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Richard P Baccari

November 5, 1941 — April 2, 2024

Richard P Baccari

82 of Narragansett passed away peacefully on April 2nd, 2024 surrounded by his loving family. Born on November 5, 1941 in Providence to the late Philip and Emma (Sassi) Baccari. He was the devoted husband of Susanne (Landi) Baccari. Besides his wife, he is survived by his loving children Sherri Baccari, Kim Baccari, Susan Baccari and her husband Chris Varrecchione, Daria Baccari, Richard Baccari II and his wife Ashley (Caprio) Baccari. He was the adoring grandfather (Big Papa) to Alessandro, Dimitri, Antonio, Giancarlo, Isabella, Tiara, Richard Ill, Joseph and Corey. He is survived by his sister Barbara Pieper and her husband Robert, his brother Philip Baccari and his wife Christine. He was the uncle of many nieces and nephews, a loyal friend and a trusted advisor to many, all of whom feel his profound loss today. He was the proud Master of Winston, his English Retriever.

Richard grew up in the Eagle Park neighborhood in Providence and at the age of 10 had a double paper route.  Even as a young boy he took his business very seriously, and always managed to deliver those papers on time, rain, sleet or snow notwithstanding.  He attended Mount Pleasant High School where he met the love of his life, Susanne, to whom he was married for 61 incredible years.  Susanne was always the light of his life, his top priority and the star of the show.  Richard and Susanne had four beautiful daughters in the first five years, and 13 years later, their son Richard II was born.  Along with Susanne, Richard’s world revolved around his five children.  He ran a very tight ship as a father, missing Sunday dinner was not an option. Each day was filled with kindness, laughter and love.  In 1977 Richard moved his family to Narragansett to a newly built home and cherished his time there.  Sunday was always Richard’s favorite day of the week as his entire family, first children and then grandchildren, gathered around his dining table to spend time with one another for a dinner that, in reality, would last all day and well into the evening.   He loved taking his children and grandchildren down to the rocks to catch crabs, build campfires, tell stories and search for bobcats. He had a passion for reading, using great historians to steer him in his business ventures throughout his life.

His business empire was built from scratch.  “Double Zero” as he often said.  It began when he was in a car accident and took his car to the small neighborhood auto body shop.  The owner of the shop told him he could fix the car but needed him to pay for the parts up front.  Richard offered to do one better and purchased Desmond Auto Body in 1960.  After years of hard work, he grew that small garage into the best auto repair shop in the State of Rhode Island.  Richard later founded the Rhode Island Auto Body Association and served as its president for many years.  Eventually, Richard turned his attention to real estate development, and founded Downing Corporation in 1969.  Downing started by building single family homes on scattered house lots in Warwick and soon became one of the most successful real estate operations in Rhode Island.  Due to Richard’s tireless work ethic, Downing built nearly 3000 homes, including the Louisquisset condominiums and over 20 shopping centers, including the Garden City in Cranston, his redevelopment of which served as the model for outdoor shopping center development throughout New England going forward.  He built the first parking garage at TF Green Airport and renovated numerous historic buildings in his beloved Providence, including the Coro Building and the Owen Building.  He opened Capriccio Restaurant in 1977 with his dear friend and partner Vincenzo Iemma, where to his last days he was always treated with love and respect. He was immensely proud of his Italian American heritage and was the owner and editor of the Italian Echo newspaper for many years.  He was awarded the Italian-American man of the year in 1989 by UNITAM and was a devoted member of the Aurora Civic Association.

In 1993 Richard founded the development firm Churchill & Banks, where he continued his work side by side with his son on development projects in Florida, North Carolina and New England, including the incredibly successful Kettle Point project in East Providence.  His work ethic and drive was second to none and his will to design, create, collaborate and construct new developments, occasionally in the face of obstacles of all sorts and sizes, was simply unparalleled.  Honor and integrity were the foundation of his business principles, and Richard’s dedication to and support of his many employees over the past six decades was matched only by the loyalty they each showed him in return.

What defined Richard above all else was his kind and gentle heart. He possessed many gifts, but his generosity was the greatest one of all.  He always gave to the less fortunate or someone in need. He was a man of his word, passionate in what he believed and truly devoted to those he loved.

He was greeted at the gates of heaven by his late grandson Nicholas Baccari. May he rest in peace as his family tries to navigate life without him.

“Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty-never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.” Winston S.  Churchill

Relatives and friends are invited to attend his Mass of Christian Burial on Monday morning, at 10am in St. Pius V Church, 240 Eaton Street, Providence.  Burial will be private.

Visitation will be Sunday evening from 4-7pm in the NARDOLILLO FUNERAL HOME & Crematory 1278 Park Avenue, Cranston.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be to:

Go Forth Nicholas Baccari Foundation, 10 Greene Street Providence, RI 02903     EIN#82-4992376

St. Edwards Food & Wellness Center

American Cancer Society.

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