Madonna (Tobin) Trottier

September 9, 1940 ~ May 15, 2020 (age 79)


Madonna Trottier, 79, of Simmonsville Ave, Johnston, passed away May 15, 2020 at RI Hospital in Providence, RI. She was the beloved wife of Russell William Trottier.

Born in Canada, she was the daughter of the late John and Louisa Tobin.

Madonna leaves her children, Stephen P. Tobin of Johnston, Margaret Williams of Maine, Lauretta Gorman of Canada, Salina Williams of Canada, her sisters, Gertrude Pico of Canada, Vera Strickland of Canada, her close friend, Oscar Dupuy d Angeac of RI who released the following about Madonna on his facebook page.

Madonna will be remembered by her friends, and the many people in the Rhode Island housing advocacy community who came to know her, for her humor, her will, and her absolute love for her son Stephen. At 79 years old and facing homelessness, she chose to sleep in her car with him rather than apply for elderly housing without him.

There will be an in-person memorial service once it is safe enough to do so. In the meantime, Stephen and I have decided to share publicly the film that he, his mother, her husband Russell (Butch) Trottier, and I produced about their months-long struggle against eviction and homelessness. It is, at the very least, a testament to Madonna’s courage.

If you are moved by the film, we ask that you do two things to honor Madonna’s memory:

First: An unprecedented number of people are approaching the first of each month with a fear of losing their home. For the nearly 50% of renters around the country who, like the Trottiers, already paid more for housing than they could afford, this fear is nothing new. Yesterday’s injustices are being exposed today in all their random cruelty. It is unacceptable that anyone be evicted - that is, forcibly removed from their home - because of the coronavirus, or any other misfortune. Currently, Rhode Island eviction proceedings are meant to restart on June 1. Call Governor Raimondo to demand rent relief and cancel all evictions through an eviction diversion program. The Tenant Network RI and Kristina Contreras Fox have drafted scripts that you can use, which you can find here:

Second: For those of you lucky enough to not be facing precarity today, here is a list of local community orgs and nonprofits that were helpful to the Trottiers during their roughest times. Please consider donating time or money to them now:

House of Hope CDC
Direct Action for Rights and Equality
Rhode Island Center for Justice
George Wiley Center
Housing Opportunities for People Everywhere
Uprise RI

the following are also doing tremendous work providing assistance to Rhode Islanders during the pandemic:
134 Collaborative
Rhode Island Pride
AMOR RI - Alianza para Movilizar Nuestra Resistencia
Project LETS

I am honored to keep the memory of Madonna with me, and to continue the fight in her name.


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