John Joseph (“Jack”) Padien, Jr., 90, of Warwick, died peacefully November 21, 2013 surrounded by his wife and family. He was the beloved husband to R. Claire Padien, his wife of over 65 years.
Born 1923 in Providence, he was the son of the late John J. Padien, Sr., and Lena (McCurdy) Padien. He was a life-long Rhode Islander. Raised in Mount Pleasant, Jack attended Blessed Sacrament School, graduated from LaSalle Academy in 1942 and Rhode Island State College (now the University of Rhode Island) in 1950. In his youth, Jack was a stellar athlete and was named an All-State Goaltender in ice hockey as a high school freshman.
As a Navy Signalman in World War II, Jack served in the Pacific aboard the USS Bowers DE 637, a destroyer escort. He was decorated with the Philippine Liberation Medal for combat in the Battle of Leyte Gulf. He was awarded the Purple Heart and 4 Battle Stars for injuries sustained in a later Kamikaze attack that killed or wounded more than half the ship’s complement. Injured and blown from the ship, he survived perilous hours in the flaming and fuel-fouled water floating on a crate of cabbage. After the war, Jack returned home to Rhode Island. Like many of his generation, he kept the details of those war days to himself, only offering glimpses of his war experiences some 50 years later. He raised his family and lived the American Dream. Jack was a Disabled American Veteran and a member of the Destroyer Escort Sailors Association.
Jack graduated college on the GI Bill, then worked for Acme Cotton Products in East Killingly, Connecticut for 26 years. He started out as a bookkeeper and retired in 1984 as Vice President.
With his wife, Claire, he raised seven children. Jack loved his children, Maple Walnut ice cream, history, family vacations to the White Mountains, huge family lobster-fests and his extra-dry martini. He was meticulous and extraordinarily detail-oriented. Jack was a communicant of St. Catherine of Sienna Parish in Warwick for fifty-six years where he served on the Parish Council and as a Eucharistic Minister.
Preceded in death by sisters Rita Branco and Doris Matteson and a daughter Mary, he is survived by his loving wife, Claire; his children: John J. Padien, III (Wendy), Mary Anne J. Padien (J. Douglas Havens), William B. Padien, (Allison Brown Padien), Claire Marie Padien (Russell Berdoff), Paul P. Padien (Susan), Daniel J. Padien (Rosemary Foster) and Anne Marie Hale (Michael); 18 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. He will be greatly missed.
Visiting hours at Urquhart-Murphy Funeral Home were Sunday November 24. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Monday November 25 at St. Catherine of Sienna Church. Burial, with military honors, was at St. Ann Cemetery, Cranston.