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On August 14, 2021 Ferdinando “Fred” Pastore, 74, of Barrington, died at Rhode Island Hospital.
Born November 29, 1946, in Providence, Fred was the only child of Salvatore Pastore and Tomasina “Sue” Petrarca of West Warwick. He was raised in the village of Natick in a tenement perched on the edge of the Pawtuxet River, where he lived with his parents, grandmother, uncle, and for several years his aunt and cousins. He plied the river in a small rowboat that he built from scrap wood and caught perch and pickerel while balanced on a tree branch that hung low over the water.
Fred attended Providence Street Elementary School, Deering Junior High, and West Warwick High School, from which he graduated in 1965. In July of 1964, he met Karen Bergquist of Cranston, who was working at the Woolworth’s soda fountain on Rolfe Avenue. They spent their first date at Watch Hill Beach, which sealed the deal. From 1965 to 1969, Fred completed a B.S. in education at the University of Rhode Island and Karen a B.A. in home economics at the University of Connecticut. Karen left briefly to test the waters of California but returned shortly thereafter. In 1970 they were married at Bethany Lutheran Church in Cranston.
Sun shined on their marriage. They honeymooned in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and fell in love with the city and the island. Fred taught physical education at Slater Junior High School in Pawtucket; Karen was a department manager at Filenes in Warwick. In 1974 they purchased a house in Barrington and a year later had their first child, Christopher. In 1977 Fred completed an M.S. in Education at the University of Rhode Island, and later that summer they had their daughter, Cara. They filled their home with love and shag carpet, which, once Karen began her successful sewing business, was frequently (and painfully) littered with pins. Living just a few blocks from Narragansett Bay, they kept a boat, and Fred his fishing poles at the ready. They dug quahogs with their feet between Prudence and Patience Islands and caught bluefish by the dozen. Fred grew a spectacular garden.
Beaches, boats, and the sea were woven into the fabric of their family. They frequented the shores of Newport, South County, Block Island, and Cape Cod. They returned annually to San Juan, plying the beaches of Isla Verde and Luquillo. In Rhode Island they bought a 28-foot powerboat, then a 34-footer, and finally a 43-foot trawler, which they named Karfre as a testament to their union. They spent summer weekends rolling along the coast of southern New England, deeply tanned and laughing.
Fred was generous with all he knew and all he had. In Pawtucket he began teaching physical education at Shea High School, where he served as department chair, baseball coach, and head football coach. He also coached little league and never missed his kids’ softball, baseball, basketball, and football games. He later became Assistant Principal of Tolman High School, a position he held until 1997 when he retired from the Pawtucket School Department. In the years that followed his former students and players acknowledged his patient but no-nonsense approach to education and athletics. In restaurants, grocery stores, and car dealerships across Rhode Island, they went out of their way to tell him how he had shaped their lives in meaningful ways. He also gave of himself closer to home. He and Karen put their children through college. They cared for their elderly mothers. Fred also continued his decades-long pursuit of the perfect tomato and shared what he grew with friends and family, particularly his grandchildren, Rosie and Abe, on whom he relied as his most valuable pickers.
Fred embodied southern New England. He followed the Red Sox and Patriots like a religion. He loved Italian food and telling stories while he ate it. He was a big man with a big voice and an even bigger heart. With his roots in the West Bay, his home in the East, and with his professional life firmly planted among the mill towns of the Blackstone, he loved Rhode Island. And it loved him in return. He loved his garden, and it loved him in return. He loved his family, and they loved him—downright adored him—in return.
He leaves his wife of fifty years, Karen; his son Christopher and daughter-in-law Susan, and their children, Rose and Abram; his daughter Cara and her partner Michael Foster; and a long list of extended family and friends who loved him deeply. He will be sorely missed but remains present in our prayers and memories.
A service will be held at Smith-Mason Funeral Home in East Providence on Saturday, August 21 at 10 a.m. Calling hours will begin at 8:30 a.m. A reception will be held at Barrington Yacht Club from 12 noon to 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Fred Pastore’s name to either the Barrington Community Scholarship Fund (https://csfofbarrington.com/) or Save the Bay (https://www.savebay.org/get-involved/donate/).