Board of directors


Judith Ann Foster is the president of the Prudence Island Historical and Preservation Society and currently is Emeritus Professor of Biochemistry, Boston University School of Medicine. Her research expertise is in the area of eukaryotic gene regulation.  Dr. Foster received her BA in Chemistry from Newton College of the Sacred Heart (Newton, Mass.) and her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Boston University School of Medicine.  She has held faculty positions in the Department of Pathology, Utah University School of Medicine, Department of Biochemistry at the University of Georgia, the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at SUNY Health Science Center (Syracuse), served for eight years as Chairperson of the Department of Biology at Syracuse University and eighteen years as Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Biochemistry, Boston University School of Medicine.

Dr, Foster has served as Director of the Protein/DNA Core Facility at Boston University Medical Center; Principal Investigator of federally funded, program project research grants in cardiovascular and pulmonary disease; consultant to the Heart, Lung and Blood Division of the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association; and, Editor of several international molecular biology and biochemical journals. She has published over 100 papers, book chapters and invited reviews, chaired international symposia in connective tissue and given invited seminars in the USA and Europe.

For the last twenty years, Dr. Foster is a year-round, weekend resident of Prudence Island.  She served as: a Director of the Prudence Improvement Association; secretary of the Prudence Islander Volunteer Fire Department; a Board member of Prudence Conservancy; Chair of Farnham Farm Trustees and is a member of Our Lady of Prudence Island Mission Church.  Dr. Foster brings to the Board an expertise in computer technologies and program development; fiscal management; grant application and review, and organization and implementation of educational programs.  She maintains the Society's website and Facebook and Twitter pages.

Robert DePalo is vice-president of the Prudence Island Historical Society.  He is semi-retired but still remains active as President of Eagle Motors Inc and owner of a Sunoco Gasoline Station and used car lot. Mr. DePalo graduated from Salty Brine's, "No school foster Gloucester", Ponnaganset High in 1977. He attended CCRI while still in high school. He enrolled in a Pre-law program at CCRI in Warwick in 1977 while working at Toyota of No. Kingstown in North Kingstown R.I. as Parts and Service Manager.  He stayed there until 1986 while earning certifications in Diesel Engines, Fuel Injection diagnostics and a Rhode Island State inspection license. He attended several Sales Management Courses in profitability training from Vin Waterhouse Inc and Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A.  Mr. DePalo went back to CCRI in 1986 and took business and accounting courses.

He purchased the Eagle Motors Inc, a company that specializes in auto repair, in 1986.  Another franchise he acquired that year was NAPA Auto Parts, which he ran that until 2003. In 1987, he purchased and is still President of Eagle Motors Sunoco.  From 1995 to 1997 he was President of Johnson's Pond Watercraft Rentals.  From 1986 to 2006 he acquired several Dealerships, including, Polaris snowmobiles, ATVs and Personal Watercraft, Ski-Doo Snowmobiles and ATV's, Arctic Cat Snowmobiles and ATV's Victory Motorcycles and Sea-Doo Watercraft.

Mr. DePalo is a former President of the Tri-Town Rod and Gun Club and currently is Chairman of the Tri-Town Game Committee, as well as Assistant Range Officer.  Since 2009, he has served on the Town Of Foster R.I.  Board of Canvassers.  He is a Certified Firearms Safety instructor with the National Rifle Association.    He volunteers at Kent hospital where he occasionally speaks at and visits patients with paralysis. In 2005 he became semi retired and is researching the History of Deer and Bear Hunting and is currently writing a book on Disability and Inspirations.

Mr. DePalo has been coming out to the island since 1978. He first rented and then built his own house in 2004. He has two children and four grand children. He is a member of the PIA, Prudence Conservancy and Prudence Island Historical Society.

