This obituary originally appeared on O’Neill Hayes Funeral Home.
Ann Bowditch (Canole) Twomey of Newport, Rhode Island passed away peacefully on Thursday, September 10, 2020 in her beloved city of Newport, RI. She was the beloved wife of the late John Michael (Jack) Twomey. She had a great love of animals and both of the Twomey’s German Shepard’s Rocky and Julie preceded them in death. A true native Newporter who will be sadly missed.
Ann was born during a snow storm on December 5, 1935 in Newport, Rhode Island. She was the daughter of the late Willian Patrick Canole, a Huguenot, and Jeannette (Johnson) Canole, a highland Scot. Her descendant Bowditch built the house of the Seven Gables in Salem, MA.
Ann could read and write at the age of two. Ann graduated from Rogers in 1954 went to Colby College in Waterville, Maine for a year then transferred and graduated cum laude from Boston University, where she excelled in the sciences, with a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts she came back to Newport where she resided the rest of her life.
Ann spent 35 years as a teacher in the Newport Elementary Schools. During her tenure as a teacher she taught all elementary grades in Calendar, Coggeshall, Underwood and finally ended her career in Carey School. She was also a substitute teacher in Hawaii.
Being descendant from a long line of firemen she always had a soft spot in her heart for them. For many years Ann and Jack were a fixture at all the Newport Council and Zoning Meetings. Ann had a repertoire of stories, she knew more about Newport than most and where the skeletons were buried.
She was brilliant, witty, entertaining and funny. She was well versed and one loved her entertaining stories. She was well travel throughout Europe including Ireland, England, Norway, Germany, Portugal, Spain, France, Greece, Morocco and Mexico among other countries. In her younger years she was a beautiful woman who men admired. She hobnobbed with the Newport elite.
Jack and Ann were instrumental in saving many building in Newport which she inherited from her Father. Who with only 35 cents in his pocket purchased the Vaucluse School on Vaucluse and Braman’s Lanes in Portsmouth, RI for $900 and restored it. Through her contacts Ann saved Malbone House on Thames Street, when the Catholics wanted to tear it down, convincing Mrs. Smith to purchase and restore it. She always said she was sad she could not save the Waterworks building. But with backroom deals and lies she lost the battle but learned from the experience. At one time Ann was the highest private taxpayer in Newport. She owned houses on Brenton Point, Sherman, Mill, Spring and most Prospect Hill Streets. The Twomey’s had good intentions but unfortunately the houses to this day were never restored. Ann and her parents were at the first meeting of the Newport Preservation Society with Mrs. Warren upstairs at Newport National Bank building to preserve the Hunter House.
She was a chairman of the Miantonomi Park Commission until her death. During her reign she had put the park on the historical register and in the Aquidneck Land Trust to preserve it for future generations. She also was a member of the Aquidneck Island Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution where she was the historian, Redwood Library, Secretary of the Point and Hill Associations, War College Foundation, Newport and Middletown Senior Centers, Newport Art Association, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Newport Preservation Society, Newport Historical Society, Irish American Ladies, Boston Brahmin, Gooseberry Beach, Boston University and Rogers High School Alumni. For many years Jack and Ann attended Tuesday night music at Easton’s Beach.
She leaves her cousins and their families Mary, Michael, John, and Peter Canole. Paul Canole predeceased Ann and many friends too numerous to mention who will always remember and will miss her. God Bless you Ann.
A Mass of Christian burial will be held Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 9:30 am in St. Joseph’s Church, corner of Broadway & Mann Ave. Newport. Burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Vincent de Paul Society of St. Joseph’s Church, 5 Mann Avenue, Newport, RI 02840.