Michael J. Damiani

Date of Passing:

September 8, 2018

Damiani, Michael J., 63, of Willett Avenue, Riverside, died unexpectedly on September 8, 2018. He was the beloved husband and perfect counterpart to Sharlene (Wagoner) Damiani.

Born in Providence, a son of the late Louis and Cecelia (Blouin) Damiani, he was a lifelong resident of Riverside.

Mr. Damiani was a Sergeant for the East Providence Police Department for 17 years before retiring in 1996. He was a cop’s cop and loved every second of being on the job. He was a great mentor to many and stayed involved with EPPD long after his health issues pushed him into retirement. Mike truly bled blue.

Senator Damiani was a colorful and effective member of the Rhode Island State Senate for ten years serving from 1996 until his retirement in 2006. He served the Senate as the Deputy Majority Leader. As a Rhode Island State Senator he was instrumental in establishing the State’s registry of sex offenders, Lyme Disease health insurance coverage, and the mandatory defibrillators for all Rhode Island College buildings and police cars.

Mike was a Patriot Member of the NRA. He was also a member of the East Providence F.O.P, the Riverside Bishop Hickey Knights of Columbus, the Rhode Island State Bomb Squad and the National Association of State Boaters Law Administrators. He was a dive master, specializing in underwater body recoveries, and started the Search and Rescue Team for the EPPD.

Mike was a firearms instructor, sniper on the SWAT Team, and an arson investigator. He was also a Range Master at the Massasoit Gun Club. He was an accomplished stick, TIG, and MIG welder and enjoyed boating, fishing, and hunting. Mike’s accomplishments and interests earned him many accolades, yet he always considered the closeness and connection of his nuclear family to be his greatest achievement.

He was a devoted husband, loving father, and proud papa. Mike loved nothing more than sitting in his recliner and conversing with his family and friends. He was the perfect complement to his wife Sharlene and together there was nothing that they couldn’t do. He had a unique and special bond with each of his three children and provided them with more of an education than their collective schooling. He absolutely lit up when his grandchildren entered the room and his pale blue eyes often filled up when speaking about them. Mike was as tough as they come but an absolute marshmallow with those that he loved most. He was the gold standard father and could fix any bad day with his Art Metrano act or one of his hugs. “Hugs are free and they make people feel better.”

Mike was everyone’s “go to” guy and could be called upon for anything from assistance with your car’s carburetor, help with your child’s physics homework, or mending fences with a neighbor. He was always a willing sounding board and was known to go above and beyond for complete strangers. Mike was immensely intelligent, well-rounded, and knowledgeable in a vast array of areas. He was a proud Riversidian and was deeply devoted to the community in which his parents raised him and he in turn chose to raise his own family.

Besides his wife of 40 years, he is survived by his children, Michael J. Damiani Jr and his wife Isabel of Attleboro, MA, Jennifer L. Damiani of Riverside, and Christine M. Damiani of East Providence; four grandchildren, Evelyn, Jocelyn, Lucas, and Joseph Damiani; a brother, Steven R, Damiani and his wife Linda of Barrington; a sister in-law, Elaine Damiani of Naples, FL and several nieces and nephews. He was the brother of the late Dr. Louis M. Damiani.

His funeral will be held on Saturday, September 15, 2018 from the W. RAYMOND WATSON FUNERAL HOME. 350 Willett Avenue, Riverside at 8:30 A.M. with a Mass of Christian Burial in Saint Brendan’s Church, Turner Avenue, Riverside at 10 A.M. Burial will follow in Gate of Heaven Cemetery. Calling hours are Friday 4-7 P.M.

Those who so desire may make memorial donations in memory of Mike to New England C. O. P. S., P.O. Box 13, Somerville, MA, 02143.

