The Honorable Vincent A. Ragosta, Associate Justice of the Rhode Island Superior Court, 93, of Providence, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on Wednesday, August 9, 2017. He was the beloved husband of Carmela C. (Bruno) Ragosta. They were happily married for 64 years. Born in the Federal Hill section of Providence, he was the son of the late Domenico and Rose (Bottis) Ragosta.
Judge Ragosta attended Providence public schools and matriculated to the University of Rhode Island in 1942. A member of "The Greatest Generation", his college education was interrupted by his service in the United States Army during World War II. He was deployed to the Pacific Theater, serving in military intelligence in Okinawa. Upon returning to civilian life, he graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 1949 with a degree in Accounting. He was awarded the Polygon Prize and elected into the national honorary societies of Phi Kappa Phi and Beta Gamma Sigma. He entered Boston College Law School, and received his Bachelor of Laws in 1951. He also attended John Hopkins University and The Citidel.
He was admitted to the practice of law before the Rhode Island Supreme Court in 1951, to the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island in 1952, and to the United States Circuit Court of Appeals in 1963. Before his appointment to the judiciary, he enjoyed the private practice of law for nearly three decades, trying countless jury trials in state and federal courts. He served as Assistant City Solicitor for the City of Providence from 1953 to 1966. From 1953 to 1960, he was the City Prosecutor and was lead trial lawyer for the City in many significant civil cases.
He was appointed by Governor J. Joseph Garrahy as Associate Judge of the Rhode Island District Court in 1978, and elevated to the Superior Court as an Associate Justice in 1988. He presided over many interesting and difficult criminal and civil trials, and is remembered by Rhode Island's most prominent trial lawyers for gently shepherding them through their first jury trials. Known for his objectivity and practicality with all lawyers and litigants who appeared before him, Judge Ragosta earned a much-deserved reputation for mediating and settling many cases without trials. He was beloved by his fellow judges, lawyers, clerks and court staff.
Judge Ragosta was a leader and member of many civic, fraternal, veterans, religious and charitable organizations. He was a president of the Rhode Island Arthritis Foundation, a Corporator of Rhode Island Hospital, a member of the Aurora Civic Association and a Trustee of Scalabrini Villa. He was active in Italian-American social and cultural affairs since the end of World War II, serving as a National Trustee of the Order of Sons of Italy in America. In 1975 the President of the Republic of Italy awarded him the Star of Italian Solidarity with the rank of Cavaliere. He was a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Italian-American Hall of Fame, the Verrazzano Day Award and the Distinguished Public Service Award of the Justinian Law Society.
Besides his wife, he is survived by his loving sons, Vincent Ragosta, Jr., Esq. and his wife Mimi of East Greenwich, Paul D. Ragosta, Esq. and his wife Debra of Providence, Dominic L. Ragosta, CPA and his wife Tammy of Las Vegas, Nevada and Peter J. Ragosta, RPh and his wife Melinda of South Kingstown. He is also survived by a sister, Evelyn (Cioe) Sepe, 10 grandchildren, 2 step-grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren. He was the brother of the late Dolores Carpenter.
His funeral will be held on Saturday, August 12th at 8:45am from the A.A. MARIANI & SON Funeral Home, 200 Hawkins St., Providence followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10am at St. Augustine Church, 639 Mount Pleasant Avenue, Providence. Burial with military honors will follow at St. Ann Cemetery, Cranston. Visiting hours will be Friday from 3-8pm.