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Julius and Lena DelPapa Memorial Fund
By Jean Cohoon / March 12, 2015 /   Loading Disqus...
Julius and Lena (Testa) DelPapa immigrated to the States from their native Italy and settled in Pawtucket. Julius was a long-time owner of the Julius DelPapa Cement Construction Company in Pawtucket, and the couple raised two children, a son Angelo and a daughter Gloria.

“Education and living the American dream was very important to their family. While many children of immigrants go to college, the DelPapas were a bit unique in that their daughter went to Pembroke (then the women’s college at Brown University) and their son went to Brown,” explains Tom Corley, the late Gloria DelPapa’s nephew.

Gloria devoted her entire career to education, teaching for 38 years in the Pawtucket School Department and retiring as chair of the English department at Shea High School. “Teaching was her life. She never married, and her students were her kids. She took great pride in developing them and bringing them along, and when she saw a little spark, she would further nurture their love of education and the arts,” Tom shares.

This fund Gloria established in her parents’ names supports the arts and humanities, education (particularly libraries), basic human needs (particularly hunger), and animal welfare in Rhode Island with a focus on Pawtucket.

Tom explains, “Gloria always liked the idea of education and nurturing young men and women. She would take kids to the opera and plays, and she saw the value of kids being cultivated into the life of the library, as a friend for life. She was very concerned about cuts in funding to libraries.”

As to her interest in basic human needs/hunger, Tom says, “I can’t remember a time when Gloria wasn’t volunteering at Amos House. It was a weekly ritual for her for a couple of decades.”

“She also was extraordinarily sensitive toward animal welfare,” he continues of his aunt. “She would cringe if she saw an animal being abused on TV. She would get so upset, you just had to turn the TV off.”

Tom concludes, “Gloria was a great supporter of the arts, well-traveled, and a very personable, bright, classy, polished woman.”
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