Online Condolences


  1. We are so sorry to hear about Mike. Sincere condolences to the Damiani family. RIP, Mike.

  2. We have lost a man’s man Michael was a good husband as well as a good father he will be missed dearly all we can do now is hope for the best for the family in the times to come.our deepest sympathies to the family

  3. Sharlene,I am so deeply sorry about Mike’s passing.I know you reached out to me when Buddy passed and I was very touched by that and my heart breaks for you and your family. It sounds like you had a wonderful marriage and many friends. He will remain in your heart forever..know that.God bless you and your family at this very sad time

  4. My old buddy Solo sent me a link to this today and told me that my old friend Mike’s father had passed. Upon seeing his photo, my heart sank. My name is Jesse Lescarbeau, and I served in the Coast Guard with Mike Damiani from ‘97 to 2001. I only met his father a handful of times, but I’ll tell you this, he left a mark. That guy was friggin sweet! I remember him walking around in a wife beater… with a huge stogie in his mouth … carrying around and M16….., in his kitchen. As a young man, I thought to myself: “this guy looks like something right out of a gangster movie!” And I mean that With the HIGHEST praise. I remember that my buddy Mike REVERED his dad, and always took any chance he could to either brag or speak highly of him. My deepest condolences to your family Mikey. Miss and love you. Peace brother, Jesse

  5. To the Damiani family, Christine, Jen, Mike and Mrs. Damiani my sincere condolences for your lose , You are in my Prayers and thoughts.

  6. Sharlene, words cannot even begin to express my sorrow for you and your family, on your loss. I have been out of the country and just heard. Can you just imagine the reunion up there? Crazy Man and Clarkie, together again. Heaven will never be the same.

  7. I was very sorry to learn of Mike’s passing. I greatly enjoyed talking with him through the years on duty and during his occasional visits to Seekonk post-retirement. My sincerest condolences to his family, friends, and EPPD as you prepare to celebrate his life.

  8. I am so sorry to learn that Michael has fallen asleep in death. May the the hope and the promise that laid out before us all, brings you comfort.

    Matthew 10: 29-31- Two sparrows sell for a coin of small value, do they not? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. 30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So have no fear; you are worth more than many sparrows.

  9. Our deepest sympathy to your family. Much too young

  10. Our condolences to the Damiani family the Noonans

  11. Loyal friend since Kindergarten, Lincoln School. My condolences to Sharlene, Mike Jr. Jen and Chrissy.

  12. My thoughts and prayers are with your cherished family. The world has lost a fine man. GODSPEED

  13. I’m soooo soooooo sorry for your loss. Sending thoughts and prayers to your family in this time of need, your father was a wonderful man and will be missed terribly. Take care and stay strong xoxo

  14. Saddened to hear about Mike’s passing. I have known him since I was a young boy. He was a true gentleman. Riverside has lost a good man. RIP God Bless

  15. A part of Riverside died on Saturday. RIP Mike.

  16. My deepest condolences to the family on Mike’s passing. I knew Mike back when I worked at the Riverside Cleansers and also as an East Providence Police Officer.
    May he Rest in Peace.

  17. 1st met Mikey during the Blizzard of 78 when he buried his station wagon in a drift on Forbes Street. He jumped in the back of the cruiser and we have been friends ever since. Just the first of many adventures.
    See you Friday night.

  18. Sharlene and Family,

    Please accept my deepest sympathies. Mike was a great man, a true friend. Keep those memories close to your hearts always. Bless you all.

  19. My sincere condolences to the entire Damiani Family. Rest in peace and God Bless.

  20. Sharlene, Mike, Jen and Christine,

    I am so very sorry for your loss!!! Mike was an amazing man! In time I hope that good memories will replace the tears of the loss.

    I am sorry I can’t be there, I am working overseas ….

  21. Sharlene and Family, Our deepest sympathy to you and your family. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

  22. My deepest condolences..

  23. Sharlene, Mikey, Jen and Chrissy and family, I am truly sorry for your loos, as well as the loss to all who knew and loved Michael and so very many did. He was truly one of a kind and I was proud to call him my friend and I loved him too. He was the best at everything and for everyone. The smartest, nicest, most helpful and the best Senator ever. The world is a much sadder place without him in it.

