Cover photo for Joseph D. Sandonato's Obituary
Joseph D. Sandonato Profile Photo
1927 Joseph 2022

Joseph D. Sandonato

December 18, 1927 — August 18, 2022

Mr. Giuseppe (Joseph) D. Sandonato, 94, of Middletown, Rhode Island, passed away on August 18, 2022, after a brief illness. Born on December 18, 1927, in the small town of Prezza in the scenic Abruzzi region of central Italy, he was the only child of Antonio and Liberata (Navarroli) Sandonato.

Giuseppe's childhood and adolescence were spent in his hometown. His dream of becoming an engineer led him to attend secondary technical schools in the neighboring cities of Pratola Peligna and Sulmona. When adverse wartime and post-war conditions interrupted his formal studies, Giuseppe enlisted in the Italian army's alpine corps and was stationed in the northern Alps.

In 1950, Giuseppe decided to emigrate to Canada, where he joined relatives in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Two years later, in Niagara Falls, he married Gina D'Eramo, also from his hometown of Prezza. Gina's family had recently emigrated to the United States and settled in Newport, Rhode Island The young married couple chose to join Gina's family in Newport.

Supervised by his father-in-law, Giuseppe began working as a laborer and gradually learned various aspects of the. construction trade such as operating heavy equipment, reading blueprints, surveying, and planning construction projects. These skills enabled him to become a foreman. Still later, he became a principal partner in the family's construction and hotel and real estate management business.

Giuseppe and his wife, Gina, devoted themselves to their family. They had a son, Anthony, and a daughter, Marie. When additional members of the Sandonato-D'Eramo clan emigrated to the United States in the 1960s, they found themselves part of a rather close-knit extended Italian family. Periodic trips to Italy became a feature of family life, and strong ties were maintained with relatives and friends in their hometown.

Giuseppe was very proud of his Italian heritage and equally proud of his naturalized United States citizenship status. He was quietly involved in various organizations, including the Knights of Columbus and the Order Sons of Italy in America (OSIA). For the latter group, he carried the Italian flag in Newport's Columbus Day parade for many years. Over the years, Giuseppe was a parishioner at St. Joseph's Church in Newport and St. Lucy's Church in Middletown.

Giuseppe will be greatly missed but lovingly remembered by his extended family, too numerous to mention, but especially his wife, Gina, and son, Anthony. Funeral arrangements will be private for close relatives. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at St. Lucy's Church in Middletown, In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude's Children's Hospital or the charity of one's choice.
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