Gilda DeCosta, 88, of School House Lane, Portsmouth, RI, passed away suddenly on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at home.

She was the wife of the late Theodore E. DeCosta who was the love of her life.

Born in Newport, RI on December 17, 1927, she was the daughter of the late Antone and Georgianna (Pacheco) DeCosta. She was preceded in death by her brothers, Jesse Decosta, Anthony DeCosta, Edmund DeCosta, Joseph DeCosta and William DeCosta; and her sisters, Mary (DeCosta) Dias and Alice (DeCosta) Massed. She is survived by her brother-in-law, James DeCosta and his wife Carol of Portsmouth, RI; her sisters-in-law, Doris DeCosta of Middletown, RI and Christina Ferrieria of Bristol, RI; and 26 nieces and nephews, 45 great nieces and nephews, and 21 great-great nieces and nephews who lovingly called her “Aunt Jill”.

Gilda attended the Newport Public School System until she began her working career at Vallet Cleaners at the young age of 15. Shortly thereafter, she began a long and successful career at Sears and Roebuck, both at the Thames Street and Middletown locations for over 30 years, highlighted by her charismatic personality in the customer service department.

After marrying her husband in 1962, she accompanied him on his many work places, which took them overseas and many states here in the US. Finally in 1965, they settled in their new home in Portsmouth, RI where she remained until her death.

Gilda was a communicant of Jesus Saviour Church for over 80 years, where in her early years, she was an active member of the church theater group starring in numerous musical productions along with her sister Alice and niece Maryann. She was a regular singer and had many singing appearances on WADK, voice of the Azores.

Gilda continued to work tirelessly for her church as a member of the Children of Mary, the Rosary Sodality, the Holy Ghost Feast Committee, the Soup Kitchen and the Jesus Saviour Bazaar, where her smiling and vibrant personality will be sorely missed at the outside kitchen.

Gilda was an active member of the Vasco da Gama Society, serving as its Vice President for the last 20 years. In addition, she was the only female to hold the position of President of the club upon the passing of her nephew, Arthur Dias, in 1998.

She was always relied on to take many friends and family members on many appointments, shopping or just joy rides around town.

Noted for her culinary skills, she will always be remembered for her “Favas” and carrot cake.

Among the many awards she had received for her community service were 2001 Vasco da Gama Community Service Award, 2006 Newport Daily News Community Service Award, 2007 Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk Award, 2010 Jesus Saviour Church Parishioner of the Year Award and the 2014 Jesus Saviour Church Bazaar 50 Year Service Award.

Her home was always a place for anyone who came from near or far to visit or just needed a place to stay.

Gilda will be sadly missed by her extended family and all who had the pleasure to know her.

Calling hours will be held on Monday, May 30, 2016 from 3:00-600 p.m. in Memorial Funeral Home, 375 Broadway, Newport, RI.

Her funeral will be held on Tuesday, May 31, 2016 at 8:00 a.m. from the funeral home with a Mass of Christian Burial at 9:00 a.m. in Jesus Saviour Church, Broadway at Vernon Avenue, Newport, RI.

Burial will follow in St. Columba Cemetery, Browns Lane, Middletown, RI.

In lieu of flowers, donations in name may be made to the Vasco da Gama Portuguese/American Society, 15 Fenner Avenue, Newport, RI 02840.

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.