taken, or making room in his home for their extended stays. He doled out expert advice, on everything from when to plant a seed, how to grow a nest egg or what was really important in life. Because he knew...He knew because he was wise and had also suffered loss: his father died when Damaschi was a young teen, forcing him -- the oldest son -- to quit school and work to support his family. He also lost his younger brother Leonard too young, followed by his mother, Mary (Gentile), and his sister, Anita Mazzadra. His daughter Donna Stafford passed away in 2012. He leaves behind his wife, Genevieve; his daughters, Gloria Cassidy and her husband John A. Cassidy III; and Georgia Cormier and her husband Claude Cormier, all of Cranston, Rhode Island; his six grandchildren, Tina Cassidy, Kristen Stafford, John A. Cassidy IV, Sheri-Ann Stafford, Tiffany Spiridakos, Anthony Cormier; 12 great grandchildren; his brother Robert Damaschi and his wife, Nan, of East Hartford, Connecticut.


Genevieve (Pecora) Damaschi died June 27, 2015 at Kent Regency Nursing Home in Warwick, Rhode Island. She was 86. She passed away 8 days after her husband, George Damaschi. They were married for 70 years. Genevieve, born in Manhattan, went to a party in Connecticut for young men heading off to war in 1942. She saw George, and it was love at first sight for both of them. Genevieve was just 14. She was also a talented dancer. But she passed on a chance to be a Rockette in order to marry George when he returned from the South Pacific at the end of the war. They raised three daughters in South Windsor, Connecticut and when the youngest was grown, Genevieve took up figure skating, a dream she had had as a child watching other kids skate on a pond outside her foster home. George bought Genevieve her first pair of skates, when she was in her 40s. She dedicated herself to learning ice dancing and began competing, winning many competitions, including a gold medal in 1980 with a 16-year-old partner when she was 52. Genevieve also opened her home to young skaters and Olympic hopefuls who would come to train with her coach during the summers. She cooked and cleaned and watched over them -- and joined them on the ice. A broken hip, caused by a fall when she skated over a patch of melted indoor ice, ended her skating career. She continued with many other hobbies after she and her husband moved to Rhode Island in his retirement to be near their daughters. She was a talented painter, sewer and knitter, and also learned how to play the piano and the organ. In 1992 she became Ms. Senior Rhode Island and competed in a national pageant. The tiara and sash suited her well. She was queen-like in her elegance, and always turned heads, looking and acting much younger than her age throughout her life. Her daughter Donna Stafford predeceased her. She leaves her other daughters, Gloria Cassidy and her husband John A. Cassidy III; and Georgia Cormier and her husband Claude Cormier, all of Cranston, Rhode Island; her six grandchildren, Tina Cassidy, Kristen Stafford, John A. Cassidy IV, Sherie Ann Stafford, Tiffany Spiridakos, and Anthony Cormier; 12 great grandchildren; her brother-in-law Robert Damaschi and his wife, Nan, of East Hartford, Connecticut. Genevieve was also the sister of Anthony Buchieri of Florida and the late Joseph Pecora.

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Maryann (Paquet) Morin - 06/29/2015

Dear Damaschi family; so sorry for your losses; what an amazing couple and the life they shared! You were all so lucky to have such wonderful parents! My sincere condolences to you all. Take care, Maryann (former Hayes Rd South Windsor neighbor)

Jill Capello Casey - 06/29/2015

Dear Georgia & family,
These are the most touching obituaries that i have ever read. What a lovely & interesting couple your parents were.
I am so terribly sorry for your loss & my thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Janet Echelman - 06/29/2015

Tina, sending all my love. So sorry for your loss. Such interesting individuals and a 70 year marriage, beautifully evoked in your writing. Loved hearing about your grandmother's late entry into ice-skating, your grandfather's heirlooms from the earth. Their energy is so apparent you.

Justin Pecora and Family - 06/29/2015

Words can't describe the sadness than I feel. I will love and miss both my Aunt and Uncle in ways no one will ever know.

ken roberts - 06/29/2015

A beautiful story for very special people. And, I remember Donna too.

My condolences to your familiy. And for you Gloria, sorry for your loss, and happy for thier very special lives.

You're in my thoughts...

Theresa DiSegna-06/29/2015 - 06/29/2015

Dear Anthony & family: I am so sorry for your losses: what a beautiful couple. Please accept my heartfelt condolences.

Kristen Regine - 06/29/2015

What a heartfelt story of two beautiful people with an amazing story. I can only imagine what Sunday dinner was like. Our condolences, The Regines.

