Anthony Joseph Paolino, Sr., 95, born April 27, 1927, in Providence, Rhode Island passed away on March 2, 2023 peacefully with his wife, Lena and family by his side, at his son Greg and daughter-in-law Jill’s home.
Adoringly known as “Pa” by his family, and “Tony” by his many friends, Tony was the patriarch of his loving family and survivors. Tony married his wife of seventy-four years, Lena Rao Paolino (“Lee”) in 1949. Throughout their marriage, Tony and Lee dined, golfed, danced, and traveled. From country club dinner dances, golf vacations with friends, and the annual family Christmas trip with their children to the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach Florida, Tony and Lee loved each other deeply and simply enjoyed being together.
Tony attended Mt. Pleasant High School, excelling academically and athletically in both baseball and hockey. He enjoyed watching professional and college sports with the same level of enthusiasm with which he played. After graduating from high school, Tony joined the United States Navy, proudly serving from 1945 to 1946. Following service, Tony attended Bryant College where he graduated in 1949 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.
Tony established the Paolino Insurance Agency, Inc. in 1950 in Providence, having the great fortune of being joined by his sons, Tony, Jr., and Greg at the Agency, until his own retirement in 1993. Throughout that time, Tony became a leader in the Rhode Island community; was a proud member of several organizations including the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce; RI Association of Insurance Agents; National Association of Mutual Insurance Agents; Independent Mutual Agents of New England; and the prestigious Aetna Plan Professional Society.
Tony had a passion for the game of golf. He was a proud member and former President of Metacomet Country Club and remained a lifetime member of Rhode Island Country Club. Until recently, Tony could be seen from time to time enjoying lunch at the “The Turn” on the 10th tee and catching up with other members. His love for the game transcended his memberships and created many friendships. Moreover, he served the game by giving back. Tony proudly held the positions of Rhode Island Golf Association president in 1985, serving as the president of New England Golf Association in 1995, as well as being a longtime member of United States Golf Association Regional Affairs Committee from 1989 to 2007. On the course, Tony enjoyed competing in numerous club and statewide tournaments. Additionally, he served as a nonplaying captain of Rhode Island Tri-State Match Team. In recognition of his devotion to the game of golf, Tony was inducted into the Rhode Island Golf Association Hall of Fame in 2011, after serving the RIGA for more than 37 years. Tony found great pleasure in competing in annual Father/Son tournaments with his son, Tony, Jr. and also playing golf with his daughter, Marybeth. He inspired both children to become avid golfers after learning from their Dad. Tony was proud of his daughter Susan’s accomplishments as a leading educator and school principal, receiving national recognition. Tony enjoyed spending time tending to his lawn and flower gardens. He also enjoyed creating scrapbooks about his children, grandchildren and family and enjoyed reminiscing about their lives and accomplishments. In his later years, he looked forward to the morning sunrise and the day ahead at Greg and Jill’s Home, Deer Meadow Farms.
Throughout his 95 years, Tony remained an active member in his faith. He was a member of St. Sebastian’s Church on the East Side of Providence and assisted in reestablishing the CYO Baseball team that had been absent in the parish for many years. He assisted with the annual Catholic Charity Fund Campaigns and was a member of the Holy Name Society. After moving to Bagy Wrinkle Cove in Warren, Tony became an active member of St. Alexander’s Parish. In his final days, he enjoyed home visits from Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Parish’s Eucharistic Minister.
Tony is predeceased by his parents, Anthony C. and Ethel (Dolce) Paolino and his brother, Joseph R. Paolino. He is survived by his loving wife, Lee; his brother, Dr. Edward V. Paolino; his beloved children and their spouses, daughter Susan L. Caputo and her husband William; son Anthony J. Paolino, Jr. and his wife Sherry; daughter Marybeth Andrews Stanzler and her husband Alan; and son Gregory A. Paolino and his wife Laura Jill. He also is survived by his eight grandchildren: Heather A. Caputo, Lee J. Hudson, Anthony J. Paolino, III, Esq., Samuel M. Andrews, Jr., Whitney Andrews Maqami, Anthony J. Andrews, Gregory A. Paolino, Jr. and Victoria Paolino Meagher; and four great- grandchildren: Cameron Hudson, Olivia and Gregory Jay Paolino and Sophia Maqami. He leaves many nieces and nephews, especially his loving nephew Joseph R. Paolino, Jr. and niece Donna Paolino Coia who remained close to him throughout his years.
Everyone who knew Tony can attest that he was a consummate gentleman. In his own words, “I would like to be remembered as a good person and someone who was good to his family and friends.” We were fortunate to have had him in our lives because he was a man of integrity who held high expectations not only for his children, but himself above all. He will be fondly remembered and always loved by all of us.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend his Mass of Christian Burial Friday March 10th at 10 AM in Our Lady of Mercy Church, 65 3rd Street East Greenwich. Burial with Military Honors will follow in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, East Providence.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Hope Hospice, 1085 North Main Street, Providence, RI 02904.
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