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Richard Earl Benoit
December 2, 1936 ~ August 10, 2023 (age 86) 86 Years Old
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On August 10th, the community of Southampton, MA mourned the loss of its resident, Richard E. Benoit. Richard peacefully passed away at the age of 86 at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, but his legacy remains firmly entrenched in the hearts of all who knew him. Richard was born to Grace and Raymond Benoit in Florence, MA. He was a graduate of St. Michael’s High School in Northampton.
Life presented Richard with its most beautiful gift in the form of Rochelle (Gingras) Benoit. Their paths intertwined in the corridors of the VA hospital in Leeds, where both were dutifully serving. What began as chance encounters in these hallways, blossomed into a love story that spanned over 32 years.
He was a devoted sports enthusiast, especially when it came to baseball and golf. He didn't just limit himself to being a spectator; he embraced the greens of Beaverbrook Golf Course passionately, often in the company of Rochelle, forming the perfect golf duo.
But it was Richard’s heart that outshone everything else. His steadfast Christian faith was the foundation upon which he built a life of kindness, selflessness, and unwavering loyalty. His generous heart wasn't confined to his loved ones; Richard made a difference in his community, most notably through his cherished tradition of distributing turkeys to families in need at Thanksgiving.
Richard began exhibiting a strong work ethic as an eleven-year-old working in the tobacco fields. He continued to demonstrate his dedication, serving for 31 years as a Master Sergeant in the Army National Guard. His service is a testament to his deep-seated commitment to both country and community.
Richard was a beacon of unity and love in a family of nine siblings. In his passing, he will be reunited with Raymond Benoit (Olive), Theresa Divenuto (Dominic), Mary Balise (Lawrence), Roy Benoit (Geraldine), Grace Hicks (Leo), Irene Benoit, and Roger Benoit. He is survived by his brother Robert, and sister in law, Susan Benoit and by devoted brothers and sisters-in-law: Daniel Gingras (Sue), Edmund "Sonny" Gingras (Claire), Suzanne Constantino, and Leonard "Lenny" Gingras (Kay). Richard’s journey is also marked by the loving memory of his late brother-in-law, Father Jerome "Jerry" Gingras. Richard also leaves behind many nieces and nephews.
The Benoit family extends their deepest gratitude to the caregivers, nurses and staff at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, as well as all of those at Linda Manor in Haydenville MA, for their compassion and wonderful care.
Richard's life will be honored on Monday, August 21, 2023. Family and friends are welcome to pay their respects from 9am-10am at the gathering space at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church, 127 Holyoke Road in Westfield, MA. The Funeral Liturgy of Christian Burial will follow at 10am, followed by burial with Military Honors at Saint Rose DeLima Cemetery in Chicopee.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Food Bank of Western Mass, 25 Carew Street, Chicopee MA 01020, or to Providence Ministries for the Needy, 51 Hamilton Street, Holyoke MA 01040.