William H. Connerton, Jr., 89, of Newport, Rhode Island, passed away peacefully at Newport Hospital on October 29, 2019 after battling a brief illness.
William was born on January 25, 1930 in Roxbury, MA to the late William H. Connerton Sr. and Mary (Kelley) Connerton.
He attended Rogers High School where he was a member of ROTC. Upon graduating from Rogers in 1947 he began working with UG Nason and Sons. In 1948 he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserves completing his basic training at Camp Lejeune, NC. He served with the reserves for 2 years.
Public Service was in his blood and in August of 1950 he joined his father as a member of the City of Newport, RI Fire Department as a Firefighter. He proceeded through the ranks attaining the positions of Lieutenant, Captain and ultimately Fire Chief on December 2, 1973. In August of 1980 he retired after serving for 30 years, the last seven of which were as the departments Chief Administrator. Soon after his departure he was asked to act in the capacity of Newport City Manager and did so until a permanent administrator was selected. Later he ran for and was elected to the Newport School Committee. He served the community in this post for 2 terms. He was a member of the Dennis E. Collins Ancient Order of Hibernians and life member of the RI Association of Fire Chiefs. His commitment to serving his community was only surpassed by his love of his family.
With his passing he has left his high school sweetheart and the love of his life Jane Pomp (Bolhouse) Connerton. Just prior to his death they celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary. He is also survived by his sister Margaret (Connerton) Mello, his seven children, and their spouses. Jane P. Connerton of Middletown, William H. Connerton III and wife Rachel of Newport, Laurie Ann (Connerton) Waluk of Newport, Susan Joan (Connerton) Darby and husband Thomas of Middletown, Sheila Jean (Connerton) Coleman and husband Edward of Newport, Peter Daniel Connerton Sr. and wife Mary-Beth of Middletown and Sean Christopher Connerton and wife Gina of Middletown along with 15 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. His family was the cornerstone of his life with his bride.
Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by his sisters Nancy (Connerton) Moitoza and husband Frank, Mary (Connerton) King and husband John, and his brother-in-law Frank Mello, as well has his father-in-law Peter Daniel Bolhouse and mother-in-law Gladys Estelle Bolhouse who he shared a very special bond with.
His family would like to extend its sincere appreciation and thank all those who took part in his recent care. This includes the Newport Fire Department and Newport Hospital. The aide and support given to him by the Newport Hospital Emergency Room, Surgical Unit, ICU, Hospital Transport, Diagnostics. Respiratory and Turner 2 personnel was nothing short of amazing. The care delivered by the many doctors, nurses, CNAs, therapists and other workers was coordinated and professional. Of even greater importance was that that assistance was imparted in a truly kind and compassionate manner that greatly aided his family in navigating through this very difficult time.
Visiting hours will be held from 4-7 pm on Friday, November 1, 2019, in the O’Neill-Hayes Funeral Home, 465 Spring Street, Newport, RI. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, November 2, 2019, at St. Augustin’s Church, corner of Carroll & Harrison Ave, Newport at 10:00 am. Burial will follow in St. Columba Cemetery, 465 Brown’s Lane, Middletown.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to the Newport Fire Department Fire/Rescue Boat Gift Fund, 21 West Marlborough St, Newport, St. Augustin’s Church Building Fund, P.O Box 357, Newport, RI 02840 or a charity of your choice.