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Saturday, December 30, 2023
12:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)
Donald Benoit, age 64, passed away peacefully on Friday, December 15, 2023, at his home in Walpole, Massachusetts, surrounded by his loving family. Born in Boston, Massachusetts on October 9, 1959, he was the son of George F. and Martina M. (Evans) Benoit. Donald was raised in Canton, MA, and summered in Rockport, MA, sailing Cape Ann out of Sandy Bay Yacht Club as a child. Donald loved sailing and competed every week in sailing competitions. His desire to be in open waters encouraged Donald to head to the fishing docks of Gloucester as a young man. It was as a fisherman he grew a deep appreciation for the Coast Guard. They saved his life after the fishing vessel, Sea Farmer, sank on Stelllwagen Bank in the cold Atlantic in 1981.
Donald’s love for the water was unwavering, and while raising his young family he instilled an appreciation for yachting during summers on Cape Cod. This is where he taught his girls to sail and he gained life long friendships at Kingman Yacht Center. For the last 12 years he ran a successful charter company, Come Sail Away Now, on Boston Harbor. He captained the sailing vessel, The Tupelo Honey, a replica of the 1904 Friendship Sloop Dictator. He entertained charter guests, friends and family aboard the Tupelo Honey. Donald relished in sharing his love for the water, fine wine, and of course, Van Morrison. Recently, Donald teamed up with his daughter, Stacy in a motor yacht venture, The Legacy, aptly named for him. Donald’s favorite moments were out at sea with the sun on his face and Van Morrison playing on repeat.
During the harsh winters, Tupelo Honey was forced to dry dock and Donald took to the ski slopes of New England as often as he could. Donald kept himself busy running a heating company, ABR Mechanical, throughout the cold season for many years. Some knew him as the 'Heating Man’, but most knew him as 'Captain Don’. Donald will be deeply missed by friends and family.
Loving father of Stacy M. Norrell of North Attleborough, Nicole K. McCarthy and her husband, Michael, of Walpole, and the late Geri-Leigh Norrell.
Cherished grandfather of Micah McCarthy.
Beloved brother of the “Benoit Tribe”: Sheila Grow and her husband, Greg, of Indiana, Martina Knudsen and her husband, Jon, of New York, Cheryl Poholek and her husband, Dick, of Gloucester, George F. Benoit Jr. and his wife, Jeanne, of Gloucester, Conrad H. Benoit and his partner, Theresa, of West Barnstable, Elizabeth Croteau and her husband, Gerard, of New Hampshire, and Michelle Lawler and her husband, Joseph, of Wilbraham.
Also survived by his beloved girlfriend, Elizabeth "Liz" Duffy, of Rhode Island, and many loving nieces and nephews.
Relatives and friends are kindly invited to join Donald's family for a Memorial Visitation at The Chateau Restaurant, 404 Boston-Providence Turnpike, Norwood, MA 02062. Saturday, December 30, 2023 from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm. A light lunch buffet will be provided.
A Celebration of Life will be held during the summer of 2024.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Donald's name may be made to: The Sandy Bay Yacht Club Sailing Program and Scholarship Fund Inc. to encourage and foster the love of sailing in the youth by visiting https://sandybay.org/1-donate or mail to: SBYC Sailing Program, P.O. Box 37, Rockport, MA 01966.
Arrangements by James H. Delaney & Son Funeral Home, Walpole.