Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze & Observer 02-18-2021

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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Page 10 of 39

VALLEY BREEZE & OBSERVER | FEBRUARY 18-24, 2021 OBITUARIES / LETTERS 11 George William 'Huffy' Newman Sr. George William "Huffy" Newman Sr., of Foster, passed away at home on Feb. 12. Born in Johnston, on Jan. 29, 1925, to Mildred Cole and George Newman. His father died when George was four and his mother remarried Earl Pray. At age 13, he moved to Hopkins Mills, Foster, after the Hurricane of 38 damaged their home in Johnston. He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II from 1943-1946 as a P-61 airplane mechanic in the 549th Night Fighter Squadron; he earned a Purple Heart from wounds suffered in combat on Iwo Jima. He was discharged with the rank of Sgt. He returned to Foster where he lived the rest of his life. He was an active community volunteer – mem- ber of South Foster Volunteer Fire Company from age 14 to his death, serving as president for many years. He helped build the fire hall. He was a member of the American Legion Post 101, Foster, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was assistant Boy Scout Troop leader with Troop 101, Foster. He was a member of the Foster Old Home Days commit- tee and Foster Preservation Society. He helped build (and rebuild) the Swamp Meadow Bridge. He was a member of the R.I. State and the Woonasquatucket Valley Firemen's Leagues. One of eight children, he was prede- ceased by his sisters Virginia Newman Lawton, Jean Newman Sheldon, Shirley Newman St. Germain, Patricia Pray Coyle and Joanne Pray. He is survived by his brother, Burke Pray, and sister Lee Pray Niles. He was mar- ried to Catherine (Kay) Harrington from 1950 until her death in 2005. Trained as a car- penter, he worked for the state Division of Forestry (later Department of Environmental Management) from 1954, retiring in 1986 as Chief Fire Control Officer and Principal Forester. He then worked for Stewarts Heating and Oil until he left to care for Kay who had developed Alzheimer's. While she was cared for at Nancy Ann Nursing Home, he visited her every day, and helped serve meals and do other tasks for the home, including baking cookies and cakes, which he contin- ued to do for many years after Kay's death. George enjoyed woodworking, gardening, cooking and reading, espe- cially history. He is survived by his sons George Jr. of Moosup, Conn., and Daniel of Pomfret Center, Conn., and his wife, Pamela, and daughter Ann Newman of Pawtucket. He is also survived by four grandchildren, 10 great-grand- children and seven great-great grand- children. The Newman family would like to thank the team of caregivers who attended to George in his latter years, especially Joy Crochiere. A collation will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please con- sider a donation to the South Foster Volunteer Fire Company, or the char- ity of your choice, in his name. NEWMAN Jean A. Smith Jean A. (Callahan) Smith, 88, passed away Saturday, Feb. 6. She was the wife of the late Charles E. Smith for 49 years before his passing in 2008. Born in Providence, she was a daughter of the late William F. and Mary E. (Hayden) Callahan. Mrs. Smith graduated from the St. Joseph School of Nursing in 1953. She was a registered nurse at the for- mer St. Joseph Hospital and the Fruit Hill Franciscan Missionaries of Mary Infirmary before retiring in 1992. She has been a Greenville resident since 1963 and a communicant of St. Philip Church. She was the mother of Patricia A. Smith (Michael Peters), Diane E. Smith Hamel (David Goff), Gail M. Fugere (Mark), Charles E. Smith, Jr., Christopher L. Smith (Heather) and Terrence F. Smith (Meghan Mahan). She was the sister of the late William F. Callahan Jr. and John J. Callahan. She is also survived by 17 loving grandchil- dren and five great-grandchildren. A Mass of Christian Burial was held in St. Philip Church, 622 Putnam Pike, Greenville, on Feb. 11. Visitation and burial were private. In lieu of flow- ers, donations to VNA of Care New England will be appreciated. For Online Condolences visit, www. . SMITH Elaine A. Macera Elaine A. Macera, 75, of North Scituate, passed away on Feb. 11. She was the wife of Peter Macera. Born in Providence, she was a daughter of the late Erico and Lila (Andersen) Caparrelli. Besides her husband, she is sur- vived by her two daughters Gina Boucher and her husband, Kenneth, of Scituate, and Dawn Brown of Scituate; three grandsons Kenneth and his wife, Alicia, Michael and Harold, and a great-granddaughter, Aria. She was also the sister of Beverly Vinagro and the late Nina Vinagro. Elaine enjoyed for many years having dinner parties at her home with family and friends. Her passion was baking and cooking for Sunday gatherings, parties and holidays. She was an avid reader and loved to write. She also played the piano and enjoyed reading music. Service are private. