Christopher Antonelli, III, 63, passed away July 7, 2020 at Newport Hospital. He was the son of the late Christopher Antonelli, Jr. and Evelyn L. (Girardi) Antonelli. He is survived by Cynthia (Blair) Antonelli, one daughter, Alessandra C. Antonelli and two brothers, Stephen R. and Paul J. Antonelli.
Christopher grew up in North Providence on Peckham Avenue, and graduated from La Salle Academy as the class of 1974. Chris from a young age had an exceptional talent for anything relating to the trade business. He fixed everything he could get his hands on from the moment he could walk and run, constantly curious about how things worked, operated, and functioned. From a young age, he worked with his uncle in the plumbing trade, and quickly found he had a gift for fixing all mechanical and electrical problems. One of his first jobs at age 13 was fixing and repairing car stereos. He created stereos in his parents garage by the age of 10, and by the age of 16, was on his back repairing and fixing up used cars in his driveway. One of the most fascinating memories of Chris was that he was blinded temporarily by another mechanical job, yet so impatient that he did his entire brake job in his driveway successfully - and completely blind, by feel entirely.
He made his life’s work fixing difficult problems, owning various mechanic shops throughout his life that serviced a large variety of different things. He was one of the very first master technicians passing the ASE L-1 naturally with ease. He owned Specialty Auto Electric in the late 1980s, was a Recertified ASE Master Auto Technician in Advanced Engine Performance, approved AAA Auto Repair, and specialized in Electrical and Fuel Injection Diagnostics. He also built race engines from scratch his entire life - from cigarette boats to full auto restoration.
He was a co-founder of Commercial Digital Telephone and certified in MITEL, NEC, and TIE systems, and worked for several years in setting up business telephone systems.
On top of his exceptional skill in the trades, Chris also had a strong passion for music, disco, sound, and light equipment. He owned Commercial Sound and Light, custom designing for many of Providence’s top nightclubs in the 70s and 80s. He was also a DJ and worked with many top live bands as well. He specialized in custom video, stage and lighting for both rock n’ roll and dance nightclubs.
Chris managed BT Bogarts (club), installed stage for live bands such as Archie Bell and the Drells, Tavares, and Incredible Two Man Band, Beaver Brown.
Some of the clubs he worked in in the 70’s and 80’s include 21 East, Barry’s Disco, The Gallery, The Loft, Club Cabana, Club Confetti, JR’s Fastlane, Bushwacker Cafe, Vertigo, Changes, Shamrock Cliff, River Cafe, Shadows, Roosters, and 11:11.
Vertigo (club) thay Chris owned and designed with Cynthia (Blair) Antonelli was awarded “best nightclub sound and lighting” by RI Monthly in 1987.
Later on in his career, Chris decided to work on creating a service department for Ram Point Marina in Wakefield for marine repair. Chris built the service department from the ground up, and quickly became known as the best marine mechanic there was. After working there for around 11 years, he then went on to create his own business, CA Marine Service, as a freelance marine mechanic that traveled all over the state to service boats and help his customers enjoy the summer months safely. He loved what he did. There was not a day that went by that he did not find joy in life, find joy in his work, and find joy in the world around him. Chris could do anything with electronics and mechanics with complete ease and natural knowledge. There was nothing he could not fix; he never had formal training, yet with his knowledge you would have sworn he did.
Some of his other interests included remote control helicopters, drones, and computers. Also he was very interested in studying American History and the Old West. He will be incredibly missed and his absence will be felt every day.
Visitation is Sunday 3 -5 pm at "WOODLAWN" Funeral Home 600 Pontiac Avenue, Cranston. Social Distancing will be observed and masks must be worn. Burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the American Lung Association of Rhode Island, 260 West Exchange St. Suite 102B, Providence, RI 02903-1000.
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American Lung Association of Rhode Island
260 West Exchange St. Suite 102B, Providence RI 02903