Gloria Padovano Gianola, age 94, passed away peacefully at Phillip Hulitar Hospice Center on November 13, 2018. Born in Hoboken, New Jersey on August 17, 1924 to Joseph F. Padovano and Rose Albrizio Padovano, the family, along with Gloria’s younger brother John, moved to Brooklyn, New York early in Gloria’s life. She learned to play piano at an early age, and learned to speak Italian from her beloved grandmother, Lucrezia Spezzaferri Albrizio, who lived with the family.
Gloria excelled in school from her earliest years, regularly meeting the requirements of the ARISTA honors program of the City of New York public schools. During the years Gloria attended high school in the 1930’s she became a political activist, including passionate support for the policies of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and for the formation of the Nation of Israel. She graduated with honors from Lafayette High School in Brooklyn, and from Pace Institute in Manhattan, traveling to school, and later to work, on the subway with her father, where every day she read the New York Times cover to cover, along with several other newspapers.
In April, 1945, Gloria married the love of her life, Salvatore V. “Sam” Gianola, living in Brooklyn with their 3 young children. In 1956 they moved to Bristol, Rhode Island to follow a new job opportunity for Sam’s work, and Gloria began her life-long love for the town of Bristol, where she maintained friendships until the end of her life.
She raised her children to value their education, to respect people of all races and religions, and to never, ever cross a union picket line. While in Bristol she volunteered at Linden Place and for various other charitable causes. Likely the highlight of her Bristol residence was the day Sam served as the Grand Marshall of the Bristol Fourth of July Parade, with Gloria proudly at his side.
Gloria and Sam eventually moved to Massachusetts where Sam became ill, then back to Rhode Island where he passed away in 1979. Left living alone as a 52 year old widow, Gloria found for herself a new set of interests and outlets, including being an active and loving grandmother to her four grandchildren. She went on to finish her Bachelor’s Degree in History at the University of Rhode Island, served as a Docent at the historic John Brown House, and best of all discovered Hamilton House, where she became an active member, volunteer and supporter for the rest of her life.
Gloria loved most in life her family, and always reminded us through many stories of her pride in her heritage from Trani and Nocera, Italy. She was predeceased by her parents and her brother, John L. Padovano. Remembering and honoring her life are Gloria’s three children, Barbara A. Gianola (Stephen Grossi), Peter J. Gianola, Joan G (Bill) Mekrut; three grandchildren William P. (Meghan Farrar) Mekrut, Samantha R. Mekrut, and Andrew T. Gianola; four great grandchildren, Fiona Rose Raser, Vienna Gloria Raser, Elijah Crosby Mekrut, and Cordelia Joan Mekrut. She also leaves a step-granddaughter, Amanda J. Grossi, and numerous relatives from her original Albrizio and Padovano families.
Gloria’s family would like to extend our gratitude to Hope Hospice and the Phillip Hulitar Hospice Center for truly loving care. Funeral services will be private. Contributions can be made in Gloria’s name to her beloved Hamilton House, 276 Angell Street, Providence, RI 02906.