Arthur F. DeMeo, 91, of North Providence passed away peacefully on August 16 at the home of his beloved daughter Sara and granddog, Sonia.
Raised in Olneyville, Arthur wrestled for Mount Pleasant High School and played baseball and football for the U.S. Marine Corps, in which he served during the Korean War. While in the Marines, he received a Presidential citation, was offered a football scholarship at Brown University, and appeared with the actor Tab Hunter as an extra in the movie Battle Cry.
Arthur returned home to Rhode Island to marry his sweetheart, Carmela, and he was a caring father to their two daughters. He worked for the railroad and a local gym and then served on the executive board at the Narragansett Brewery, where he worked for many years and made lifelong friends. When the brewery closed, in 1981, he started a second career at the State Treasury Office, retiring at 78, leaving behind many fond colleagues.
An ageless athlete, Arthur was a long-distance runner and ran the Boston Marathon when he was 67. He was also a fixture on local basketball and tennis courts, challenging generations of opponents. In later life Arthur became an avid swimmer and cyclist, and last year took up boxing (his trainer said he still had a strong right hook). Arthur joked that he played sports because his wife didn’t want him home, especially when she was making her famous dinners and desserts and he would otherwise be yelling, “Is it ready yet, hon?”
Arthur lived life on his own terms and loved to tell funny stories and croon Frank Sinatra tunes. He had a very special bond with his special-needs daughter, Lucy, who passed away in 2015. He was also predeceased by his three older brothers, Joseph, Albert, and Vincent, all veterans. As poor children during the Depression, Arthur and Vinny used to cuddle together with their dog, Fluffy, to keep warm. The DeMeo family learned to laugh to get through hard times. Now Arthur is smiling in heaven with Lucy and his family, with the heat cranked up high, the way he always liked it.
Besides his daughter Sara (Tom) of Exeter, he leaves his faithful, patient wife, Carmela, and many dear nieces, nephews, friends, and caregivers, who found him authentic, unique, comical, and a legend.
Burial will be private, with a memorial service at a future date. In lieu of flowers, make someone laugh today in Arthur’s memory.
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