Theckla H. Snell (first on left in photo) is secretary of the Prudence Island Historical.  She is retired from a long career in nursing.  Mrs. Snell is a graduate of Mt. Sinai Hospital, NY City and attended Bristol County Business College and the Lee Real Estate Institute.  She served as Head Nurse at Mt. Sinai Hospital New York City, NY and Taunton State Hospital, Taunton, MA.  She worked as a Public Health nurse in Cincinnati, Ohio Health Department and the Taunton Board of Health. She is a registered nurse in Ma, NY RI and OH  Professionally; she served as president of New England Public Health Association and is the recipient of the President's Award of the New England Public Health Association. She served as President of the Taunton's Woman's Club, secretary for the Salvation Army Unit in Taunton and First Aid Instructor for the American Red Cross, Trustee of the Foxboro State Hospital in Foxboro, MA. And was appointed to the Licensing Board of the MA. Health Officers Association.  Internationally, she wrote the first Culturegram On Barbados for Brigham Young University and bred and donated purebred Nubian dairy goats to the Heifer Project for worldwide distribution.

Mrs. Snell has been a resident of Prudence Island since 1978 when she purchased a house on the island. She is an active member of many island community organizations.  She is a member of Prudence Conservancy, Prudence Island Quilters Quilt, Prudence Improvement Association, Homestead Association.  She currently serves on the Prudence Island Planning Commission Board.

Donna Esau Bains is the corresponding secretary for the Historical Society.  She retired several years ago from The Boston Globe after working there for more than 30 years.  She is a graduate of Eastern Nazarene College with a BS in elementary education.  After graduating from college she was hired for a full time position in the circulation department at the Boston Globe after working there during the summers while attending college.  She began working in the Globe’s newsroom the following year as assistant to the managing editor.  During her long career in the Globe’s newsroom, she assisted in a variety of activities: planning, recruiting and hiring reporters and editors; staffing enrichment programs; working with the newsroom counsel on legal matters; supervising the purchase of syndicated material; and, monitoring email sites set up for readers to address errors in stories.  She served as coordinator of the Globe’s summer intern program for college journalists.  The Wall Street Journal named the Globe’s intern program the best internship in America for all media in 2005. She is currently volunteering at the Narragansett Bay Research Reserve and works with their staff to expand student internships.  Last winter she co-edited a cookbook “Prudence Cooks Then & Now” filled with recipes from islanders eager to share their culinary skills and raise money for the historical society's headquarters.  She would like to use her educational skills to create programs for both the children and young adults wishing to study Prudence Island’s history as well as use their computer skills in assisting with the archiving of the society’s collections.   She also hopes to use her organizational skills in the newly created position of corresponding secretary. 

Donna is a life long summer resident of Prudence Island and met her husband, Joe as teenagers.  She has always been interested in Prudence history and is also a member of the Homestead Plat Improvement Association, Prudence Improvement Association, and volunteers in fundraising efforts for the Prudence School Foundation.  While not at Prudence, she enjoys spending as much time with her horses as possible.

Anna Levesque is the Treasurer of the Historical Society.  She is retired after a career as a bookkeeper and accountant. She worked as Secretary to the Executive Director of the International Masonry Institute, Washington, DC; worked in the Accounts Payable Department and Warehouse Control Department of the Save Mart Supermarket Chain, Modesto, CA and then as a bookkeeper for Save Mart, Fresno, CA.

Anna received her education in the Virginia Public School system and attended Virginia Intermont College, Bristol, VA where she majored in liberal arts. She received a Nursing Assistant/Home Health Aide Certificate from the State of Florida at Charlotte County Vocational Technical School.

She first came to Prudence in 1980, on vacation to visit her brother-in-law who worked at the south end of Prudence. Anna and Earl ended up purchasing a house on Prudence Island that year. They came to the island on vacation from California each year, until they retired to the Island in 1985. In 1989, they began going to Florida for the winter months but then moved back to the island in 2001 as full time residents.

For the past 26 years, Anna has been very active as a volunteer in various Prudence Island organizations.  She is a member of the Prudence Improvement Association. She has served as Treasurer of the Prudence Island Volunteer Fire Department and has also served as Treasurer of the Farnham Farm Board of Trustees of which she is now an emeritus member. Ann has been both Vice President and President of the Ladies Club of the Union Church of Prudence Island. Presently, Anna is the Treasurer of the Union Church of Prudence Island and is an active participant at the Farnham Farm. In addition to being a member of the Community Garden, since it’s inception, she is also responsible for the Monday Afternoon Movie and Souper Monday at the Hope Brown Center.  Anna also belongs to two island sewing groups. 

