Vera G. (Jackson) Washington, of Pawtucket RI, and most recently Coventry RI, died on Thursday, March 18, 2021. She was born on February 18, 1923, in Providence, RI, to Helen (Ferris) and Fenner Jackson. She was the wife of the late Charles Washington. She was predeceased by sisters Mildred Washington and Evelyn Washington, and brothers Harry Jackson and Raymond Jackson. Vera leaves her daughter Melanie Charlene Spadola and son-in-law Philip Spadola of West Greenwich, RI; her two grandchildren, Samuel Spadola and his wife Heather Spadola of Danielson, CT; Nick Spadola of West Greenwich, RI; and her two great-grandchildren Amaya Spadola and Odin Spadola. She also leaves many nieces, nephews, her extended family, and many friends.
Vera lived most of her life in Pawtucket where she attended Pawtucket High School (now Tolman) and worked in several mills including RI Dress Company for several years. She last worked at Miller Electric Company (a division of Carol Cable) in Pawtucket and Woonsocket for 27 years, retiring in 1984. While she worked there, she was a member of the United Steelworkers Union serving as a steward, a member of the Grievance Committee, and on the Negotiating Team. She was well respected – on both sides – for her knowledge of labor issues, impressive communication skills, and formidable bargaining strategies. She was also financial secretary for Local 6224 for many years.
Vera loved meeting new people and engaging with others in thoughtful conversations. During the years she lived at Fogarty Manor, she became an active member of the Fogarty Manor Tenants Association. She made many friends, participated in many activities, and served on the board of directors. She loved to shop and had many collections including coins, cut glass, rhinestones, and many types of memorabilia. She loved eating and cooking and generously shared her well-loved “Aunt Vera’s Jag” on all important occasions. Vera spent the last 3 years of her life as a resident of the Respiratory and Rehabilitation Center of RI in Coventry. While there, she was an enthusiastic participant in many activities such as spelling bees and trivia games. She also rediscovered her love of classic poems – some of which she could recite from memory. Once again, she made a host of new friends and developed many new and enriching relationships with residents and staff alike.
Most important to Vera was her family. She was fiercely loyal; she was always ready to listen, help and support those she loved, affording them the respect and dignity she believed everyone deserved. She will be missed.
Calling hours will be held on Tuesday, March 23, 2021, from 5-7, in the PERRY-MCSTAY FUNERAL HOME, 2555 Pawtucket Avenue, East Providence. Her funeral and burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, feel free to make donations to RI Meals On Wheels.