Many will miss the helping hands of Tony Primiano

By Manny Correira
Posted 4/16/24

A police officer, veteran, firefighter and rescue volunteer, the late Tony Primiano was a ‘quiet public servant’.

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Many will miss the helping hands of Tony Primiano


Based on this author’s conversations, Anthony “Tony” Primiano was beloved by all those who were lucky enough to call him their friend.

Anthony passed away unexpectedly April 6 at the age of 74 and left behind a legacy that will be difficult to match.

More times than not, Anthony was seen in the company of his loving wife, Ann Marie (Palumbo) Primiano, whom he married 28 years ago and formed a bond that was recognizable in his beloved Town of Warren. As someone was overheard saying during his wake at Smith Funeral Home, “They made beautiful music together.”

Anthony Primiano was as dedicated as they come, including jobs as a police officer with the Warren Police Dept. for 23 years, a volunteer for the Warren Fire Dept. for over 50 years, as well as the WFD Rescue Squad in several capacities with over 25 years of service. He loved his hometown of Warren, and it showed.

Those in political circles rose to the occasion when talking about their good friend, Tony Primiano.

“Anthony was a quiet public servant,” said Town Councilman Joseph DePasquale. “He was dedicated to the community through his countless hours as a volunteer rescue worker. Tony was the kind of guy that didn’t need to be told what to do, whether at the wheel in the rescue or making sure that the scene was secure. He always contributed as a team player. He will be missed by all that knew him.”

Said Mark Felag, “In passing over the years, whenever I met him, he was always so pleasant and nice…a great guy.”

Warren Fire Chief Jim Sousa also recognized Tony Primiano’s value to the Warren Community.

“Tony had a long history of serving the town of Warren and its residents,” he said. “His dedication to our community was shown by his 50-plus years as a member of the Warren Fire Dept.; serving as a lieutenant of Eng. 1 and Captain of Rescue. This level of commitment is what has kept our volunteer department going for more than 220 years.”

From a police department perspective, Tony Primiano earned the highest acclaim.

“Anthony (‘Prim’ as we called him) was a fine and dedicated officer,” recalled retired Police Chief Bob Pare. “As a life-long Warrenite, he had strong town roots. His mother was a daughter of longtime Warren State Senator William J. Smith. He did his job with fortitude and the dedication that the job demands. He will be sorely missed.”

Retired Police Chief Tom Perrotto also chimed in about his old friend.

“Anthony was close to my family,” he said. “He was always around. He was really active in everything he did in this town and was very dedicated. I always ran into him after I retired. We had a great relationship. He was quite a guy.”

Michael Clancy probably knew Tony Primiano about as well as anyone.

”I first met Tony as a young Warren police officer,” he remembers. “He was in detectives and gave me great insight into that job. Tony was a computer whiz guy who loved working out complex projects. Soon he became Sergeant and we worked together for years. When I learned he had served in the Army Reserve as an officer, I appreciated my fellow veteran more. We also served together in the fire department.”

He continued, “When my wife Judy and I joined the Warren Rescue Squad as EMTs, Tony moved up to Captain and I was with him as a lieutenant. He had a passion to serve the people of Warren and did so without reservation. You could always count on him when the rescue tones went off on our pagers. I will miss seeing my old friend at our retired members’ gatherings.”

Outside the Smith Funeral Home during his wake, family and friends arrived early, as well as a number of other police, fire, and government officials, not to mention the Providence Police Dept. Mounted Command. To see all of this first-hand, you easily understood the magnitude of this final tribute to Anthony Primiano. He will be dearly missed.

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Mike Rego has worked at East Bay Newspapers since 2001, helping the company launch The Westport Shorelines. He soon after became a Sports Editor, spending the next 10-plus years in that role before taking over as editor of The East Providence Post in February of 2012. To contact Mike about The Post or to submit information, suggest story ideas or photo opportunities, etc. in East Providence, email