Linda Duhamel, longtime resident of Port Charlotte, Florida passed away on March 23, 2020 in Fawcett Memorial Hospital. Linda was born in East Providence, RI, on July 30, 1926 and grew up in Pawtucket, RI, along with 8 other siblings. Her parents were Roman Martins Teixeira and Maria Caetano Furtado. Her mother Maria died when Linda was 13 years old. Her father remarried shortly thereafter and Linda was placed in a Catholic Orphanage in Woonsocket, RI along with her two youngest siblings. Linda was taken out of the orphanage by her Uncle Augusto, but at age 15 she set out into the world on her own, lied about her age and obtained employment as a waitress.
She married her lifelong partner, Raymond Duhamel, a WWII Navy veteran in 1955, after dating for 5 years. They had 70 years of an exemplary coupling. Their 65th marriage anniversary was March 25. Despite the fact they were squarely blue collar folks, they managed to do their share of travel, and together enjoyed the special pleasures of two separate and distinct summer homes; the first in Charleston, RI the second in the Buttonwoods section of Warwick, RI.
She spent the first half of her adult life as a resident of East Providence, RI, and the second half in Port Charlotte, Florida. She earned her living as a hard working as a server at the Biltmore Hotel in Providence, Dinty Moore’s in East Providence, The Hitching Post in Charleston, RI, and she was cook and chief bottle washer at Bernardo’s Family Restaurant in North Port, Florida; an enterprise she, husband Ray, and sister-in-law Doris Mello owned in their early retirement years. She was active in the East Providence community, most notably as a longtime member of the Watchemoket PTA. She was an avid reader, a lifetime Democrat, a committed homemaker, a helicopter parent before the term existed, and a notoriously good cook, often guarding her own recipes as if they were state secrets. On both sides of her family, all of her many nieces and nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews, knew that abiding by Aunt Linda’s rules was unquestionably the safest path.
A surprisingly large contingent of her three son’s friends considered her a second Mom, as the home on 131 Vine Street was open to all, with food and snacks ever flowing and a finished basement that served as a constantly busy clubhouse. Family, both immediate and extended, meant everything to her as did her many long lasting friendships.
Linda courageously survived the loss of her youngest son; Keith Duhamel, who died tragically in 2001 at age 39, leaving a hole in a well-lived life that could never be filled. Linda leaves behind, and will be dearly missed; by her devoted husband Raymond, her sons Scott Duhamel and daughter-in-law Sheila Duhamel, Mark Duhamel and daughter-in-law Deanna Minich, granddaughter Taylor Duhamel, step grandson Michael Iannotti, her niece Kim Piccoli who has helped care for her these last several years, sister Lillian Taylor, and brother Roman Teixeira.
A celebration of Linda’s life will be planned for a future date in Rhode Island, when all those who loved her can come together to share their memories.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: Building Futures; an organization devoted to creating family sustaining career opportunities for low income diverse community members through the Registered Apprenticeship system, at https://www.401gives.org/organizations/building-futures.
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