Dante Occhi, 88, of Portsmouth, RI, passed away on September 25, 2021. Dante was born in Mariano, Italy to Albino and Albina (Ricci) Occhi. The youngest of three sons. He was the husband of the late Maria (Maestri) Occhi.
Dante arrived in the United States in 1949 a trip that he would make numerous times over his lifetime. He graduated from Rogers High School in Newport, RI. After graduation, he was drafted and entered the U.S. Army and served from 1953 to 1955, rose to the rank of Corporal and was stationed in Salzburg, Austria. When he returned, he entered Wentworth Institute in Boston, MA on the GI Bill, and earned an Associate’s Degree in Machine Work and Tool Making in 1957. His career would eventually lead him to the Raytheon Company in Portsmouth, RI, until his retirement in 1992, after over 30 years of employment there as a Foreman in the Machine Shop of the Submarine Signal Division.
Dante loved to travel to Italy and Canada especially to visit family members. He loved gardening, seeing anything grow and golfing. His main focus was always his family, first. Dante could fix anything that was broken, was an amazing mechanic and restored many cars in his home garage. He loved to cook and was always providing amazing meals for his family. Some of his best times were sitting at the table with family enjoying a great meal and talking about everything under the sun. He was quiet and strong, the rock of the family, steady and reliable, always there for anyone who needed anything or words of encouragement no matter how often. Dante was independent, always positive and incredibly sharp up until his last day with us. His favorite sayings were “andiamo avanti!” and “we keep going”! He will be greatly missed and led by example.
Dante is survived by his daughters Lillian Gamache (Anthony), Susan Bielicki (Carlos) and his loving grandchildren, Leo Paul, Dante, Maria, Emma and Carly and his brother, Father Luigi Occhi, of Pianello, Italy and his second wife, Maria Gelmetti of Toronto, Canada and many nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, Dante is preceded in death by his wife, Maria Maestri and brother Ennio (Mario) Occhi.
In keeping with Dante’s wishes, there will be no calling hours. Instead, there will be a service at Connor’s Funeral Home, 55 West Main Road in Portsmouth, RI on Thursday, September 30th, at 10:00 a.m. with burial immediately following at St. Columba Cemetery in Middletown, RI.