William Francis Phaneuf, a former resident of Bourne who leaves family here, died July 31 at Tobey Hospital in Wareham. He was 72.

The son of Mildred (Myers) Phaneuf, 103, of Cocoa, Florida, and the late John H. Phaneuf, he was born in Anchorage, Alaska, and raised in Monument Beach. He was educated in the Bourne Public Schools and earned the nickname Moose in high school due to his presence on the football field.

Mr. Phaneuf was a veteran of the US Navy and served during the Vietnam War. In his later years he made a home for himself in Wareham.

Known as Cape Cod Bill to his colleagues in the fishing industry, Mr. Phaneuf was a seasoned fisherman who honed his craft in his early years, from quahogging and bay scalloping in Bourne waters to later leading the toughest of crews as a scallop boat captain out of New Bedford. Over the years he ventured out for every type of fishing up and down the East Coast.

Also an artist, he created paintings and illustrated short stories for his children, and loved to make music—never leaving home without his harmonica.

He was an active member of The Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses and felt strongly about his faith and his spiritual beliefs.

In addition to his mother, he leaves his children, Lisa-Jo Miller of East Falmouth, Nichole A. Cross of Bourne and Sebastian P. Phaneuf of Hudson, New Hampshire; the mother of his children, Roxanne K. Cunningham of Bourne; a sister and three brothers; six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren; and extended family.

A celebration of his life will be announced at a later date.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.