Joseph Guatieri, 94, of Providence, passed away Friday June 25th. He was the beloved husband of the late Catherine (Pallotta) Guatieri, who passed away in 1986. They were married for 32 years.
Born in Providence, he was a son of the late Angelo and Mary ((DeVito) Guatieri. He was a life-long resident of Providence and was educated in the Providence School system, graduating from Hope High School in 1944.
After high school he served this country during World War II and the Korean Conflict. Between these two wars, he enrolled in Edgewood Business College where he majored in Business Administration, graduating with high honors. He was best friends with Joseph Ferrante, Ernest DiBello, and Peter Marino.
He began his highly successful and rewarding civilian career with the Navy Department at the United States Naval Construction Battalion Center at Davisville, RI. Construction Battalions are the construction force of the Navy. Throughout the world they built hospitals, airfields, bridges, and operational buildings. Due to the complexities and wide variety of mobilization tasks, it was essential that the Management Staff be properly trained and aware of all Navy protocol. Mr. Guatieri attended and successfully completed a significant number of these training courses. The most prominent being the three phased Navy Executive Institute, which was run by Naval Facilities Engineering Command. These classes were conducted by speakers from the highest level of government, i.e., Department of Defense, Secretary of the Navy, etc…
He started his career at an entry level position. Over the next several years, he was promoted a number of higher positions in the area of finance at the base. He eventually was appointed the Station’s Budget Officer, overseeing greater opportunities and career objectives. His performance as a budget officer firmly established him as a foremost authority in government finances during the Construction Battalion operations, and was recognized throughout the Construction Battalion as a great resource for advice.
He later was appointed Civilian Executive Officer to the Base Commanding Officer, a very prestigious position. His duties consisted of assisting the Commanding Officer on all matters performed to the Center’s mission, except assumption of command. Since Base Commanders were rotated every two years, he also represented Base continuity and advised the Commanding Officer until such time that the Base Commander was fully oriented on Base operations. He also fulfilled the position of Administrative Officer and comptroller. The mission of the Center was essentially military readiness, which included a multitude of tasks, all in support of Construction Battalion patterns and special units throughout the world. Most important for the Center was assuring that it possessed the ability to equip, mobilize, and respond to any contingency situations involving Construction Battalions worldwide. This entailed maintaining in a state of readiness of all CB allowance equipment including hundreds of automotive, construction, and service equipment that needed to be prepared for shipment in a very condensed period of time.
In his managerial capacity, Mr. Guatieri was tasked to develop a system that would more accurately evaluate the work being done at the Base, hopefully resulting in more efficiently, timeliness, and financial accountability. He developed a highly sophisticated management-orientated budget information system, to which the Washington headquarters immediately directed the other Construction Battalion Centers to implement. This system proved to be very effective and was a very successful management tool.
During the early 1970’s CB Centers began to take on a new phase of work. Mr. Guatieri saw this as an excellent opportunity to use these centers as a training platform for Reserve Units when conducting their annual training. His idea was implemented immediately and reserve units from the Navy, Army, and Marines, used these centers for their training exercises. Mr. Guatieri and the Center Commander received numerous letters of recommendations for the valuable service provided to these units.
Mr. Guatieri’s management style was recognized at the local and Washington levels. He received many prestigious awards including: the Superior Civilian Service Award, which was presented by Admiral Bottoff, CEC, USN, Chief of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command; the Meritorious Civilian Service Award presented by Admiral J.P. Jones, CED Chief Naval Facilities Engineering Command; the Certification of Appreciation from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, presented by the Deputy Secretary of Defense, David J. Berteau; and the Career Service Award from the Secretary of the Navy.
Mr. Guatieri was actively involved in professional organizations and his community, including: the American Society of Military Controllers, past-president of the North Kingstown Rotary Club, past president of the Board of Directors of the da Vinci Center for Community Progress, a life-long member of the Wanskuck Boys & Girls Club, serving on its Alumni Association and has been inducted into the Boys Club Hall of Fame in 1984 , and, received a citation from the Providence City Council for his work with the club, and received the Percy Hoskins Award in 1992.
Mr. Guatieri was also a life-long communicant of St. Ann Church where he served on the Finance Council was a Eucharistic Minister, Lector, usher, was a former member a past-president of the Holy Name Society, a member of the Men of St. Joseph Society, and he chaired a number of church events including the Annual Golf Tournament, which he ran for seven consecutive years.
He was sports enthusiast, going back to his high school days when he lettered in Basketball at Hope High School. He also played CYO basketball for St. Ann, and won the State Championship during the 1943-1944 season, completing an undefeated season. He was a New York Yankees and New England Patriots, enjoyed golfing, was a former member of the Valley Country Club, and the Louisquisset Country Club.
He was a very dedicated forty-five year season ticket holder for the Providence College Basketball Program. His allegiance to the Friars goes back much further than the season ticket period, and he was honored by Providence College in 2019.
The family would like to thank Dr. Christopher Ley, for his care to Joseph over the years.
He is survived by two cousins, Carl Battista, Jr. and Jeanne Cloutier, as well as several nieces, nephews, and friends.
He was predeceased by a brother, Louis DeVito and a sister, Marilyn Bucci.
The funeral will be 9 am Wednesday from the A.A. MARIANI & SON Funeral Home, 200 Hawkins Street, Providence, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 am at St. Ann Church, 280 Hawkins Street, Providence. Burial with military honors will follow in St. Francis Cemetery, Pawtucket. Visiting hours are Tuesday, 4-7 pm. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the St. Ann Church Memorial Fund, 2 Russo Street, Providence, RI 02904.
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