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Joseph F. Terranova

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Joseph F. Terranova Obituary
Joseph F. Terranova, 95, retired teacher, of Clark Street, Westerly, passed away on Saturday morning, August 3, 2013 at the Westerly Hospital. He was born on November 3, 1917, the son of the late Francesco and Immaculata (Luzzi) Terranova of Oak Street, Westerly. He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Evelyn R. (Ulewicz) Terranova, formerly of Taftville, CT. They were married on July 24, 1943 and recently celebrated their 70th anniversary.
Mr. Terranova was educated in the Westerly Public School System, graduating from Westerly High School in 1936. He prepared for a teaching career in foreign languages at Holy Cross College, graduating in 1940 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. While at Holy Cross he started and was the first president of "Il Circolo Italiano". In 1965 he received his Master of Education degree with emphasis on Secondary School Administration. In addition to having been certified to teach Latin, Italian, English and Greek, he was now certified in Secondary School Administration. In the summer of 1966, he was fortunate to receive a Fulbright Scholarship to the University of Rome. He volunteered and enjoyed presenting the lecture series "All Roads Lead to Rome". Before getting a position as teacher, he worked several jobs including defense work and social work for the State of Connecticut. He started his teaching career at Westerly High School in September of 1955 until his retirement in June of 1985. He taught Latin, Italian and English and was the chairman of the language department from 1981-1985. His colleagues honored him by electing him "Teacher of the Year" from 1984-1985. After retiring, he volunteered and started a Latin program at St. Pius X and St. Michael's Schools where he taught for three years.
Mr. Terranova was a member of the Knights of Columbus, Narragansett Council #21 since 1942, serving as recording secretary for several years. He was a life member of the National Education Association, member of the executive board of the Rhode Island Education Association and a member of and Past President of the Westerly Teachers Association. After retiring as a teacher from St. Michael's School, he served on its school advisory board. He was a member of the Westerly Chapter of the AARP #1869 and served for five years on the State Legistlative Committee. He was a member of and Past Vice-President of the permanent Columbus Day committee. He served and was also very active in promoting and starting the scholarship program of the Calabrese Society. He was a charter member and Past President of "La Societa Dautesca".
Joe truly enjoyed teaching but often wondered whether he had a positive effect on his young charges. Among his many great moments during his teaching career, probably the most memorable moment occurred in the fall of 1982 during his hospitalization after major surgery. He had assigned the memory passage of the opening lines of Virgils great Latin poem, the "Aeveid". Because the students had not had the opportunity to recite the memory passage in class, they visited the teacher in the hospital and offered to recite the passage there. Thus the teacher in pajamas and a bathrobe followed by his faithful students went out into the hall, where for the first time he heard the students recite the passage.
Joe was also pre-deceased by his brother Pat and his wife Josephine, brother Angelo and his wife Tina, brother Frank and his wife Jennie, brother Syl and his wife Ann, brother James and his wife Doris, brother Armando and his wife Irene, sister Sandra, sister Ann and her husband Stanley. Surviving are several nieces and nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews and great-grandnieces and great-grandnephews. His great-grandniece and great-grandnephew Jena and Eric Piccolo brought him so much joy and happiness.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, August 7, 2013 at 10:00 am at St. Pius X Church, 44 Elm Street, Westerly. There will be no procession from the funeral home. Burial will take place at St. Sebastian Cemetery, Westerly. Calling hours will take place on Tuesday from 4-7 pm at Rushlow-Iacoi Funeral Home & Crematory, 64 Friendship Street, Westerly. For online condolences, please go to www.rushlowiacoifuneralhome.com
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the St. Pius X School Scholarship Program, 44 Elm Street, Westerly, RI 02891.
Published in The Westerly Sun on Aug. 3, 2013
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