Gladys Loretta (Descoteaux) LaPorte
Sept. 18, 1923 – Aug. 27, 2020
Yet another member of our finest generation was lost today. The generation that survived a depression, fought and won our wars, taught us right from wrong and lived their lives with dignity, believing in hard work, loyalty, empathy and integrity. Only a few are left. What will become of us when they are all gone?
Glady L. (Descoteaux) LaPorte passed away on August 27, 2020. She was almost 97. She died in her own bed, just as she had wanted, surrounded by the people she loved.
Born in 1923, she was a child of the great depression. Her father died when she was only six, leaving her mother, Louise, to raise the brood of four girls and three boys on her own. They moved around a lot. Her mother worked in schools, cooked for other families and earned money any way she could to keep them fed. They were poor, but those were happy times for Gladys. The children all found work whenever and wherever they could. Sometimes in the summer a wealthier woman, a family friend, would have Gladys stay with them and babysit at their home in Oakland Beach. In her spare time, she would play by the shore. It was an escape for her, I think, and a highlight of her young life. Her other home was the church, where Gladys formed a unique and unbreakable relationship with God that would last a lifetime. She didn’t need to go to church, she would say in later life, the Lord knew that she loved him. They talked every day.
When World War II broke out the boys, Charlie, Harold and Art, all joined up. Their mother Louise cried in fear when she saw them walking towards the house in their brand-new uniforms, but Gladys was proud. She often recalled how handsome they looked. Luckily, all the brothers survived and when they returned started families of their own, albeit scattered around the country. Charlie settled in California, Arthur in New Jersey and Harold, who stayed in the Marines, moved from base to base before eventually returning home. Three of the four girls, including Gladys, married fellas that were fresh out of the war. One followed a Navy helicopter pilot to Texas. The other three stayed here in Rhode Island. In their remaining years Gladys and her sisters, Irene, Virginia and Yvonne only saw their brothers again at funerals and on rare visits. All of them have since passed away. Gladys was the last to survive.
Gladys had five children; Carol, Earl Jr., Robert, Sharon and David, in that order. Gladys and her husband Earl, a popular car salesman, eventually bought a fairly grand home in which to raise their children and Gladys did a great job taking care of things. By 1972 the older children had married or were, for the most part, on their own. That was when Earl Sr. passed away and Gladys, like her mother, took the burden, head on, of raising young children without help. She took a job doing piece work at a jewelry company, and never looked back. She worked there for twenty years before retiring.
All of her children are well, and prosperous enough. All of them have married, and some have had children of their own. Gladys has three grandchildren; Lee Ann, Sara and Sean, as well as one great grandchild, Brandyn, who is currently serving in the military. She had always told them that she never wanted to live in a nursing home, and so she didn’t. Her daughter Sharon moved in with her and has dedicated the past three years of her life to taking care of her. Gladys passed away peacefully in her own bed, in her own home, just the way she wanted it.
She was stubborn. She was tough. She was honest to the bone. She refused any form of charity. She was respected. She was loved. She will be sorely missed. She will not be forgotten.
Her Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, at 10 a.m., at Immaculate Conception Church, Cranston. Her burial will follow in St. Ann Cemetery, Cranston. Visitation Monday 8-9:30 a.m. in "Woodlawn" Funeral Home, 600 Pontiac Avenue, Cranston.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Sister of the Precious Blood, which Gladys supported for many, many years. Monastery of the Precious Blood
700 Bridge Street Manchester, New Hampshire 03104-5495, https://www.preciousbloodsistersdayton.org/
Due to current health regulations, we are required to allow only 15 people in the establishment at a time. We ask that those who will be attending the visitation respect these limits, wear required face coverings and maintain social distancing.
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