Dina Ann DeMaio, 30; her son
'was her world'
Profile / Obituary
Always in motion, always
pushing forward, always planning the future. Those who loved Dina Ann DeMaio,
30, say determination defined her life.
"Nothing was going to stop
her," her brother Vincent M. DeMaio said in the kitchen of the West Warwick
apartment Dina shared with their mother, Patricia Belanger, and Dina's
7-year-old son, Justin Perry DeMaio.
"She was motivated. She had
energy. People around here have a simple life, simple jobs. Dina wanted more,
for herself and her son."
She graduated from Lincoln High
School in 1991 and went on to be the first in her family to graduate from
college, earning her associate's and then her bachelor's degree in court
stenography from Johnson & Wales University in 1999.
She worked full-time for the
last six years at Textron Financial Corp. in Providence as a legal secretary.
She was a single mother, raising Justin with the help of her mother.
Last year, Dina started a
master's program at her alma mater, studying to become a paralegal.
She'd get home from night
classes and get to work on a computer in a corner of her mother's small living
room, studying until midnight, rising at 6 a.m. to get Justin ready for
She never complained.
Dina took a job waitressing at
The Station last November to make a little extra pocket money "so she could
take Justin out, get him things," Patricia said.
Patricia raced to Rhode Island
Hospital hours after the fire with a photograph of her eldest daughter,
begging for information, and drove to Boston to see if one of the two Jane
Does was her Dina.
But no one matched the
description: 5'3", slim, with short, sleek light-brown hair and a wide, warm
That Thursday was Dina's 30th
Her older brother Vincent
called her to wish her a happy birthday between fares at his job as a cab
driver near Austin, Texas.
"She said, 'I'm 20, not 30,'
and I said 'I guess that makes me 22, then, not 32,' " Vincent said.
She told him that her boss had
called her in that night so that she could celebrate her birthday with her
friends on Friday, the night she usually worked.
One of Dina's friends who
worked with her at Textron, Dawn Brindamour, said a group of 12 cousins and
friends planned to take her to their favorite haunts, Restaurant Prov and Art
"She was the organizer, pulling
us all together," Dawn said. "She loved life. She planned trips. We all went
to Universal Studios last year with our children and had the time of our
Before she left for work that
night, she and her mother discussed houses -- Dina was starting to look at
two-family houses near her mother's Pawtuxet Terrace apartment. She told her
mother she wanted them all to go to Las Vegas this year. She said maybe after
her master's, she'd join the reserves.
"She was always making plans,"
Patricia said. "Justin was her world. How she had the energy to do all she
did, I'll never know. She amazed me."
Besides her mother, brother and
son, Dina is survived by her father, Vincent DeMaio of Johnston; her
stepfather, James Garvey of Warwick; her stepmother, Pamela DeMaio of
Coventry; brother Eric Krause of Lincoln, and four sisters, Jessica Lee Garvey
of Attleboro, Kristy Ann Garvey and Danielle DeMaio, both of Warwick, and
Brenda Poette of Pawtucket; her maternal grandmother, Therese Belanger of
North Attleboro; her paternal grandparents, Vincent and Lillian DeMaio, both
of Johnston, and several nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will
be celebrated Monday at 10 a.m. in St. Clement Church, 111 Long St., Warwick.
Burial will be private.
-- Jennifer D. Jordan
source Providence Journal