Matthew “Tia” Santos, 90, of N. Hull St., E. Providence, but a lifelong Proud “Fox Pointer,” died peacefully on 02/23/2016, at the Philip Hulitar Hospice Center in Providence surrounded by family. Born in Providence to the late Jose M. and Rosa (Araujo) Santos, he was the beloved husband of the late Rose M. (Lopes) Santos, and father to his late sister-in-law Adeline Lopes. He is survived by his children, Lt Col (Ret) Mathies J. Santos and his wife Michelina of Providence; Rosemarie Santos of E. Providence; David M. Santos and his wife Delise of California; and sisters-in-law Theresa Harris of Pawtucket; and Elizabeth Lopes of East Providence, whom he raised as his own. Grandchildren Chiara (Santos) & Clinton S. Browning, and their children Justin, Cristopher, Cameron & Celia Rose Browning, of Atlanta, GA; Levon Clement & Dionne Hyman and their son Donovan Clement, of Pawtucket, RI; Mathies-Kareem & Stephanie Santos, and their son Mathies Renzo Santos of Lincoln, RI; Christina Clement of E. Providence; Matthew Santos of California; and Horita Graham of Pawtucket, RI. He is further survived by a host of Nieces and Nephews, and adopted “cousins.” He was lovingly called Gramps by all. Tia served his country in the Army during WWII, but was most at home on the waterfront or at sea. He worked on oil tankers and luxury liners, circling the globe numerous times, but it was his work as a Longshoreman, a member of ILA 1329, and his love for the Port of Providence which would lead to his “dream” job: Deputy Director for the Port of Providence, a position he would serve in across three decades. He was inducted into the Fox Point Boys Club Hall of Fame; and was a loyal supporter and member of the Fox Point Boys & Girls Club Alumni Association. Tia was an active member of the Cape Verdean Progressive Center; and a former member of the King Solomon Lodge #5, the Mt. Sinai Consisery #12, and the Constantine Temple #14. A lifelong Democrat, he also served for many years on Providence’s 1st Democratic Ward Committee. While not rich in a material way, Tia was rich in so many other more important aspects. He approached life with uncommon dignity, honesty, and courage. A man of Grace and Integrity his word was his bond. If he gave it to you, you could take it to the bank; and if Tia had your back, you were covered. He will be dearly missed by his family, and the many friends who knew and loved him. The last of nine siblings, Tia now joins; Mary Conway, Geneva Cruz, Manuel, Edwin, Antonio, Johnny, Frank, and Lawrence Santos who have long waited for this reunion; and his beloved Rosie, together again. God speed! His funeral will be held on Saturday at 8:30 AM from the PERRY-MCSTAY FUNERAL HOME, 2555 Pawtucket Avenue, East Providence with a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 AM in Holy Name Church, Camp Street, Providence. Burial will be in St. Ann’s Cemetery. Calling hours Friday 4-8 In lieu of flowers contributions to the Home & Hospice Care of RI, 1085 North Main Street Providence, RI 02904 would be appreciated.
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