Sharon Henry Caine of Newport, RI, passed away peacefully on Friday, October 16, 2020 surrounded by her family, after a period of declining health. She was the wife of the late Raymond W. Caine, Jr.
Sharon was born in Newport, RI on April 5, 1935, the second daughter of Katherine Maher Henry and Robert Russell Henry. Sharon attended Newport schools, graduating from Rogers High School in 1952 and Salve Regina College, class of 1956 with an A.B. in Education and Art. She married Raymond W. Caine, Jr., a fellow Newporter, on November 10, 1956, at St. Mary’s Church, the third generation of her family to be married there. Ray and Sharon then traveled to Fort Bliss, Texas where Sharon taught bilingual first graders and Ray instructed officers in the operation of computers, radar, and guided missile systems. In 1958, the couple returned to RI. Sharon spent the next years raising their family, with four children born in two and a half years. They moved to Riverside, RI, where, in addition to being a full time mom, Sharon volunteered with Head Start of RI and was president of the Riverside Junior Women’s Club. The family then moved to Barrington, RI. Sharon returned to teaching as the Head Teacher at the Congregational Church of Barrington nursery school, teaching 3 and 4 year olds. After all four children graduated, Sharon and Ray returned home to Aquidneck Island, renovating a home on Kay Street, building on Catherine Street, and then moving to Bonniecrest, all in Newport, and finally to Blenheim-Newport, in Middletown. During this period of time, Sharon worked for her alma mater as Director of Alumni Affairs at Salve Regina University. She was most proud of initiating the Governor’s Ball, held annually in December as a major fundraiser for the College, choosing a different theme each year and attending to every detail to create a memorable and profitable event. Upon her retirement in 1986, Sr. Lucille McKillop wrote, “…Graciousness and kindness are the calling cards which you give indiscriminately to all those who you meet. The College has certainly been blessed by being able to call you one of its own.”
Sharon was an active member of St. Mary’s Church, Wanumetonomy Golf and Country Club, Hazard’s Beach, Newport Art Museum, Sandpipers Club, Circle of Scholars at Salve Regina University, and the Top of the Hill Club, for whom she organized fabulous events. Sharon was also a friend of Newport Hospital and a star model in the annual fashion shows to benefit the Newport Hospital Auxiliary. An avid gardener and artist, she made every space she touched more beautiful. She and Ray loved to travel, with Sharon planning trips with friends and family to places near and far. Sharon and Ray spent many winters in Naples, FL, enjoying an active social life in the warmer weather. Her favorite trips by far were those she planned for all 19 children and grandchildren to celebrate a holiday, a graduation, or a “big” birthday. She will be remembered for her legacy of kindness and her trademark pearls.
A proud matriarch, Sharon is survived by her children, Karen Caine Babbitt (Jib) of South Dartmouth, MA, Kimberly Caine Salesses (Greg) of Tallahassee, FL, Peter Thomas Caine (Mary) of Middletown, RI, and Patrick Timothy Caine (Melanie King) of Uxbridge, MA. Mrs. Caine, aka “Nana,” is survived by her 11 grandchildren, of whom she was very proud. Kate Salesses Gibbons (Joe), Gregory Michael Salesses, Jr. (Olivia), Sarah Elizabeth Salesses, Emily Elizabeth Babbitt (Matthew Knowles), John Isaac Babbitt, III (Sarah), Andrew Raymond Caine, Rachel Helen Caine, Audra Perkins Caine, William Edward Caine, Benjamin James Caine, and Matthew Peter Caine. She is “G Nana” to 5 great grandchildren, Harrison Bennett Gibbons, Lila Bea Gibbons, Nora Grace Salesses, Ellie Jane Salesses, and Eliza Glas Babbitt. During the darkest days of the pandemic, Sharon’s days were brightened by FaceTime calls with these five cuties.
In addition, she is survived by her siblings, Barbara Henry Ripa, and Roberta Henry Dugan, her sisters-in-law Grace Caine Eudenbach (Peter), Margaret Caine Harrington (Guy) and brother-in-law William Michael Caine (Pat), in addition to many, many nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her beloved husband of almost 60 years, her brothers-in-law Joseph Augustine Ripa and James Peter Dugan, and her baby brother Robert Russell Henry.
Funeral services will be private. A celebration of life will be planned for a future date when it is safe to gather again. Contributions may be made in her name to Salve Regina University, Attn: Caine Scholarship Fund, 100 Ochre Point Avenue, Newport, RI 02840.