Obituary: William Augustine Durgin (1928-2023)

William Augustine Durgin, 94, of Newport, RI, passed away on March 24, 2023 in Newport, RI.

Bill was born in Pawtucket, RI to George and Mance (Hebert) Durgin on October 1, 1928. He was a proud graduate of St. Raphael Academy and the College of the Holy Cross. His career was wide and varied. He worked in retail for Stern Brothers in New York City and for Durgin’s of Pawtucket, RI. He was a stockbroker for many years in Pawtucket and Providence. He was most noted as the owner and operator of Forest Park, a manufactured home community in Middletown, RI. “The Park” provided employment for Bill’s three sons, their cousins, and friends. It was a place where teenage boys would perform acts of incredible stupidity and somehow, by the grace of God, live to laugh with Bill about it over the next 50 years. After selling The Park, Bill participated in a number of other real estate ventures including developing Blenheim Newport. He was a devoted family man who enjoyed a lively debate on the issues of the day. He served his country as a combat veteran in the 1st Cavalry during the Korean War. Bill was a devout Catholic and a daily communicant at St. Augustin’s Church in Newport. He was one of the oldest members of the Dennis E. Collins Division #1 Ancient Order of Hibernians. He was a humble man who was best known for his generosity, his smile and his upbeat outlook on life.

Bill is survived by his wife Mary (Ronayne) Durgin, his son Bill and his wife Mary Katherine of Lafayette, CA and his son George and his wife Marianne of Middletown. He is also survived by eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his first wife Sheila (Walsh) Durgin and his son John.

Visiting hours will be held Wednesday, March 29 from 4-7 pm in the O’Neill-Hayes Funeral Home, 465 Spring St, Newport. A Mass of Christian burial will be held Thursday, March 30 in St. Augustin’s Church, corner of Carroll & Harrison Ave, Newport. Burial will follow in St. Columba Cemetery, 465 Brown’s Ln, Middletown.

Memorial donations may be made to St. Augustin’s Church, PO Box 357, Newport, RI 02840 or to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny, PO Box 66, Newport, RI 02840.




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