Irene Barbara Mellen Venditti

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 28, 2014

On March 28th the world lost one of it’s heroes when Irene Venditti , 94, left the world of the living, passing away peacefully in her sleep.  She was born in Seekonk on August 21, 1919,  the last surviving child of eight born to Joseph and Mary Mellen . She graduated from Hope High in Providence and married D. Anthony Venditti in 1938. She is survived by 3 of her 4 children, Adrienne, a registered nurse, Francis,  a raceway director, & Annie, designer. Her younger son, Anthony tragically passed away in 1980. She is survived by 7 grand-children and 6 great-grand children. Ice played an important part in Irene’s life. Her father farmed the ice at what is now called the Grist Mill, she met her husband while ice skating at Burr’s Pond in Seekonk and in the 1960’s they opened an outdoor ice rink, Iceland.  Irene’s youngest daughter, Anne, became an accomplished competitive and professional figure skater, as a direct result of Irene’s endless dedication and support.For 6 years Irene and Anthony were reluctant chicken farmers until Anthony, determined to make a better life for his family , decided  to build a racetrack in his backyard. That dream became a reality when Seekonk Speedway opened it’s gates in 1946. Today the track holds the title of being the oldest consecutively family run track in the country. Irene was instrumental in the success of the raceway, working tireless alongside her husband until his death in 1991. They were married 53 years. Irene continued to be involved with the running of the speedway and in 2012 she was inducted into the New England Antique Racers Hall of Fame. A devout catholic and humanitarian, Irene was awarded the Marian Medal by the Fall River diocese in 1992. She was active in many groups for many years at Mount Carmel Church in Seekonk.  Her funeral will be held on Wednesday at 9:00 AM from the PERRY-McSTAY FUNERAL HOME, 2555 Pawtucket Avenue, East Providence with a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 AM in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Taunton Avenue, Seekonk. Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery. Calling hours will be held on Tuesday from 5-8.