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William G. Semonite


1926 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
William G. Semonite Obituary
William "Bill" G. Semonite, 90, Great Smokey Mountain Drive, formerly of North Ridge Road,Bellows Falls,VT, passed away on December 29, 2016. He was born in Brooklyn, NY on May 18, 1926. The son of George and Mildred (Thurston) Semonite.

In 1929, the family moved to Cranford, NJ where he attended school. After graduating in 1944, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served in Okinawa. After the war, he attended Seton Hall College for a year and then transferred to the University of Vermont and graduated in the class of 1950.

He was employed the next five years at a shipyard in Keasbey, NJ repairing fishing boats, tugboats, and yachts of all sizes.

He married Jeanne Farr of Westminster, VT, who he met in college in Westminster on July 11, 1953. They lived in Middletown, NJ until 1955 when they moved to Bellows Falls, where he entered in to his father-in-law's Studebaker automobile dealership, Farr's Garage. John Farr retired in 1962 and Mr. Semonite took over the dealership eventually adding Dodge and eventually a whole Chrysler line. He and his wife sold the business and retired in 1988. He then served nine years on the Vermont Motor Vehicle Arbitration (Lemon Law) Board in Montpelier.

He was a past Master of King Solomon's Temple Lodge of Masons in Bellows Falls, and a member of the Mt. Sinai Shrine Lodge, and a past president of the Bellows Falls Rotary Club where he was recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow. He was also a president of the local Chamber of Commerce and was very active in local Industrial Development Board playing a key role in the establishment of several of the buildings in the Rockingham Industrial Park.

He was one of the original board members of the Bellows Falls Union High School assisting in buying land, design, and construction of the new school while serving on the board until 1976.

As a member of the United Church of Bellows Falls, he was instrumental in the design and building of the new church on School Street. He served as a trustee and director of investments for many years. Mr. Semonite was a member of the American Legion Post 37 of Bellows Falls and the Palmetto Rowing Club in Hilton Head Island, SC.

In 1979, he received the "Citizen of the Year" award from the Bellows Falls Chamber of Commerce. Over the years, Bill and Jeanne took many trips to Germany and different parts of the US to visit their son and four grandchildren on various U.S. Army Posts.

His passion in life, besides his family, was sailing which he had done since childhood at the family's cottage off the coast of Maine. He owned several sailboats over the years and spent vacations and weekends on the island.

Bill enjoyed woodworking, building small boats, and oil and water color painting. He and his wife even designed and personally built their own home on North Ridge Road. After retirement, winters were spent on Hilton Head Island in SC where he enjoyed rowing his one man shell. In 2010, the Semonites moved to Mebane, NC to be closer to family.

Bill is survived by his wife Jeanne of 63 years, a son Todd (wife Connie), LTG and Chief of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of Washington, DC; daughter Susan (husband Christopher) of Mebane, NC; grandchildren, Stephanie Bogatyr (husband Michael), Alexander Semonite (wife Jessie), William Semonite (wife Jenna), Charlee Conder (husband Jason), and Connor Waters and great-grandchildren Emma Semonite, Theodore Semonite, and Frederick Semonite with two more on the way. Also a brother Alan Semonite of Yvorne, Switzerland (wife Janine). He was predeceased by another son Scott, who passed away in a bicycle accident in 1965.

Funeral Service at United Church of Bellows Falls at 1pm on Friday, January 6, 2017. Viewing in the sanctuary at 12:00pm prior to the service. Burial at Oak Hill Cemetery for those who are able.

Reception to follow at the Semonite family home at 7 North Ridge Road.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions should be made to United Church of Bellows Falls.
Published in Brattleboro Reformer on Jan. 3, 2017
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