Chief Carl A. Winquist, EPPD
Rehoboth, MA-Chief Carl A. Winquist, EPPD, ret., 83, formerly of Barrington, passed away at his home on September 13, 2023, surrounded by family after a courageous battle with cancer. He was predeceased by his wife of over 50 years, Norma A. (Barricelli) Winquist, and his infant son, Brian M. Winquist. Born in Providence, he was the son of Dr. Charles Winquist and Jennie (Pigeon) Winquist. He was the cherished husband of Maria D. Winquist.
After graduating from East Providence High School, Carl joined the East Providence Police Department. He was appointed Patrolman on September 4, 1962, and steadily rose through the ranks. He was promoted to Sergeant in 1970, Lieutenant in 1974, Captain in 1985, and Deputy Chief in 1990. After his promotion to Deputy Chief, he intended to retire but was convinced by department members and city officials to stay to assume the position of Chief of Police. He served as police chief from February 1991 until his retirement on January 5, 1996. He earned an associate degree in criminal justice from Bryant University and many commendations and accolades throughout his 33-year career. He was widely respected as a true leader and was often described as a “cops cop.” He also excelled as a tenacious investigator, solving many complex and violent crimes. He took command of the department when officer morale was at an all-time low. As a result of his steadfast devotion to duty and genuine care for his officers and the East Providence community, he fostered change throughout the organization, restoring the department’s stellar reputation. He served in every rank and division within the department. He was brilliant when managing the budget, using his keen business sense to stretch every dollar to provide his officers with the best equipment and training. He led by example and inspired young officers in his department and two generations of his family who followed him into the profession: Chief Michael Winquist of the Cranston Police Department and grandson Patrolman Cameron Rodrigues of the Barrington Police Department, who will continue his legacy.
Upon his retirement from the police department, Carl was able to pursue his other passion, building homes and commercial buildings. What began as a small part-time business quickly grew and, at one point, had more than a dozen employees. He operated C&P Realty, the Winquist Construction Company, and Winquist Realty for over three decades and built hundreds of homes and commercial buildings in RI, MA, and NH until his passing. He prided himself on selling quality homes at a fair price. He was extremely proud of the many properties he developed in East Providence and beyond.
He leaves behind his daughter Lynn Winquist of Barrington, son Col. Michael Winquist, Police Chief, City of Cranston and his wife Andrea of Barrington, sister Ellen Brooks of East Providence, nephew David Marsella of Buckeye AZ, and grandsons Cameron Rodrigues (fiancé Sara) of East Providence and Dane Winquist-Watson of Barrington. He also leaves behind his stepson Robert Papp (Marissa) of Coventry, step grandchildren Charlie and Jude, and brother-in-law Mihai Vancea.
Carl was a devoted family man who could always be relied upon for his knowledge on any topic. He especially loved holiday gatherings, the many dogs and cats he adopted, skiing in New Hampshire, going to the gym, and traveling to many exotic destinations with Maria over the past
few years. He had a zest for life and was always on the move, even well into his later years. He was extremely generous, could converse with a perfect stranger, and enjoyed the company of a diverse group of people he was proud to call friends. He had a great sense of humor and was known to play pranks to make people laugh.
Visiting hours are Tuesday, September 19, 2023, from 4:00 PM-8:00 PM in the PERRY-McSTAY FUNERAL HOME, 2555 Pawtucket Ave, East Providence, RI 02914, with a service on Wednesday, September 20, 2023, in Riverside Covenant Church, 165 Rounds Avenue, Riverside at 10:00 AM. Burial will be at the Gate of Heaven Cemetery in East Providence. In lieu of flowers, donations in Carl’s memory can be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital by visiting www.stjude.org or the East Providence Police Beneficial Fund, 750 Waterman Ave, East Providence, RI 02914.