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Remembering Alice Boss-Altman (1943-2019)

We received very sad news this week about the passing of longtime WaterFire Providence board member Alice Boss-Altman.

Alice was one of WaterFire Providence’s most tireless advocates who worked behind the scenes to advance our cause and introduce us to new supporters in the community. Alice and her husband Sandy were the first hosts of a Playing with Fire reception in 2014 where we announced the plans for the project that would become the WaterFire Arts Center to her friends and many community stakeholders.

Alice Boss-Altman participating in the lighting ceremony at a fundraiser in 2009. Photograph by Drew Christhilf.

As stated in her obituary, “With love and gratitude, the family of Alice Jane Costello Boss-Altman of Blackstone Boulevard, announces her passing on April 7, 2019, at the age of 75.  She was surrounded by her family and loved ones in her final days at Philip Hulitar Hospice in Providence, Rhode Island.”

Alice Boss-Altman with Barnaby Evans and Peter Mello at a fundraiser for WaterFire Providence in 2011. Photographs by John Nickerson.

“My experience with Alice dated back to 2011 when she was a member of the board search committee that interviewed me for the position of managing director,” said WaterFire Providence coCEO & Managing Director Peter Mello. “Over the years, she often invited me to lunch at the Providence Art Club where we talked about art and community and she always provided solid parenting advice.”

Joan Slafsky (at left) with Bronwyn Dannenfelser and Alice Boss-Altman during a WaterFire event in 2010. Photograph by Drew Christhilf.

WaterFire Providence Board Member Joan Slafsky remembers Alice as “one of the founders who spent a whole season trying to convince Barnaby [that WaterFire] would work and people would come. She served on our first board – where she remained a vital presence and guiding light for 25 years. She will be missed but remembered for her deep friendship and enormous impact on our community!”

Visitation will be held at Jones-Walton-Sheridan Funeral Home, 1895 Broad St., Cranston, on Thursday, April 11, 2019, from 3-7 pm. The Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, April 12, 2019, at 10 am at Saint Sebastian Catholic Church, 67 Cole Ave., Providence, Rhode Island. In lieu of flowers, donations in Alice’s memory may be made to The Met High School, Philip Hulitar Hospice or WaterFire Providence.

Alice was an extraordinary person who will be missed by many.


About the author

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I've worked at WaterFire Providence since 2003. For the first 9 years of my career, I worked in the Production Shop learning all of the details that go into the physical production of the event. In 2012 transitioned to the role of managing WaterFire's social media and web presence. I now head up WaterFire Providence's digital projects including, web, social, databases, and our physical IT infrastructure.

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