Anna brings to Board of Directors an expertise and experience in bookkeeping and financial accounting that is coupled with an understanding and appreciation of the Island and its community.

Richard ‘Rick’ Buckley is the Archivist for the Society. Rick retired from Amica Mutual Insurance Co. Lincoln, RI on January 1st, 2010. Rick was hired at Amica in 1985 as a System Programmer. Initially, his responsibilities included installing and maintaining IBM mainframe products, most notability IBM’s database product, DB2. His last position was Database Administration Section Manager. His section was responsible for designing and maintaining all database management systems on the IBM mainframes and Microsoft Windows platforms at Amica. During his 24 year tenure at Amica, Rick co-authored articles on IBM's database tool products, and spoken at IBM international conferences. He holds an Associate’s degree in Computer Science from CCRI that he received in 1985.

In anticipation of his retirement, Rick attended the Culinary Arts program evenings at Providence's Johnson & Wales University, where he graduated Suma Cum Laude with an Associate's Degree in 2003. Currently you will find him cooking on the weekends for the VIP Lounge at the Twin River Casino Lincoln, RI. He's worked part-time there since the spring of 2006.

Rick first came to the island in 1953 with his parents and two older sisters. Rick has been happily married to his wife Cindy since June 1977. They have three adult children, Brieann, Lauren and Rich. Rick and Cindy started vacationing on the island with their children in 1984.  He and Cindy built their island home in 1994. They and their children enjoy spending as much time on the island as possible.

Rick is a member of the Prudence Islander Volunteer Fire Department, Prudence Improvement Association, Prudence Conservancy and the Prudence Trail Gang.. He brings to the society a proficiency in computers and database management. He also brings his great love of the island and a desire to enable public access of the vast collection of historical documents, artifacts, photographs that belong to the society.

Joseph J. Bains is historian of the Prudence Island Historical & Preservation Society.  He recently retired as Director of Regulatory Affairs for Titleist and Footjoy Worldwide, (A Division of Acushnet Company) and now spends his time as an Adjunct Professor of Prudence Island History. Mr. Bains has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry from the University of Rhode Island, and is the author of numerous technical papers on analytical chemistry. Prior to retiring, he held management positions with Nashua Corporation, a leading coated products Company, where he served as Senior Scientist; New England Testing Laboratory, a widely recognized independent testing laboratory, as Laboratory Manager; and with Hoechst AG, one of the world's largest chemical companies, as Senior Chemist. Mr. Bains is a member of the American Chemical Society, the National Association for Environmental Management, and is active in the Massachusetts Environmental Managers Association. In addition, he is a decorated United States Army veteran of the Vietnam era.

Mr. Bains has had a lifetime association with Prudence Island, and attended the Island's one room schoolhouse as a child while his family was year-round residents. At this time he is a weekend and occasional visitor to Prudence Island. He has recently authored a book about the Island's history. In addition, he is an active member of the Homestead Plat Improvement Association and Friends of the Prudence Island School. He was added to the Prudence Conservancy Board of Directors in 1996.

Mr. Bains brings to the Prudence Island Historical & Preservation Society his technical expertise in chemistry and environmental management accumulated during a career in business that has spanned thirty years. This expertise is combined with an understanding of Prudence Island history and natural attributes, and a commitment to serve Prudence Island through the work of the Prudence Island Historical & Preservation Society.

Marie Therese Marzullo is a Director of the Prudence Island Historical & Preservation Society.  She is retired from a career in education that includes teaching, administration and counseling.  Ms. Marzullo received a BS in English and Education from Fordham University (New York), her MA in Comtemporary British and American Literature from St. John's University in New York, a fellowship in the school of American Studies at Yale University (Connecticut) and additional studies in American Literature and Folklore at the University of Utah.  She taught and was Principal of Sacred Heart Academy (Hamden, CT.), served as Head of the English Department at Andover High School and at Attleboro High School (MA.).  She was Director of Curriculum and Supervision for the Clarke County Public Schools (Athens, GA) and Director of Pre-Professional Advising at Syracuse University (NY).  She was elected to the Executive Boards of both the Northeast Health Professions Advisors and Northeast Pre Law Advisors.

