Obituary : Roland E. Benoit
Roland Eugene Benoit, 84, of North Uxbridge, died early Sunday morning, September 20 at his home. He leaves his wife of 61 years, M. Theresa (Murphy) Benoit; seven children: Thomas E. of Eastham, Paul R. of Uxbridge, John J. of Southbury, Conn., Judy M. Kelley of Westford, Patricia A. Benoit-Rudden of Mendon, Richard E. of Uxbridge, and James D. of Aquinnah; six daughters- and sons-in-law; 14 grandchildren, and 1 great-grandson; and many nieces and nephews and their children.
Born in Northbridge, he was the son of Oliver X. and Rhea (Champney) Benoit and brother of Yvonne (Benoit) Lash, who died earlier this year.
Roland graduated from Northbridge High School in 1942 and joined the U.S. Army during WWII, serving in the 14th Armored Division in France and Germany, and was wounded at the Battle of the Bulge. He earned the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star, among other awards.
He was a long-time member of the American Legion Post in Uxbridge. After WWII he apprenticed as a machinist at Whitin Machine Works in Northbridge for 20 years and was a master tool and die maker when he left the company to teach as a machine shop teacher upon the opening of Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School in Upton in 1966; he retired from Valley Tech in 1986. Three sons and a granddaughter graduated from the vocational school and two grandsons are currently enrolled.
Roland was involved in the local Capt. James Buxton Fifes and Drums in North Uxbridge, founded by Sgt. Benjamin "Benny" Emerick of the Uxbridge Police force. Having several children as members in the F&D Corps., Mr. Benoit chaperoned many events and was used as a narrator on several occasions for special performances. He later joined the Ancient Mariners Fife and Drum Corps. of Guilford, Conn., and was able to attend their 50th anniversary celebration and muster in June of this year in Old Saybrook, Conn., even joining them on the field for their performance, albeit in his wheelchair. Roland was a sports fan, having coached in the Uxbridge Little League/Farm team and he especially enjoyed following the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots.
His funeral will be held Thursday, Sept. 24, at 10 am in the Tancrell-Jackman Funeral Home, located at 35 Snowling Road in Uxbridge. Burial is scheduled later that afternoon, at a time to be announced, in the VA National Cemetery in Bourne, following a gathering at the VFW in Uxbridge. Calling hours at the funeral home were Wednesday, Sept. 23, from 4 to 7 pm. According to Roland's wishes, please omit flowers. For more information, visit jackmanfuneralhome.com.