James R. Gambardella, 75, the son of the late Harry and Angela Gambardella, passed away on September 18, 2022. He was the beloved husband of Maureen E. (Riley) for forty-eight years. He is survived by his son Daniel J. and grandson Mason.
He graduated from LaSalle Academy, Pembroke State University NC, and received a Master's Degree from Suffolk University. He started as a Physical Education Teacher and later served as an a Vice Principal, Principal, and Director of Literacy and Reading in the Providence Public School System, retiring after 29 years. He continued his career in education, serving for 11 years as the ELA Coordinator for the North Attleboro Public School System. He was a veteran of the Army National Guard. He also served as the Grand Knight of the St. Augustine Council Knights of Columbus, The Men of St. Joseph, and was a Knight of the Holy Sepulcher.
James was an advocate, mentor, and coach for countless youths throughout his educational and athletic career. He coached several teams, including Bryant University cross-country track, CYO basketball at St. Augustine's, and Mt. Pleasant Little League baseball. James' passion for physical activity continued throughout his life as he joined senior softball, basketball, bowling, and golf leagues.
James played high school and collegiate basketball, a sport he excelled in and would continue to love and passionately play. He coached and taught basketball long into his life. A respected athlete and sportsman, he played, taught, and coached the game the way it should be. Attitude and respect were everything both in the classroom and on the court. While he had a tough exterior, he was truly a man with a generous heart of gold.
He was a die-hard, lifelong New York Yankees fan whose wife from Boston also became a Yankees fan. He always made time for his son and grandson eager to pick up a ball and play, even while receiving cancer treatments. James lived by his late Mother's motto: "Never let your opponent’s see you sweat." This attitude he incorporated into his educational, athletic, and personal life.
James was a devout Catholic who strived to live by the church's teachings. He was an active parishioner at St. Augustine Church, taught CCD with his wife, and served as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. He also served as the Grand Knight of the St. Augustine Council of the Knights of Columbus. He was a member of The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher and the Men of St. Joseph.
He was a much loved and respected husband, father, brother, uncle, grandfather, and friend who will be missed by many and forever be in our thoughts.
In addition to his wife, son, and grandson, he is survived by his three siblings and their families: sister Mary Lou Mignacca, of Seekonk, MA, her five children, Rick Mignacca (Rick, Peter, Philip), Donna Salusti (Alana and Michael), Lisa Mullin and her husband, Harry (Harry, Andrew, James), Lynn Farren and her husband Neil (Mitchell and Angela), and Steven Mignacca his wife Michelle (Amelia and Jonathan); brother Henry (Hank) Gambardella, his wife Tammy and their children, Brian and Dana. His sister Amelia Montella and her husband, Ralph.
He is also survived by his sister-in-law Marie Riley of Plymouth, MA, and her children: Kristine Keegan and husband Anthony (Aiden and Riley), Laurine Riley (Brandon Arlington), Kerri Miley and husband Dale, and Aymee and Geoff Levis (Ava and Chace).
A Mass of Christian Burial is to be celebrated on Friday, September 23, 2022, at 11:00 am at St. Augustine Church, 639 Mount Pleasant Ave., Providence, RI. Calling hours will be held on Friday, September 23, 2022, from 8:30 am until 10:30 am at the Maceroni Funeral Home, 1381 Smith Street, North Providence, RI. The burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory can be made to the St. Augustine Council Knights of Columbus, 20 Old Rd., Providence, RI 02908, or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.