Margherita Rose Thayer (Salerno), 98, of Peace Dale, passed away peacefully at South County Hospital on July 20. She was the beloved wife of the late Henry H. Thayer, Jr. for almost 63 years. Born in Peace Dale, Rl, a daughter of the late Giovanni Salerno and Francesca (Maiorana) Salerno, Mrs. Thayer was a lifelong resident of Peace Dale. She attended Peace Dale Grammar School and briefly South Kingstown High School which she left to work at Peace Dale Mill. Eventually, in the spirit of the Greatest Generation, she would work seven days a week on material for naval uniforms during World War II. She later completed her GED High School Diploma in her retirement years which she considered her greatest personal achievement.
Mrs. Thayer also worked for the Town of South Kingstown as a cafeteria worker for several years in the public school system where she made sure no student went hungry. This act of kindness was mentioned with appreciation by Principal Bob Smith of the South Kingstown Junior High in a thank you note when she accepted a new job in Dining Services at the University of Rhode Island which would last for ten years. She would then travel every chance she could whether to a New England destination or to Italy which she visited twice. It was one of the great joys of her life to visit the house where her mother was born in Castel di Tusa, Sicily.
Mrs. Thayer is survived by her daughter Frances A. Thayer of Peace Dale with whom she lived; her son Henry H. Thayer, III and his wife Paula of Wakefield; her granddaughter Audrey J. Scott; her grandson Henry H. Thayer, IV; her “adopted” granddaughter Heather L. Balbi; and her great granddaughters Grace, Kelsey, and Ashley Scott. She is also survived by many nieces, nephews, and cousins including Joyce Shiels whose offers of help are too numerous to count. Mrs. Thayer was also the sister of the late Nicola and Charles Salerno.
The family would like to extend their deepest gratitude to Priya Bansal, MD and her staff at Coastal Medical in East Providence, Rl; the South Kingstown EMT Department; South County Home Health; and South County Hospital: the Emergency Room staff; the Dietary Department; and the nurses on Frost 2 whose extraordinary kindness and compassion not only sustained us during these recent days, but whose care demonstrated how life is so precious. May God bless and watch over each and every one of you today and always.
Visiting hours will be Friday, July 24th at the Avery-Storti Funeral Home, 88 Columbia Street, Wakefield, 9 – 10:15 am followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 am at St Francis of Assisi Church, 114 High Street, Wakefield. Burial will follow in St Francis Cemetery, Peace Dale. Mrs. Thayer was a lifelong communicant of St. Francis of Assisi Church in Wakefield and it is her wish that in lieu of flowers memorial donations be made to: St. Francis of Assisi Church, 114 High St., Wakefield, Rl 02879. For guest book and condolences, averystortifuneralhome.com.