Gilbert R. Pontes, 88, former Gray’s Ice Cream co-owner

Editor’s note: While Portsmouth Press typically publishes only obituaries with a Portsmouth connection, we believe Gray’s Ice Cream in Tiverton has a regional connection. 

LITTLE COMPTON, R.I. — Gilbert R. Pontes, 88, of Little Compton, RI, passed away peacefully on October 16, 2018. Gilbert was born in Fall River, MA on November 28, 1929 to the late Antonio Pontes and Mary (Cotta) Pontes.

A life-long resident of Little Compton, Gilbert graduated from Wilbur McMahon School in 1949 and completed one year at Roger Williams University before enlisting in the U.S. Navy. He was a 2nd Class Aviation Mechanic in the Korean War from 1950-1955. Mr. Pontes was co-owner of Grays Ice Cream in Tiverton, RI from 1959–1981 then worked as a groundskeeper at The Acoaxet Club in Westport, MA until retiring in 2006.

Gilbert was Little Compton Town Tax Assessor for twelve years, life member of the pistol league with Newport Rifle Club, member of the Knights of Columbus, and an active parishioner of St. Catherine Parish. Gilbert enjoyed working outdoors and keeping busy. He was known for his love of goats, tractors, and anything he could salvage and fix.

He is survived by a son Thomas J. Pontes and his wife Jane of Bellingham, MA and a daughter Melissa J. Surprenant and her husband John of Dudley, MA, four grandchildren, Kathryn, Matthew, and Elizabeth Pontes of Bellingham, MA, and Peyton Surprenant of Dudley, MA, all whom he loved dearly. A sister, Janice Nickerson, of Little Compton, RI, as well as several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his brother Tony Pontes. Calling hours will be held on October 28th from 2:00PM to 4:00PM at Connors Funeral Home, 55 West Main Road, Portsmouth, RI 02871

A funeral service will be held in St. Catherine of Siena Church, 74 Simmons Road, Little Compton, RI 02837 on October 29th at 11:00AM.

Burial to follow in Our Lady of Fatima Cemetery in Little Compton, RI.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to West Place Animal Sanctuary in Tiverton, RI.

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