Cover photo for Louis G. Mainelli's Obituary
Louis G. Mainelli Profile Photo

Louis G. Mainelli

August 15, 1944 — December 17, 2023

Narragansett

Louis G. Mainelli

Beloved brother, uncle, great uncle, cousin, friend, neighbor, teacher, lover of opera, self-taught Wagnerian scholar, art collector, patron of the arts, voracious reader, political analyst, backyard gardener, lover of the Wheaton terrier.  And above all else – a courageous human being.

These words illustrate the love Lou had for his family, his devotion to his career in teaching, and his passion for the arts, especially opera.

Lou started his teaching career in Darien, Connecticut, where he taught many courses in mathematics and as Math Department Chairperson at Darien High School.  Lou was deeply influenced by the work of Maxine Greene, a renowned educational theorist at Columbia University, who promoted the arts as a fundamental teaching tool.  Energized by Greene’s belief, Lou introduced the Darien High School students to opera by arranging bus trips to New York City’s Metropolitan Opera House.

Lou took his strong belief in aesthetic and creative education to the Met School in Newport, Rhode Island, where he taught math.  For Lou, the ability to think imaginatively through a math problem was more important than the answer; he wanted his students to learn that seeking a solution could be an adventure.

His adult students at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute left his classes in opera either refreshed by Lou’s love and knowledge of the art form or inspired as fledging opera students to see and to learn more.  To know Lou is to understand the beauty of opera, its unique alchemy.

While Lou devoted his life’s work to teaching and the arts, his fearlessness took him on another journey.  A survivor of the AIDS epidemic, Lou trained with the Gay Men’s Health Crisis to facilitate workshops for young gay men in San Francisco to encourage them to talk about the persistent presence of HIV/AIDS.  Lou helped many young men discuss their concerns and learn to navigate the healthcare system to take advantage of HIV prevention, care, and treatment.  Lou offered hope to many young men for a long healthy life.

After leaving his teaching position at Darien High School, Lou returned to his home state of Rhode Island where he lived on Harbour Island in Narragansett.  Above all, Lou belonged to the mystery, the majesty that called him to the water’s edge where he could take deep breaths and feel how alive he was and always will be in the hearts of those who love him.

Lou was the son of the late Luigi and Elena Mainelli and the brother of Maria Perrotta and the late Rita Mainelli.  He is also survived by five nephews, several great nieces and nephews, and one great-great nephew.

Relatives and friends are invited to his funeral service on Thursday, December 28, 2023 at 10:30am in the NARDOLILLO FUNERAL HOME & Crematory – SOUTH COUNTY CHAPEL, 1111 Boston Neck Road, (Rt. 1A), Narragansett.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to your favorite charity.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Louis G. Mainelli, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Funeral Service

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Starts at 10:30 am (Eastern time)

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