Richard Tuoni

Richard Tuoni of West Kingston, Rhode Island died at home on September 17, 2020.  He was born in Philadelphia on May 25, 1935 to Thomas and Esther Tuoni. In addition to his parents, Richard was predeceased by his 3 sisters – Lillian Di Cola, Florence Menser and Nancy Tuoni, and his brother Thomas Tuoni. He is survived by his wife, Christine Spadola-Tuoni, and four children Joel Tuoni, Sheila Kenyon, Carl Tuoni, and Matthew Tuoni. He had 9 grandchildren: Tori Kenyon and her husband, Don Kassner; Aaron Kenyon, Carl Joseph, Jim, and Angela Tuoni; Zelda, Brian and Leia Tuoni; Michael Cascio, and 1 great-grandchild – Alden Kassner. He was the father of the late Stephen Tuoni. Also surviving him is Zelda Tuoni of New Mexico, his ex-wife.  

Richard received a degree in political science from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, class of 1957.  After college, he joined the US Army serving from 1957 to 1963. Later, on the GI bill, he went to the University of Rhode Island where he earned a master’s degree in Library Science.

Richard was an early adopter of what was then the newest technology: coding data on punch cards, and learning how computer systems operated.  He was employed at IBM and Hewlett Packard.  He went on to contract in the business world to teach systems analysis and applications, traveling the country and abroad.  In the 1990’s, he owned a shipping business in Providence.  He ended his working life teaching English as a second language (ESL) to adults in community and small business settings.  He loved teaching and was alert to the strengths and drive of his hard-working students.  In the last decade, he led a cooperative exploration of ancient history and mythology with a group of dedicated lifelong learners at the South Kingstown Senior Center.  This brought him much joy and sense of fulfillment, as well as new friendships.

Richard never stopped learning, and never forgot what he had learned, frequently quoting poetry, song lyrics, and his favorite classics.  He was a fount of stories of his Philadelphia childhood. He also loved playing games, especially pinochle.  He never stopped playing chess, and enjoyed sharing strategies and chess openings with first his children and then many other young and not so young friends and family.  No remembrance of Richard would be complete without including his passion for sports, and the beloved Philadelphia teams in particular.  His support of the Eagles, Sixers, Phillies and Flyers was unwavering.

Richard will be missed by so many, from his contemporaries to the youngest members of his large blended family of Tuonis and Spadolas, as well as many dear friends.   

Visiting hours will be held on Monday, September 21, 2020, 4-7 pm in the Avery-Storti funeral Home, 88 Columbia St., Wakefield.  Burial will be private.  In lieu of flowers, please feel free to make a donation in honor of Richard to your favorite organization.  For guest book and condolences, averystortifuneralhome.com.

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