Mary Isabelle Badeau Calenda (“Belle”), 90, beloved wife of fifty years to the late Dr. Daniel G. Calenda (2005), passed away surrounded by her family on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.
Born in Providence, RI, in 1931, she was the daughter of Albert Badeau and Mae Rose (Barney) Badeau. Belle attended Cranston schools and graduated from Cranston High School East in 1948. She then graduated from Rhode Island Hospital School of Nursing in 1951 and began her life’s work as a nurse, eventually becoming a charge nurse where she met her future husband Daniel, who she married in 1955. Belle then embarked on a career of raising her four children, who she considered to be her biggest accomplishment.
While raising her children, Belle returned to school and graduated from Providence College in 1980, earning a B.S. in Healthcare Administration. She went on to receive a M.S. in Healthcare Administration from Salve Regina University in 1983.
Belle’s concern for others and social commitment to community health also led her to be active in public health promotion and numerous leadership and charitable giving roles. Some of these included: working with the RI Department of Health as a member of the RI State Medical Society Auxiliary on a campaign to eradicate polio in 1964 as well as coordinating a mass immunization program to end measles in the 1970s. In early 2021, she proudly received her vaccine against COVID-19, as she was an advocate for public health immunizations throughout her lifetime.
She was also an active fundraiser with many organizations, including both the American Medical Education Research Foundation, where she helped to raise funds for needy medical students and select scholarship recipients, as well as Providence Country Day School, where she served on many fundraising committees and was appointed as a Trustee. Belle was also a member of the Rhode Island Hospital Guild since its inception, holding many committee chairmanships and serving a four-year term as President. Throughout her life, she also remained involved with RI Hospital School of Nursing, organizing many alumni events and holding multiple leadership positions. Over the years Belle was recognized by many for her dedication to volunteerism and her social commitment to community health.
Her faith also remained a source of strength throughout her life. She was a faithful parishioner of Saint Sebastian’s Church in Providence, RI, where she served on many ministries, including being a lector at Sunday Services.
She leaves her four beloved children: Dr. Kathleen Calenda and her husband Dr. Raymond Chaquette, Daniel A. Calenda, Esq. and his wife Nada, Kristine C. McHugh, Esq. and her husband Kevin McHugh, Esq., and Douglas A. Calenda, Esq. and his wife Donna. She was the proud grandmother of six grandchildren including Karoline and Alexandra Krekorian, Jennifer and Margaret Chaquette, and Douglas Calenda, his wife Alex Hamilton, and Charles Calenda.
The family wishes to thank the staff at Saint Elizabeth Home in East Greenwich for their superb care and compassion over the past year.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Saturday, May 29th at 11:00 a.m. at Saint Sebastian’s Church, 67 Cole Avenue, Providence, RI. Burial will be private. Fully vaccinated friends and family are invited to calling hours before Mass from 8:30 – 10:00 a.m. at “WOODLAWN” Funeral Home, Cranston, RI. At all services, COVID protocols will be followed with masks and social distancing required.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Mary Isabelle’s name to: The Nursing Foundation of Rhode Island or Saint Sebastian’s Church. Please share memories and condolences at www.WoodlawnGattone.com
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St. Sebastian Church
67 Cole Avenue, Providence RI 02906
Nursing Foundation of Rhode Island
P.O. Box 41702, Providence RI 02940