RIP Edna Wardwell

Edna Mary Wardwell, 72, of Middletown, Rhode Island, passed away on February 19, 2021 at home with her family by her side.

Edna was born, July 23, 1948, in Newport, RI to the late Francis Ribera and the late Edna (Bidlack) Ribera.

A lifelong resident of Aquidneck Island, Edna was raised on Third Street in Newport with her nine siblings. She settled in Middletown, RI with her husband George Wardwell. She had a long career working in the Rectory at St. Joseph’s Church, retiring in 2009. In retirement, Edna and George volunteered constantly with the Naval Order and the Navy League. Edna carried on alone in these organizations after George’s passing in 2016, serving as Treasurer and even local Commandery positions. Additionally, she volunteered at the St. Vincent DePaul Society and the St. Joseph’s Soup Kitchen. Never without a smile, a hug, and her famous chocolate chip cookies for the huge web of family and friends, Edna was always ready, willing, and able to help, no matter what the situation. She truly lived a “life of service.”

Edna is survived by her children; Jason Roach and his wife Kathy, of Nathrop, CO, George Roach of Warren, RI, Claudia McPherson of Clovis, NM, and Shannon Fuentes, of Providence, RI. She is also survived by her siblings; Joyce Semich, Gerri Piszcz, Joanne Boria, Charlotte Gallant and Ronald Ribera, and her grandchildren; Lindsay Roach, Mickey McGowan-Roach, Joshua Simmons, Julia Simmons, Ryan Simmons, Sean McPherson, and Tiphanie and  Myranda Fuentes.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband George Wardwell and her siblings, Franklin and Daniel Ribera, Evelyn Davis and Julie Jackson

Calling hours will be held Tuesday, February 23, 2021 from  4:00 PM to  7:00 PM in the Memorial Funeral Home, 375 Broadway in Newport.

Her Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, February 24, 2021, at 10:00 am at St. Joseph’s Church, Mann Avenue in Newport.

Burial will be private,  in St. Columba Cemetery, 465 Brown’s Lane in Middletown, RI.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in her name to the St. Vincent DePaul Society at

Due to restrictions in place due to COVID-19, attendance is limited to 15 people at a time, so wait times during calling hours will be longer than usual.