  24. Mike was an amazing man. May loving memories ease your loss and bring you comfort. God bless.


  26. So very saddened to hear of Mike’s passing, he was a great guy with a big heart. He will be missed. My condolences to the Damiani Family RIP Mike!

  27. Sharlene, you have my deepest sympathy on your loss.
    Mike was a great guy and will be missed by many


  28. Our condolences to the entire Damiani family. May your memories of Mike bring you some comfort in the difficult days ahead. Please know you are in our thoughts.

  29. Dear Jenn (Miss D) so saddened to hear of the passing of your Dad. Our deepest condolences to the entire Damiani family. Sending you our thoughts and prayers.

  30. Sharlene and family Mike was one of a kind and will be missed by many. Rest In Peace Michael.

  31. Dear Sharlene & Family,

    Steve and I were very sad to hear of Mike’s passing. He was so inspirational to so many people in different aspects of life. We had so much fun while he was at the State House and when he attended the Friends of NRA Banquets that we hosted. He would invite many of his friends for a fun filled evening. And he was most generous. We will always remember Mike!

    Our Sincerest Sympathy,
    Gail & Steve Hogan

  32. Mike was a great and generous friend to many. When he heard of someone sick or in distress, the first words he always said were; “what does he need?”. Mike would always do whatever he could to help! Charleen and family, we are so sorry for your great loss.

  33. My condolences on your loss! Our prayers are with you and your family.
    R.I.P. Mike!

  34. My condolences to the Damiani family

  35. I am so sorry for your loss. Mike was the best! My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  36. My deepest condolences to you and the family. Mike was truly an inspiration to many of us younger cops when we first entered the force. He taught us to be just a good old fashioned cop.
    He taught us too embrace our profession, being stern but yet, have compassion for the public and always to help others in need. Mike you will be missed..”nobody gets away”…

  37. Sharlene I am so sorry to hear this. Mike was an amazing man, loved by so many. Such an asset to the community and society. Kind, compassionate, and highly respected. My condolences to your family, you will be in my thoughts and prayers..May he rest in peace.

  38. A big loss to the law enforcement community, city and to his family and friends.
    Condolences to the Damiani family. May you Rest In Peace sir.

  39. Sharlene, I have many great memories of working with and knowing Mike, someone who was always there for you. I still have the old roll call photo he sent me years ago hanging in my office. Riverside won’t be the same without him.

  40. My condolences to the family. Rest In Peace my friend.

  41. Sharlene I’m so saddened to hear about your loss.
    I know your husband was a very respected and loved man and will be deeply missed.
    Love Lynda Lombardi

  42. So sorry for your loss!

  43. My condolences to the entire Damiani family. I will always charish all the great memories of our families spending time together.

  44. I was very fortunate to have known Mr. Damiani through my Beloved wife’s family. I will always remember the moments we spent as family and all of the great laughs we had. A great Man who will be dearly missed by many. RIP Sir.

  45. We spoke from time to time but it has always been a comfort just knowing you were there. You were a true friend from beginning to end and always would lend a hand or an intelligent thought to just about any subject. My prayers are that you are in the loving arms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. My prayers are with you as well as your wonderful wife Sharlene and your children Michael Jr, Jennifer and Christine. My prayers also extend to all your family and friends who have lost such a valuable friend, mentor, teacher and family member. In closing I leave you with the verse of a song that always reminded me of you each time I heard it.
    ” And I’m proud to be an American .
    Where at least I know I’m free.
    I won’t forget those who died, who gave that right to me.