Ms. Marzullo began visiting Prudence Island in the early 1970's and has been a year-round, weekend resident since 1992.  She is the Vice-President of the Prudence Island Quilters and a co-founder of the Quilters charitable activity, "Edna's Closet".  Ms. Marzullo is also a member of Prudence Conservancy, The Prudence Improvement Association, Our Lady of Prudence Mission Church and was actively involved in establishing the community garden at Farnham Farm. Ms. Marzullo brings to the Board a rich academic background and appreciation for American Literature and Folklore, expertise in educational training and programs and administrative and writing skills.

Sharon Naughton Homan is a Director of the Prudence Island Historical & Preservation Society. She recently retired from a career in nursing that includes specializations in surgery, adolescent psychology and terminal care. 

Mrs. Homan graduated from St. Patrick's High in Providence, RI. and then pursued a liberal arts education at Rhode Island College where she majored in English.  After college she worked at Butler Hospital where she trained in mental health care.  After marrying Dave Homan in 1967 and moving to New Jersey, she completed studies at Bergen College to become a registered nurse (RN) and focused in medical surgery and later, adolescent psychology.  She moved to Florida in 1982 and pursued training in hospice care.  She worked from 1995 to 1998 at St. John's Horizon House.  In 2000, she moved back to Prudence Island and worked until 2007 at the East Bay Medical Health & Riverwood Rehabilitation Center.

Sharon has been coming to Prudence Island since 1945. She is a member of the PIA, Prudence Conservancy and the Prudence Island Volunteer Fire Department.  She recently helped organize the Progressive Dinner to support the PIHPS and is planning a Malta Night at the Farnham Farm. She is particularly interested in the 1920 to 1960s era of the island and plans to help organize the pictures and artifacts of this period for display in the Coffee Shop. 

After retiring, Sharon and Dave spend their time between their new house on Prudence Island and their boat in Florida.  They have two children and two grandchildren. Sharon brings to the Board a love of Prudence Island, an appreciation of its heritage and an enthusiasm to get things done.

Paul G. Collette is a Director of the Prudence Island Historical and Preservation Society.  Mr. Collette has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Secondary Education with a major in French.  He also has a Masters of Arts Degree in Guidance and Counseling.  He is a U.S. Army Veteran of the Vietnam era.  Mr. Collette retired after a 36 year career in education, 6 years as a French teacher followed by 28 years as a Guidance Counselor at Woonsocket High School.  He was a founder of the Beacon Charter High School where he served as Director of Guidance for two years.Mr. Collette worked on a part-time basis for Kappa Delta Phi, Inc. serving as Executive Director/CEO from 1977-97.  As a volunteer, he continues to serve as a Field Consultant and Trainer.  As Executive Director Emeritus, he participates in the Fraternity Executive Association's Annual Conferences.  Mr. Collette is a Director of the Kappa Delta Phi Education Foundation, Inc. and President/Treasurer of the Kappa Delta Phi National Alumni Association, Inc.Mr. Collette was a partner in Paul's Antiques.  He is a Director of the Federated Rhode Island Sportsmens Clubs.  He is an active member of Manville Sportsmen's Rod and Gun Club, Amigos Da Cavaqueira, and the Northern RI Council of the Arts.    He is a Life Member of Tri-City Elks Lodge #14, and holds memberships in the American Legion post #56, New England Appraisers Association, United Bowhunters, National Rifle Association, and the RI Federation of Teachers/Retirees. Mr. Collette has been coming to Prudence Island since the early 1980's, building in 1986.  He is a member of the Prudence Improvement Association and Prudence Conservancy.  He married his wife, Jeanette, in 1967 and they have two children and four grandchildren.