Obituary: Thomas Peter Mazza (1940-2023)

Thomas Peter Mazza of Newport, RI passed away peacefully on September 16, 2023 at the age of 82. Tom was born in Newport on October 12,1940 and was preceded in death by his father Charles Mazza; mother Dorothy Mazza; and son Thomas Lama. He is survived by his older brother Charles (Buddy) Mazza, three children, Margaret Lama, Dawn Mascis and David Mazza; son in law, Ronald Mascis and three grandchildren, Garrad Lama, Nicholas Mazza and Natalie Mascis.

Tom spent his life in Newport as a General Contractor and owner of Colonial Construction Company for over 50 years. His dedication to his craft was unparalleled. He spent decades meticulously restoring historic homes ensuring every detail was authentic to its original design. His commitment to preserving the historic and architectural heritage found on Aquidneck Island earned him tremendous admiration and respect. He loved American history, and his home was a museum to many old books and prints dedicated not only to the history of the local architecture of Newport but Narragansett Bay, his other passion in life.

Tom grew up working on his father’s tugboat, which gave him a great love of the sea. He owned and operated boats for the greater part of his life and was a seasoned Charter Captain spending countless hours navigating the waters off Newport with a boat full of people. He enjoyed telling stories about the local history and would often point out landmarks. Narragansett Bay was not just a location on a nautical chart to him, it was a source of solace. His greatest tranquility, where he felt the most at home was on Goat Island, on the deck of his boat, “TomKat” listening to his favorite music with a martini in hand.

Tom’s passion for the sea also extended to the local preservation of the Rose Island Lighthouse where he served on the board of trustees for several years. He enjoyed taking his boat over to the island with his family for 4th of July celebrations and Lobster boils.

Tom was a long-standing member of the Newport Yacht Club. He could often be seen there on any given morning with a cup of coffee and sharing his breakfast with his favorite seagull who he named “Ichabod”.

Tom does not want a funeral where friends and family would mourn his departure from this world but rather a celebration of the life he lived. The Newport Yacht club will host a “Celebration of Life” which will take place in the Summer of 2024, the date to be determined later.

Donations can be made in his name to the Rose Island Lighthouse Foundation




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