Mary and Alda Almeida Fund

“If they were not at home, they were at church,” says Jack Santos of his cousins, Mary S. and Alda J. Almeida, two inseparable, devoted sisters, about their dedication to St. Elizabeth Church in Bristol, Rhode Island. Both sisters gave much of their time to the church, with Alda becoming a Eucharistic minister in her later years, travelling to parishioners to offer communion.

The daughters of Portuguese immigrants, Mary and Alda’s spirit of devotion also extended to one another. They lived together all their lives, were family-oriented, and loved to travel, visiting many countries all over the world. Alda, a career bookkeeper, and Mary, who worked at the Naval War College, also welcomed and entertained many dignitaries who travelled to the States from Portugal. Mary cooked, Alda baked and took care of maintaining the outside of their family home. When Mary became ill, Alda lovingly cared for her sister until Mary’s passing in 2011. When Alda, herself, began to experience poor health, Jack became her faithful caregiver.

Described by Jack as “sharp as a tack, and twice as pointed,” Alda, was very careful with the sisters’ resources, possessed a mischievous humor, and a philanthropic nature. Both women were discriminating about the organizations they contributed to, wanting to be sure their support actually met charitable needs.

In 2010, Mary and Alda came to the Foundation and began their legacy through a charitable gift annuity. After Mary’s passing, Alda continued to contribute, opening two additional annuities, and including the Foundation in her estate plan. The result of the Almeida sisters’ lifelong hard work and generosity is the Mary and Alda Almeida Fund, established after Alda’s recent passing.

This designated fund will support Bristol’s St. Elizabeth Church in perpetuity, the place of worship so meaningful to Alda and Mary, as well as ensure that their legacy of care and devotion lives on.