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Delmonico Family Fund
By Jean Cohoon / December 31, 2013 /   Loading Disqus...
Family is very important to Gilda “Jill” Delmonico, who is honoring her late parents and siblings through this donor advised fund.

“The Delmonico family in Rhode Island was very close,” she shares, explaining that her father, Giovanni Del Monaco (the name was later changed to Delmonico), came to the States in 1909 at the age of 17. After living in Boston and South Windham, ME, he settled in Providence’s Federal Hill neighborhood.

He spent six months each year in the U.S. and six months in his native Italy. In 1922, he married Carmela De Santis, but it wasn’t until 1935 that the family – then including Jill’s older brother and sister – came to Rhode Island.

“In America, my father tried everything when it came to work,” Jill states, noting he had worked at foundries, machine and wire companies, and later made and sold ice, ice cream, lemonade, candy, and fudge. He started Delmonico Ice Cream Company in 1947.

Jill’s siblings, Anna and Adolph, joined their father in the business. She says the company’s biggest achievement was when it was selected to manufacture Clarabell bars through the then-popular television show, Howdy Doody. But the business suffered when large ice cream manufacturers became prominent. In the 1990s, Delmonico Ice Cream was sold to Warwick Ice Cream.

Jill was the only one of Giovanni’s children not to join the family business. A graduate of Mt. Pleasant High School, Jill attended Providence College before working at Eastern Scientific as a secretary and later as a sales representative. She also worked at the North Providence Library and has volunteered with Meals on Wheels, St. Edward’s Church food kitchen, Amos House, and McAuley House. Jill served on the board of the Italian American Historical Society of Rhode Island for more than 10 years and was the Society’s vice president for four years.

She learned about the Rhode Island Foundation through long-time friend Camille Roberti, who established the Dr. Robert F. Roberti Fund in 1992 to honor her late husband. Jill made numerous contributions to the Roberti Fund before deciding that she also wanted to memorialize her family. “This permanent fund is a wonderful way to keep the Delmonico family name alive, while also contributing to the community,” she concludes.
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