WESTERLY — Brothers John and Jim Iacoi sat on the steps in front of their childhood home on Grove Avenue one afternoon last week, each pointing to the newly erected sign on the short slope before them.
The sign, which reads, "Iacoi Law, Providence, Boston, Westerly," means that the two men will be spending a little more time in Westerly, in their new law office on the bottom floor of the three story house, across from Wilcox Park.
The new firm is the result of the 2019 merger of John and Jim’s law practices, said Jim, and "combines more than 63 years of experience with real estate, banking, corporate, business and estate planning legal services."
"It's going to be our satellite office," said Jim, 57, who has office on Federal Hill in Providence.
"It's a dream come true," said John, 62, whose office is on Lewis Wharf in Boston's waterfront district. "Talk about proud."
"Our mother always hoped this would one day be our law office," said Jim, the youngest son of Margaret Toscano Iacoi, who died in 1990. "Now, we're back at home."
"What's better than those three locations," added John with a laugh, "We couldn’t be more excited.”
"It's a fulfillment of a family dream," added Jim, the father of two sons. "My mother would be pleased."
Their were four boys in the family. The two oldest, Joseph, 68, and Jay, 66, both live in Westerly.
Their mother, who was known as Polly, was 41 when her husband, Julio, died of a heart attack in 1967. As a single mother with four young sons and a mortgage, Polly jumped back into the workforce. She worked at BB Dairy, across from the Westerly Library, then at the McDonald's on Granite Street, where she always greeted customers with a smile and kind word, her sons recalled in an interview with The Sun in 2002.
The brothers said she "had a warm, generous, loving heart" and always encouraged them to attend college and continue with their education.
John graduated from Westerly High School in 1975, and Jim in 1980. They both graduated from Providence College.
John earned his juris doctorate from New England Law School in Boston in 1984, and Jim earned his juris doctorate from Suffolk University Law School in Boston in 1989.
Soon after their mother died, the four brothers established a fund called The Margaret E. Iacoi Memorial Foundation for Widowed Mothers and for many years gave cash awards to single mothers in need.
Jim, in the 2002 interview, said his mother "was the driving force and the glue of the family" and a hero to her boys. Jay said, "She inspired us all" and "really lived for her sons."
Joe, the eldest, said, "She was always thoughtful, supportive and caring. She was an inspiration to those she touched."
By establishing that fund, they said, they hoped that their mother's "spirit, love for life and positive attitude will continue to spread and influence others throughout our community."
Her wealth was in the many friends and family who loved her, they said.
It is with their mother's spirit, said Jim, and in her memory, that they opened the office in their childhood home. The Iacoi brothers rent out the top two floors and plan to use the bottom for their law office.
"We'll go back and forth for a while," said Jim. "And we'll be here whenever anyone needs us to be."
"Of course, we'll be here as often as possible in the summer," he added with a laugh. "This is such a great, great town ... the foundation of our pride and happiness."
"There is so much going on here now," said Jim.
Joe Iacoi, who lives in Misquamicut with his wife Angie, said he and Angie were both "elated" when they heard that John and Jim were opening a law office in "our family homestead," across the street from "our playground," Wilcox Park.
"It's a nice way to start the new decade," said Joe in an email message Friday evening. His brothers, he added, "always remember their roots as instilled by our Mom and Dad."
His younger brothers are very community-oriented, he said, and will be a "welcome addition" in the region.
"We have strong family connections here," added John, the father of three, noting that Westerly attorney John Toscano is their late mother's brother. "And we're related to the Serras and the Capalbos, too."
"There's nothing better to be back at home," said Jim as he stood up and looked across at Wilcox Park. "It was a great place to grow up."