Gertrude Lopes A’Vant


Gertrude Lopes A’Vant age 97 of Warwick, RI, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her family on Wednesday, January 19, 2022. She was born on Tockwotton Road, Fox Point, Providence, RI, and baptized at Holy Rosary Church. She was raised in Portsmouth, RI, and Swansea, MA. She was the beloved wife of the late Juanito A’Vant. She was the daughter of the late Jose Lopes and Mary Almeida Lopes. She was also the stepdaughter of the late Benjamin Freitas. She is survived by her sisters, Edna Barboza and Julia Stockton. She is the sister of the late Alvin Freitas, Frank Freitas, John Freitas, Peter Freitas, Benjamin Freitas, Mary Laughlin, Antoinette Richardson, and Nancy Freitas. She is survived by her 12 children, Linda A’Vant-Deishinni, Deborah A’Vant, Claudia A’Vant, Joseph A’Vant, Mary A’Vant-Blinkhorn, Ret. Detective Lt. John A’Vant- RI State Police, Theresa A’Vant-Antonio, Anthony A’Vant, Angelo A’Vant, Dominic A’Vant, Catherine A’Vant-Fowler, Serena A’Vant White, and two deceased children Candy A’Vant and Trudy A’Vant-Dacruz. She leaves 30 grandchildren, two deceased, 19 great-grandchildren, and many nephews and nieces. Gertrude was a devout Catholic, wife, and mother in addition to being a caregiver to all who came along her path, whether young, old, or disabled; she accepted everyone. She was a caring mother who instilled in her children the importance of pursuing higher education, living moral and charitable lifestyles, and a commitment to fighting for racial and social justice. She was forced to leave school in the 7th grade due to many hardships during the great depression, but later in life, while she and her husband raised their children, she studied consistently and obtained her GED in 1974. For many, she is remembered for her unwavering mentoring and spiritual nurturing of countless troubled youths in our community. Without hesitation, she would freely offer them a home to stay in, daily meals, a roof over their heads, and a sanctuary while they dealt with their troubles. Her hobbies included her passion for animals, cooking, traveling, farming, gardening, reading, and savvy financial planning. She was a dedicated, inspirational, and spiritual correspondent to family, friends, and many others. In fact, many of her children’s friends referred to her as, “Mom” because of the guidance and emotional support she provided to them. She was always known for writing her spiritual letters to not just her family but to many that she came in contact with near and far. Overall, she was the spiritual matriarch of the immediate family, her community, and extended family relatives. She was a devoted Catholic with unwavering faith as a servant of the Lord, instilling daily prayer with her family. She was spiritually dedicated to visiting the sick, the elderly, and shut-ins. She also volunteered at the St. Martin DePorres Center in Providence, RI, at its inception, as well as at a local hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii. She commonly attended mass daily. Her ministries began during her childhood at St. Dominic’s Church in Swansea, MA., and continued while raising her family at St. Benedict’s Church in Warwick, RI. She belonged to the Daughters of Isabella, Legion of Mary, Right to Life, and held a strong devotion to Our Mother of Perpetual Help. She established prayer and rosary groups; where she always enjoyed singing her favorite hymns like, “The Joy of the Lord”, she held bible studies, and assisted with the coordination of pilgrimages near and far, including New York; Medugorje, Bosnia; Hawaii; Quebec, Canada, and Egypt. Her funeral will be held on Monday, January 31, 2022, at 9:45 AM from the PERRY-MCSTAY FUNERAL HOME, 2555 Pawtucket Avenue, East Providence with a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 AM in Saint Patrick’s Church, 244 Smith Street, Providence. Burial will be held in Gate of Heaven Cemetery. Calling hours will be held on Friday, January 28, 2022, from 5-8. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions are made to St. Patrick Church, Food Ministry, located at 244 Smith Street, Providence, RI.