Daniel John Tella-Taylor was born January 16, 1922 in the Thornton section of Johnston. He grew up as a modest, humble young boy during the Great Depression. His learnings during the depression made him a fiscal conservative, teaching what it meant to live within your means and to never forget where you come from.
Raised in Johnston by his father Giovanni Tella and his mother Rose Iannuccilli, he was a devout Catholic and man of God. His parents raised him to respect the church and to always respect his elders. In the early 1900’s his uncle, Tommy Tella, was in the real estate business and faced adversity and prejudice as an Italian American realtor. Struggling to make ends meet, Tommy changed his legal name to ‘Taylor’ which Danny ended up adopting. Later in life as discrimination subsided, he would hyphenate his name to show respect and pride for his Italian heritage. He wasn’t shy about asking you if you were Italian and took a special liking into anyone whose last name ended in a vowel.
Danny was drafted in the Army and honorably served his country during WWII. After military service he joined the civil service in Quonset/Davisville as a welder. He would retire in that field of work after over 20 years of service and move on to the Autobody/Sales business. He opened up his first business in Johnston in 1970 and would go on to operate that business for over 40 years before retiring. His passion for automobiles came from his father who was a Packard mechanic. He went on to teach all of his sons the business who also followed in his footsteps.
His first marriage was to the late Margerita D’Orsi, the mother of his children. His second marriage was to the late Marie Trombley and they loved each other and lived happily for over 50 years; He loved his family dearly and would bring them together annually hosting ‘Tella’ picnics held at various parks around the state including Colt State Park and Twin Rivers. He became widowed and a part of his heart was gone after the love of his life passed.
He loved animals, especially dogs, and was the proud owner of many dogs over the years including German Shepherds and Dachshunds. He was an avid card player and would frequently host card nights at his house with his friends. He loved traveling and spent many winters as a ‘snow bird’ in Florida. Some of the best years of his life came from his experiences down South. He loved eating, especially Italian food and especially when it was free. As a proud Knight of Columbus and Son of Italy, he would make it first to the food line often beating out everyone else that was there; his humble beginnings having lived through the Great Depression would show and was understandable.
He taught his kids, grandkids, and family/friends many valuable lessons in life. He helped many people over the years including strangers, and never hesitated to lend a helping hand to someone in need. He loved his family dearly and looked forward to spending holidays at his kids and grandkids home’s. When the chips were down and times got tough, he had a famous expression that “there is always someone worse off than you” and those became words he and his family lived by.
He was a man’s man-truly a stand-up guy, the last of the Mohicans. Those of us who understand the rarity of that breed understand there will never be another like him; he will be sorely missed by many.
He leaves two daughters, Cindy Perez and Paula Aldrich and husband Jack; two sons, the late Danny Tella and the late Johnny Taylor; grandsons Michael Perez and Jackie Aldrich; granddaughter Renee Bowyer; great- grandsons Miguel Perez and Daniel Bowyer; great-granddaughters Angelica Aldrich and Mia Bowyer, his daughter-in-law, Lori Tella, his stepchildren, Elizabeth Borden, Linda Freitas, Patricia Coelho and John Fabiano, and his sister, Anna Trudeau. He was the brother of the late Florene Fuoco, Viola Lachapelle, Dorothy Gelfuso, and Evelyn Gesualdi.
I love you papa, until we meet again.
His funeral service will be held Tuesday at 8:30 am in the Robbins Funeral Home, 2251 Mineral Spring Ave., North Providence. Entombment with military honors will follow in St. Ann Cemetery. Calling hours Monday 5-8 pm.