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Alice LaFond Altieri papers

Biographical note

From the 1930's through the 1970's Mrs. Altieri played an active role in Rhode Island's civic and political history. Elected to the Rhode Island House of Representatives from North Smithfield in 1934, she was one of the first women to hold such a noteworthy position in the State. She began serving in the State House during that period of momentous change now known as the "Bloodless Revolution." Material in the Collection reflects her participation in the Democratic coup.

Born May 1, 1895, in North Smithfield, a daughter of Ernest P. and Maria (McCarthy) LaFond, she was a lifelong resident of North Smithfield with a notable career in public service. Prior to 1927, she was a secretary for the U.S. Surgeon General and for six years was a Deputy Collector of Internal Revenue of the Treasury Department in Providence, R.I..

From 1930 to 1936 she was a member of the North Smith-field School Committee, the first woman to be elected to that committee.

From 1931 to 1933 she was an active volunteer for the Woonsocket Chapter of the American Red Cross. When elected to the Rhode Island House of Representatives, she became the first woman of North Smithfield to be elected to a major office.

During her tenure of office she sponsored the Aid to Dependent Children and the Aid to the Blind law and introduced the Civil Service Act in the legislature in 1936. She was active on many committees and later helped to organize the first Old Age program in the state.

She served on the North Smithfield town budget committee from 1943 to 1944, and was a member of the R.I. State Federation of Women's Clubs Legislative Department, R.I. Conference of Social Work, R.I. League of Women Voters, R.I. Association of Public School Officials, American Public Welfare Association, and was director from 1931 to 1936 of the North Smithfield Public Health Nursing Association. For six years she was treasurer and for two years second vice president of the Woonsocket Fortnightly Club.

Mrs. Altieri was the North Smithfield Public Welfare director in 1961 and 1962 and again resumed the post in 1965. She also served as a member of the governor's advisory committee of the R.I. Social Service Index.

During her term as a Rhode Island state representative, she was chairman of the joint legislative committee on public health and vice chairman of both the House Education and Public Welfare Committees.

In addition, she was a member of the board of the Woonsocket Visiting Nurse Association, a member of the board and executive committee of the Woonsocket Chapter Red Cross and a board member and secretary of the North Smithfield Ambulance and Rescue Association.

She was also an auxiliary member of the Woonsocket Hospital Aid Association and corporate member of Butler Hospital and Emma Pendleton Bradley Hospital, Providence, R.I..

Mrs. Altieri served as chairman of the North Smithfield Citizens Civic Affairs Committee and headed several drives for the Community Chest and for the North Smithfield Ambulance Association.

Her involvement in politics and career in public service was motivated by a keen and wide-ranging interest in and involvement with others. In spite of personal obligations and health problems, she belonged to many civic and charitable organizations through the years; but these enduring relationships exemplified her concern for the health, education and welfare of her fellow citizens.

Chronology

DateEvent
1895 May 1Born in North Smithfield, Rhode Island, to Maria Theresa (McCarthy) Lafond and Ernest Lafond.
1914Graduates from Woonsocket High School; later attends Boston University and works in photographer's studio.
1918Clerks at the United States War Department Surgeon General's Office, Washington, D.C.
1919Clerks at the U.S. War Department Medical Department at Large, Northeastern Department, Boston, Massachusetts and for the U.S. War Department Quartermaster Corps, Fort Williams, Portland, Maine.
1920Becomes the United States Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service, District of Rhode Island Deputy Collector.
1925Admitted to a Sharon, Massachusetts sanitarium for treatment of tuberculosis.
1930Named to North Smithfield Democratic Town Committee. Elected to North Smithfield School Committee and joins the Woonsocket Relief Committee.
1931Named to North Smithfield Public Health Nursing Association Board of Directors and to the North Smithfield Public Health Association Board of Directors.
1931Joins American Red Cross Woonsocket Chapter and the Rhode Island Women's Democratic Club.
1933Joins Woonsocket Fortnightly Club and the Garden Club of North Smithfield.
1934Seconds the nomination of Theodore F. Green for Governor of Rhode Island at Democratic State Convention and joins the Franco-American Citizen's League.
1934Elected to Rhode Island House (Democrat--North Smithfield) of Representatives.
1935Appointed to Rhode Island House of Representatives Education, Public Welfare, and Agriculture, the Mechanic Arts Committees, and chairs the Rhode Island Joint Committee on Public Health.
1935Appointed to Rhode Island House of Representatives Special Committee on Development and Improvement of the State Mental Health Institute and to the Rhode Island Department of Public Welfare Division of Old Age Security Deputy Chief.
1940Appointed to Rhode Island Children's Court Association.
1941 May 3Marries Hercules A. Altieri (Rhode Island Department of Social Welfare Fiscal Agent).
1941Resigns position as Old Age Security Division Deputy Chief.
1942Appointed Council to Rhode Island Social Service Index Advisory.
1943Named to North Smithfield Budget Committee.
1948Partial retirement to take care of her husband, Hercules, who had suffered from a stroke.
1951Chairs North Smithfield Community Chest Drive.
1952Named as Woonsocket Girl Scout Council Board Member.
1953Becomes a member of the Rhode Island Heart Fund Woonsocket Chapter Drive and a North Smithfield Ambulance Drive Member.
1954Becomes North Smithfield Ambulance Association Secretary.
1955Becomes Woonsocket Hospital Aid Association Member and is elected as a Rhode Island Constitutional Convention Member.
1956Becomes a Member of St. Anne Sodality of St. John's Church, chairs North Smithfield Citizens Civic Affairs Committee and the North Smithfield United Fund Drive.
1956Runs unsuccessfully for the Rhode Island Senate
1957Renamed to North Smithfield Democratic Town Committee.
1959Becomes a member of the Butler Health Center Corporation and chairs the Northern Rhode Island United Fund Drive.
1960Becomes a member of Emma Pendleton Bradley Hospital Corporation.
1961Appointed North Smithfield Public Welfare Director.
1962Joins North Smithfield Cerebral Palsy Association.
1965Named to Visiting Nurse Service of Greater Woonsocket Board of Directors and reappointed as North Smithfield Public Welfare Director.
1968Fired from position as North Smithfield Public Welfare Director.
1970Named as North Smithfield Centennial Committee Member.
1974 May 6Husband Hercules A. Altieri dies.
1976 July 14Alice LaFond Altieri dies at age 80.