  46. There are no words to sufficiently express how sad I am for you all. Many blessings for the entire family during this great time of sorrow. Mike was a wonderful man who loved you all every minute of every day xo

  47. To the entire Damiani Faimly my heart aches with you my Sincere Condolences , You are in my Prayers and thoughts

  48. Im so sorry for your loss micheal was a sweet guy i will remember our talks we had he was always very talkative when I would go by your house he was so generous and so sweet

  49. Sharlene, Our deepest sympathy goes out to you and your family. Many great memories of Mike both on and off the job. May the days get brighter for you as time goes on. So sorry!!

    George and Bert Thomas

  50. I first met Michael around 1982 or so during a police training class he and I took. It was conducted by Sheriff George Pesare, one the fiercest karate instructors in the world. I was not yet a police officer but George wanted me to take this class as he mandated that his Black Belt candidates take it. Michael was one of several Officers from around the state who took the class, which was NOT mandatory. George taught things that no one else did and did things no one else would dare. I soon learned and observed that Michael Damiani was a unique kind of tough, having endured the difficult regiment. I later joined the East Providence Police Department in 1985 working midnight to eight and from time to time I was able to bid on an open post in Riverside working next to Mike. He was now the teacher and I was the student. He exhibited a unique and rare dedication to the City of East Providence that was unmatched. This dedication was manifested in how he crafted his work as a police officer. He plied his craft like no one else. What I didn’t learn from George Pesare, I learned from Michael Damiani. One can learn to be a law enforcement officer at the Police Academy and by diligently familiarizing themselves with state and federal statutes, municipal codes, as well as all of the policies, procedures, rules and regulations of the police department. But if you worked with Michael Damiani, it was there that you learned how to be a cop. You learned who was who and what was what. You knew you’d be having fun if you were going to be working with him. He literally knew what was going on in Riverside 24 hours a day. He was the smartest police officer I’ve ever worked with. Without question. He welcomed me to the job and treated me like a member of his family. I, along with so many other police officers, was welcomed into his home at all hours of the day or night. There was no such thing as a bad time to stop by or call. He spent countless hours as the Department’s firearms instructor, started the Dive Team, and was a founding member of the SWAT Team. Years later, when he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant, he led the officers on the midnight shift with the same zeal with which he plied his craft as a patrol officer. He coined the phrase “Nobody Gets Away” which became the shift’s mantra and wound up on T-shirts worn by the entire shift. He certainly kept morale high. The officers LOVED working for him. He was a true leader. He was fiercely dedicated to his wife, Sharlene and their children, Jen, Michael and Christine. The City of East Providence, specifically Riverside, is a much better place because of his efforts and dedication. He was a good man, a great friend, a loyal husband, a dedicated father and a cop’s cop. I will truly miss him. Rest In Peace, Sgt. Michael Damiani. I’ll light up a Royal Jamaica in your honor!

  51. Rest in peace, dear friend.

  52. Dear Sharlene, Mike, Jennifer, and Christine and family,
    I am so terribly sorry for your loss. I wish there was something more eloquent that I could say that would take away some of your sorrow, but nothing could possibly do that at this time. Just know that Riverside, East Providence, and the world are a lesser place today for Mike’s passing and many, including myself, are mourning with you.

  53. My condolences to the Damiani family. Rest in peace Mike. You will be missed by many.

  54. So sorry for your loss

  55. Mike, so sorry to hear of your moving on to “the better place”.

    We down here will miss you, but I will always remember fondly the after midnight gatherings in the parking lot of Riverside Cleaners with Steve, Clarkie, Wayne A., Jack L, and so many others. We always solved the problems of the world..

    And the times we’ve spent together at MGC helping all those newbies..

    Once you’ve settled in and have gotten your assignments, please say hi to your Mom & Dad, Lou, Mandy, Lt McG, and be sure to lookup George L, Johnny M and Johnny C., Dennis M.. Tell them all I’m looking to have a reunion with all of them – -sometime soon…

    May God Bless and keep you..

  56. RIP Sgt. Mike Damiani !

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