O’CONNOR, E. VIRGINIA (DOWNEY), age 93, died peacefully on December 1, 2019 in the loving home of her daughter Leslie and son-in-law Raymond Masterson in Coventry, RI. Virginia raised 6 children single-handedly, had a long career as a Physical Education teacher in West Warwick, taught hundreds of people to swim and competed in Senior Olympics events. She always worked a second job to keep the family afloat.
Virginia was born in Providence on May 28, 1926 to JH Logan and Estelle Gertrude (Gorman) Downey, the second of 4 children. She was a graduate of Central High School and a 1948 graduate of the then called Rhode Island College of Education in Providence with a Bachelor of Science in Health and Physical Education. She also attended the University of Wisconsin at Madison for three summers to complete the requirements for her degree. She regularly attended class reunions; so happy to catch up with classmates.
Virginia loved sports and games and encouraged adventures. She loved the beach and was certified as a state surf lifeguard until she was almost 50.
Virginia’s Catholic religion was deeply entwined in her everyday life. She was a communicant of St. Mary’s parish in West Warwick and later a member of the Holy Trinity Church in Plymouth, NH. Virginia lived her faith; her words and actions were kindhearted, inclusive, accepting and gracious. She was compassionate, generous and loving.
She dedicated her life and all of her resources to her children, Robert, Merelise, Leslie, the late Estelle Bourque, Kevin and David and her 12 grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews and her beloved older brother, George Downey of Warwick and many friends and former students who thought the world of her.
Visiting hours Thursday, December 5, 2019 from 8:30 am – 10:15 am at the Iannotti Funeral Home at MAPLE ROOT, 2000 Nooseneck Hill Rd., (Rte.3) Coventry, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 am in St. Mary Church, West Warwick. Interment at St. Ann Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Sisters of Divine Providence, 5300 St. Anne Dr., Melbourne, KY 41059 will be appreciated. iannottifh.com
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