This obituary originally appeared on O’Neill Hayes Funeral Home.

Barbara L. Tortolani, of Newport, RI died of an illness on Thursday evening, January 21, 2021. She was the wife of Joseph A. Tortolani.

Born December 23, 1956 Barbara grew up in Barrington, RI. She was a daughter of the late Charles and Ethel (Engelhart) Gower.   

For much of her adult life, she lived in her most beloved city of Newport.  Barbara was a skilled, self-employed craftswoman of Commercial Artistry which she studied in France.

Barbara was the beloved wife of Joseph A. Tortolani for 31 years. She is survived by a brother, Ron & sister-in-law Jane Gower, sister Susan Gower and many nieces and nephews she loved so much.

Due to safety concerns, there will be no public viewing.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at St. Mary’s Church, Newport, RI at 10:00am.  Masks and social distancing will be required.  Burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Barbara’s memory may be made to the Potter League for Animals, 87 Oliphant Lane, Middletown, RI 02842, or by visiting

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