“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence”—Vince Lombardi
TEDIO CIAVARINI, age 88, passed away peacefully at his home on March 4, 2019. He was a loving husband to Dorothy (Campopiano) Ciavarini for 65 years. He was born in Woonsocket, RI to the late Basilio and Asunta (Baldelli) Ciavarini and was preceded in death by his siblings, Tinna (Ciavarini) Cote and Velmo Ciavarini.
He attended Woonsocket High School and was active in football, baseball, basketball, and hockey, graduating in 1949 as class president. In 1956 he graduated from YMCA Institute, predecessor of Roger Williams University, with an Associate’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Mr. Ciavarini started his career as an Estimating Engineer for the Industrial Piping Division of the Grinnell Company of Providence, RI from 1956 to 1959. In 1960, he transferred to U.S. Army Natick Research & Development Laboratories, Natick, Mass., working as a Physical Scientist, developing freeze-dried vacuum-sealed food for the astronauts of the Apollo space program in the 1960s.
In the 70’s, he played a major role in the development of component food packaging of modern military field rations, particularly the Meal, Ready-to-Eat (MRE). After 28 years of service, he received numerous awards for his contributions in the food packaging field and technology transfer to private industries: the government Gold Pin Award for Engineering, the Federal Laboratory Consortium Special Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer and a special accommodation for his pioneering efforts to establish and foster the ASTM Retort Pouch. He was also presented a special award from the National Research & Development Associates for his strong leadership and technical support. Upon retiring in 1987, Mr. Ciavarini was presented a director’s chair with the inscription, “God Father of the MRE” by his colleges. Following his retirement, he worked for the Woonsocket Water Division.
His daughter Tina with developmental disabilities, inspired Mr. Ciavarini to become a dedicated advocate for persons with likewise afflictions. He was president of the ARC of Northern Rhode Island for 3 terms and president of the State ARC for 4 terms, serving on both Boards of Directors for over 30 years. He also served on the Rhode Island Developmental Disabilities council. He was instrumental in driving legislation that culminated in a class action law suit that led to the eventual closing of the Ladd School Institution, with its shameful conditions, and for providing needed service centers and group homes for persons with developmental disabilities in their own communities. In recognition for his advocacy work, he received the John E. Fogarty Founders award.
Mr. Ciavarini was an Air Force Veteran of the Korean War. He was an active parishioner of St. Anthony’s Church, serving as Trustee, Member of the Finance Committee, Eucharistic Minister, Reader and CCD Teacher, prior to transferring to Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Parish.
He was a life-time member of the Italian Workingmen’s Club and served as assistant coach of the club’s pre-teen football Team in the mid 60’s where they won three-championships in a row.
Mr. Ciavarini enjoyed hunting, fishing, gardening and traveling and was an avid fan of the Green Bay Packers.
Mr. Ciavarini is survived by his wife Dorothy (Campopiano) Ciavarini, son Steven Ciavarini, son Michael Ciavarini and wife Diane (Girard) Ciavarini and daughter Tina Ciavarini.
His funeral will be held Monday, March 11, 2019 at 9 AM from the Holt Funeral Home, 510 South Main St., Woonsocket with a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 AM in Holy Trinity Parish (formerly OLQM), 1409 Park Ave., Woonsocket. Burial will follow in St. Charles Cemetery, Farm St., Blackstone, MA. Calling hours are Sunday from 1 - 3 PM.
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