Chris Cappella - 06/29/2015

To my amazing sister-in-law Tina Cassidy, my sincere condolences for the loss of your beloved grandparents. I never met them, but your and their Facebook posts told of a strong bond between generations. This beautiful tribute confirms the deep love and devotion you have for them. May your siblings and parents, kids, their grandkids, and significant others in your family come together during this time to strengthen your evolving family. Shed a tear now and then stay strong, as they would have wanted, for the future. Love and hugs!! Chris and your nephews, Daniel and Ryan.

Amy Axelrod - 06/30/2015

Dear Tina & Family,

What an extraordinary couple your grandparents were. Your touching tribute to them was beautiful and poignant; it illuminated so many remarkable facets of their lives with special family moments at the core. Jeff and I are thinking about you and your family. We are very sorry for your loss. Amy and Jeff

Marybeth Reilly-McGreen - 06/30/2015

These are two of the most fabulous tributes I have ever read. What wonderful, admirable people. My condolences on your loss.

Kathleen Savaria Lab Summit - 06/30/2015

So saddened by this great loss. your Mom was a wonderful person, we shared many hugs. She knitted a dress and a bonnet for my Grand daughter when she was born. Loved her much
Your Dad was always so loving towards her you could tell how much they loved each other.
I will miss her great smile

Steve &Maureen McGuire - 06/30/2015

Gloria & Jack,

We were so sorry to hear of your great loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Steve & Maureen

Roslyn & Larry Shwartz - 06/30/2015

Gloria & Jack and your beautiful family,

May the love and memories you all shared never be further than your hearts.Our deepest condolences, Roz & Larry

Sandy & Charlie Patria - 06/30/2015

What a beautiful tribute to two special people! Our sincere condolences on such a loss. Thinking of this very special family!! It's so sad we are so far away....

Tony Pecora ..[Buchieri] - 06/30/2015

I know we didn't get to know one another till many years past in our lives. I didn't even know about you till a very tragic time in my live. But the best part of it was I got to meet you and George..and youryour kids, Donna, Gloria, and Georgia and there families. It was one of the happiness days of my life. I never told you how proud I was of you and George. You and him were the definition of Family. The day I found out about you and your family and got to come meet you all was one of the happiest day of my life. We lived many miles apart but you and George always welcome me with open arms and lots of hugs. You brought much happiness and great memories in my life just as you both did for so many others. Your lives on earth were inseparable and made in heaven and by the grace of God you are together again. Genevieve and George there are no words to express how much I will miss you both, just know that I loved you both. My prayers and thoughts are with you all. God Bless...Tony

Dean and Paula - 06/30/2015

Dear Georgia,
We are so very sorry to hear about the passing of your parents. They were, both, lovely people. We know how much you, and your family will miss them both. Such a sad loss.
Dean and Paula

Fred and Loraine Vincent - 07/01/2015

Dear Gloria,
What a miracle that these 2 loving people don't have to be apart more than a week...these obituaries are the most touching, beautifully written I've ever had the privilege of reading; however, your loss is a profoundly deep one. I will say special prayers for you today, with hopes that you will all continue their legacies of love, generosity of spirit and kindness. Warmest Regards,
Fred and Loraine

Angela Pecora - 07/01/2015

My Aunt & Uncle will always hold a special place in my heart . I was never more happier when we connected once again , it definitely filled a void that was missing from my life . I'm honored to say my memories I recall from there love and genuine kindness will live on in my heart forever . They were truly special together .

Tina Cassidy - 07/08/2015

Hayes Road: A Eulogy

There was a patch of fertile land, with deep red soil, in tobacco valley. They bought that land and a little white house that sat on it, and made it home. Every day, he’d sit on the stairs, lace up his boots and go to work. And then come home and plant some seeds, fertilize and nurture them, watch them grow. In that dirt, he tilled love, leaves, manure and generations of Italian wisdom about the phases of the moon and the seasons.

Every year, that garden grew, not just the plants within it, but its boundaries. There were no limits to the bounty that it could produce. The tomatoes for a Sunday spaghetti sauce that she would make to feed our souls. The rhubarb she’d serve up fresh, to dunk in sugar in a Styrofoam cup, on the freshly mowed lawn, to gleeful, barefoot children. The blue-ribbon pumpkins that he fed with milk.

And then there were the flowers. The red and orange and purple ones that she memorialized in paint, so it would be summer forever, frozen in time. As well, the yellow giants, craning toward the sun, that fed the squirrels and the blue jays deep into the fall.

Before the ground would freeze, he’d save the seeds, and cut the stalks. And put the garden to bed as the sun, our star, receded.

We wait for spring again.

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