Giacomo Palma - Seminole, Fla.

Giacomo Palma - Seminole, Fla.

Giacomo “John” Palma, a Rhode Island native, passed away at home on March 19, 2013. He was born in Woonsocket, R.I., on Oct. 4, 1925, the son of Raffaele Palma and Antoinetta (Bisanti) Palma.

He attended local schools and graduated from Johnson & Wales College. During World War II, he served with the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Baltimore. As one of the first men aboard, he earned the distinction of “Plank Owner.”

He remained in the Navy during the Korean War and received numerous ribbons and medals. The list of John’s many distinctions include the Navy Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with Silver & Bronze Stars for 9 Campaigns, World War II Victory Medal, Navy Occupation Service Medal, China Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Philippine Liberation Ribbon with 2 Bronze Stars, the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation, and a Certificate Of Recognition for his outstanding service during the period of the Cold War for promoting peace and stability for his country. The certificate states, “The people of this Nation are forever grateful,” and is signed by the Secretary of Defense.

After discharge from the Navy, John joined the Air Force during the Vietnam War after many assignments overseas, was stationed state side as a recruiter in the Providence, then Woonsocket, area. While awaiting his discharge from the Air Force, John was appointed as executive director of the newly established Housing Authority in the town of Lincoln.

John started the process of constructing low income, quality housing for our elders with his own desk, typewriter and a corner of an office at the Lincoln Town Hall. Under his direction, the Lincoln Housing Authority became one of the most sought after housing in the state of Rhode Island, the Lincoln Housing Authority constructed approximately 300 units of senior housing on two sites, family units and assisting low income families in rental assistance. Thousand of persons were afforded safe, comfortable, affordable housing, allowing our seniors to live independently.

During his tenure as the executive director, John was a member of the Rhode Island Executive Directors Association and the National Association of Executive Directors, serving on its board of directors. John is also a member of the Elks, American Legion, American Veterans Association, Disabled American Association and the Air Force Sergeant’s Association.

Since retiring to Florida, John has enjoyed, traveling, riding his red scooter, visiting with neighbors and friends, and contributing at the Casino. John leaves his wife, Christine Wild Palma and daughter Lori Palma, of Florida; his son, John Palma and his daughter-in-law Annette Palma of North Providence; grandchildren, Joseph, Matthew and Tess; mother-in-law, Barbara Wild- brother and sister-in-law, David and Cheryl Wild; and nephews, David and Christopher Wild of Smithfield, R.I.

His funeral service will be held Tuesday at 10 a.m. in the Anderson-Winfield Funeral Home, Route 44 at Greenville Common, Greenville. Burial with military honors will be in Highland Memorial Park, Johnston. Visitation is Monday from 6-8 p.m.