William F. Benisch, 85, of Newport, RI and North Palm Beach, FL, passed away on January 5, 2020 at The Waterford Nursing Facility in Juno Beach, FL. William was born on December 9, 1934 in Newport, RI to the late William Maurice Benisch and Millicent A. Rusling Tuttle. He was the husband of the late Dorothy (Del Nero) Benisch for 65 years.
Bill graduated from Rogers High school class of ’52 and remained in Newport raising his 7 children with his high school sweetheart, Dotty. He attended URI Extension where he studied Russian, Portuguese and Spanish and took Small Business Administration courses at Providence College.
Bill worked at various businesses prior to joining the family business, Bill Del Nero Laundry in 1956. He proceeded to acquire the property known as The Liberty Block and created an industrial division of the business by going into linen supply.
Bill was very active in the city of Newport. He joined the Elks Club at age 21 and became the Exhalted Ruler at 25. He represented Newport at the national Elks convention in Chicago as the youngest Exhalted Ruler at the time. He was a former member and director of the Newport Lions Club. He served as member on many boards and commissions including Church Community Corp, American Red Cross, Seamen’s Church Institute, former corporator of Bank Of Newport, served as chairman Newport County Heart Assoc, and was a member of the first board of directors of the Newport County Regional YMCA. Bill proudly served as a member of the Newport City Council for 4 years and was re-elected for 2 more years serving as Vice-Mayor. He was the original council liaison for the Newport Jazz festival and would travel annually to visit the owner of the festival, George Wein, where they would decide who would perform at future jazz festivals.
Bill was also an avid golfer. He played for many years at Wanumetonomy CC where he received an honorary life membership and was a member of North Palm Beach CC for 26 years. In his early days as a parishioner of Trinity Church, he served as the first altar boy the church ever had.
Bill is survived by his daughters Cynthia Saez and her husband Ismael, of Palm Beach Gardens, FL, and Susan Morgan and her husband Paul, of Newport, his sons David Benisch of FL, Thomas Benisch and his wife Dawn of Middletown, and Michael Benisch of Middletown. Bill is also survived by his grandchildren David, Nicole, Meghan, Selene, Kristina, Alexandra, Julianna, Jessica, Katie, Kelsey, Kayla, 9 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his sons Stephen and William Benisch II and his sisters June Grass and Judy Bethea.
Calling hours will be held January 14, 2020 from 5:00PM to 7:00PM at Memorial Funeral Home 375 Broadway Newport, RI.
A Memorial Service will be held January 15, 2020 at 11:00AM at Memorial Funeral Home 375 Broadway Newport, RI.
Burial will follow in Trinity Cemetery in Portsmouth, RI.