Born in the Dominican Republic, "Provi" as she was known, came to the U.S. in 1948 at the age of 23, and four years later she met and began working for then Congressman John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts. When JFK was elected president in 1960, Provi became a U.S. citizen and accompanied the Kennedy family to the White House, to assist First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy.
When I was writing MRS. KENNEDY AND ME with Secret Service agent Clint Hill, he remembered Provi traveling with the First Lady on all of their trips around the word, assisting with packing, unpacking, ironing, making sure Mrs. Kennedy had everything she needed. Provi had a "delightful, cheery disposition," he says, and from their first meeting they quickly became friends.
|Jackie Kennedy&Clint Hill, Ravello, Italy 1962|
|Lisa McCubbin, Provi Paredes, Clint Hill|
I'm saddened by the loss of Provi. Saddened for her son Gustavo who held his mother on a pedestal--adored her and protected her and cared for her until the very end. Saddened for yet one more link to Camelot, lost. But oh so very very grateful that I had the wonderful opportunity to know this lovely lady who had such a remarkable life.
Rest in peace, dear Provi. You lived your life well and with great spirit. I know Mrs. Kennedy is grateful for everything you did for her, and I can vouch that you kept her trust until the very end.
|Provi Paredes and Clint Hill exchange a knowing glance.|