Obituary: Bert Furtado (1928-2023)

Alberta (Gagliardi) Furtado, 95, of Middletown, passed away August 31, 2023 at Village House in Newport, where she had resided for two weeks following a cardiac incident. Prior, she lived in her Newport Avenue home, built by her husband Frank, for 70 years.

Bert was born July 10, 1928 to Rose (Botti) Gagliardi and Albert Gagliardi of New Haven, CT. Their young family relocated to Newport, RI, just as Bert was ready to begin school. She had great recall of childhood events. When food rationing and vouchers began in earnest in the early 1940’s, butter was unavailable, so their family used shortening, which had to be dyed with a yellow food color pellet. Another indelible memory was the 1938 Hurricane when the Gagliardi home along lower Aquidneck Avenue flooded out completely, and Uncle Ed’s car washed over Old Beach Road into the reservoir.

Bert attended Middletown and Newport schools where she amassed many academic awards. Shortly after graduation, she married her “Liggett’s sweetheart, ” Frank Furtado, following his military service. Beginning then, at age 18, Bert fulfilled the role of wife, mother, and homemaker for eight decades. She was a fabulous Italian cook.

Her children: Ken arrived in 1948, Christine in 1950, Stephen in 1952, and James in 1957. During their childhoods, Bert was with them 24/7, and did volunteer work with their schools and various organizations, especially Cub Scouts. When they were grown, she entered the workplace, and began volunteering at Newport Hospital. Bert and Frank soon began a well-loved tradition, Cocktail Friday. Family and friends were invited to this weekly open house at the end of the work week.

She and Frank enjoyed their traveling days, journeying to Europe several times, to the Caribbean, and to many US destinations. The month of March usually found them In Phoenix where son Ken lived, and autumns were spent vacationing in NH with several couples, also from Aquidneck Island. Bert often remarked that she never regretted a moment of time spent traveling.

Bert’s memory will be cherished by many. Her three children, Ken (Jonathan) of Phoenix, AZ; Christine Kirchner (David) of Middletown; Stephen (Catherine) of Middletown; six grandchildren and their spouses, three step grandchildren, and her favorites: seventeen great grandchildren. She also leaves her dear sister, Aggie Keeney, of Portsmouth, and many more friends and relatives.

Bert was predeceased by the love of her life, husband Francis, her son James, aka Jimmy Jake, her two brothers, Ret. Brig. Gen. A. A. Gagliardi Jr. and Louis Vincent Gagliardi who passed during early childhood, her parents, and countless others.

The family wishes to thank Dr. Robert Cicchelli and the staff of Village House. They worked very hard trying to please the feisty Bert who spoke her mind to the very end.

A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated Monday, September 25, 2023 at St. Mary’s Church, Newport, at 10:00 AM, to which all are invited. Burial at the RI Veterans Memorial Cemetery will be private. Calling hours are respectfully omitted.

In lieu of flowers, please donate in Bert’s memory to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, or St. Vincent de Paul Society at St. Joseph’s Church, Newport,




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