Warwick Mourns Gallucci: Former Councilman, Human Services Director
WARWICK, RI — Mayor Frank Picozzi announced the passing of former Councilman Joe Gallucci, 86, Monday, adding his praise to a recent chorus of compliments about his service to the city.
Two years ago, Gallucci retired from from his last stint as Warwick City Councilor for Ward 8. He’d served on the Council since 2015, and during two terms before that from 1977 to 1984, from 1990 to 1994, according to Picozzi’s account of his political and civil service career. Gallucci also worked at the RI Department of Business Regulation, was on the board of the Kent County Water Authority, and a veteran of the Rhode Island Army National Guard.
“I knew Joe for many years. He was soft spoken but spoke eloquently and in an authoritative manner that compelled people to listen. He was always impeccably dressed and his hair coiffed perfectly. Several days after I was elected Joe sent me a beautiful fruit basket and enclosed a letter. In the letter he said that he had voted for me and that he had always believed and said that an Italian-American could never get elected in Warwick. He said he and his family were so proud of me for being the first,” Picozzi said.
Councilman Ed Ladouceur, a friend of Gallucci’s, had high praise for the Councilman during his last Warwick City Council meeting in 2018. Monday night, he expanded on those kind words.
“I have very fond memories of Councilman Gallucci and the respect and friendship we developed over the years. He was truly a mentor not only to myself but to all new council people. Joe was my historian, my mentor and many times my confidant. He was always willing to share his knowledge with me and enthusiastically share his memories and successes from the “Joe Walsh” days. In all the years I knew Joe he never had a bad word to say about anyone. He may not have always agreed with everyone but he always respected everyone’s right to their opinions. Joe was from the old school, he never tried to convince me I was wrong in any particular matter but he was always there to give me a “different spin” on the matter. Often times he was successful but when we agreed to disagree, he never ever held a grudge. He would always remind me of his cherished motto “ today is cash, yesterday is a canceled check and tomorrow is a promissory note”. He took pleasure is testing me on those 3 things from to time. Councilman / Council President Gallucci will be truly missed!” Ladouceur said.
RI House Speaker Joseph Shekarchi, (D-Dist. 23) said Gallucci’s death was sudden. He fell ill Friday and had passed by Saturday night, he said. His death was not related to COVID-19, Shekarchi said.
Shekarchi’s friendship with Gallucci dates back to the early 1980s, when Gallucci ran for mayor against Frank Flaherty. Shekarchi didn’t support Gallucci then, and wound up serving as legal counsel in Flaherty’s administration from 1991-1993.
“We became friends,” Shekarchi said, and he grew to admire Gallucci’s generosity and willingness to help others.
“He went out of his way to help anyone he could,” Shekarchi said. Even the people who didn’t support him.
“He helped me. He mentored me,” Shekarchi said.
Gallucci’s institutional knowledge of the city stretched back to the 1970s, and his experience was a resource people in Warwick came to rely on through the years.
“He was one of the most knowledgeable people about the Warwick City Council,”Shekarchi said.
Gallucci and his late wife, Mary Ann, leave Frank Gallucci, Joseph Gallucci and Michael Ferruccio and grandchildren Francesca, Joseph, Maria, and Joanna.
Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of WarwickPost.com. Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.