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to Hope Hospice and Palliative Care, 1085 N. Main St., Providence, RI 02904. Austin: Reasons behind no second motion? I was an unaffiliated Scituate voter for 30-plus years to allow me to vote for any candidate in any election on local, state or national level. In 2020 I ran for a 2021 Town Council seat and decided my political leanings were more Democratic than Republican for a Scituate election. I received 1,902 votes but not enough to win a seat. Votes cast for me sug- gests I received many votes by Democrats, some unaffiliated and maybe even a few Republicans. The 2021 Town Council held its first meeting on Jan. 14. I attended this meeting via Zoom. Mike Marcello, a longtime friend and my political mentor, won a seat on this council as sole Democrat. I told him if a Budget Committee opening existed to nominate me as my work experience with FleetBoston included creating, reconciling and living within an annual budget of $29,000,000. My Fleet budget in 2001 was slightly less than the Scituate budget is in 2020. The time came for nominations to this committee and Mike made a motion for me to be considered. After a short silence the commit- tee moved on and no seconded motion. Without a second there could not be any discussion. None. I was flabbergasted that a person nominated for a non-voting volun- teer position and there was no sec- ond motion so the council could learn of my qualifications. But equally frustrating was it seemed the Republicans must have agreed prior to this meeting to shoot down any motions made by Mike. I sent an email to council mem- bers on Feb. 3, which included these statements: "I believe the lack of seconded motion was simply that I ran for a Town Council seat in 2020 as a Democrat candidate. It is a sad day in our town, one that I have called home for +32 years, when a Town Council will not even consider an individual interested in sharing his career experience and time necessary to assist the Town Council is a non-elected and non-policy making position. ... It is ironic that in the mid-'90s two prominent town Republicans asked me several times to con- sider candidacy for Town Council as a Republican. At that time, I had a strong Republican leaning although I was registered as an independent ... (but) reasoning was as member of the Fire Department would lead to potential need for me to recuse myself on Town Council issues. So, what is the rea- son none of you, other than Mike, would even entertain discussion on my appointment?" I have not received a response from any of the members of the council except Mike. I wonder how many other Scituate citizens will be rejected out of hand simply for similar non-elected and non- policy making positions? WILLIAM K. AUSTIN Scituate LETTERS Scituate Council ignorant of its APRA policy At last Thursday's council meet- ing, former Councilman Charles Collins remarked, "I did not know you could appeal" an access to public records act (APRA) deter- mination. Other council members were also ignorant of the APRA appeal process. This is surprising since the town was cited by the attorney general for not complying with this basic provision of the open meeting laws. Scituate did not have an appeal process until July 9, 2020, when it was approved via the consent agenda, where no discus- sion occurs. The problem with the ever-expanding consent agenda is the lack of understanding of what is being passed. This became clear when some council members did not know they received a letter in their council package from Chief Administrative Officer Peggy Long explaining that anyone can appeal an APRA determination; as stated on the town's APRA response let- ter. It is ironic that Collins made the motion to pass the APRA appeal process, by the appointment of Chief Administrative Officer Long, and now evident that he was clue- less of the meaning of his actions and the basic requirements of APRA laws. RICHARD FINNEGAN Scituate 3rd Generation Family Owned and Operated Geoffrey Greene ~ LfD Jennifer Greene faGan ~ LfD 2251 Mineral Spring Avenue, North Providence, RI 231-9307 •

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