ILM William L. Phinney

In Loving Memory William (“Bill”) Lee Phinney, 61 of East Sandwich, MA passed away peacefully on November 4, 2019 at Cape Cod Hospital from complications of esophageal cancer, which he fought courageously for eight months. At his side holding his hand was his wife of thirty-six years, Carol A. (Censullo) Phinney.

In addition to his wife, Bill is survived by their four amazing children, Erin N. of East Boston, Michelle R. of Dorchester, Neal W. of Charlotte, NC and John F. of North Andover. He is also survived by his brothers, Robert Phinney and his wife, Sherri of Parkman, Maine and Major (ret.) Richard Phinney and his wife, Liz of Tucson, Arizona, his sister-in-law, Joanne R. Censullo of Wilmington, MA, his brother-in-law, Francis M. Censullo of San Pedro, CA, along with many cherished nieces, nephews and cousins.

Bill was born at Milton Hospital on June 18, 1958 to Neil Richmond Phinney and Helen (Igo) Phinney who predeceased him. Bill enjoyed a happy childhood in Scituate, MA where he learned to love the ocean. He grew up with several family dogs and liked to tell stories about his favorite dog, Baron who followed him to school and jumped into the classroom windows. During high school, Bill worked at the former Golden Rooster restaurant in Scituate where he acquired an interest in fine cooking which he pursued throughout his life. Bill’s family took frequent trips to Prince Edward Island where he had family roots.

Bill attended Massasoit Community College in Brockton, MA before transferring to UMass Amherst as a junior in 1978. Bill studied business management and finance at the Isenberg School of Business, and received his Bachelor’s degree in 1980. He began his career in banking at the Bank of Boston and later moved to The Boston Company, Fidelity Investments and Bank of New York Mellon from which he retired from his position as Managing Director of Complex Accounting in Asset Servicing in 2016. Bill obtained a Master’s in Business Administration from Suffolk University in 1987, attending weekends.

A talented financial services professional, Bill was passionate about understanding both the business and accounting aspects of his work, and his integrity was uncompromising. As a manager, Bill was a tenacious and selfless advocate for his team. Bill was particularly proud of the trust accounting software he helped create known as “Trust Plus” and was a named inventor of a patented product utilizing demand aggregation in pricing and sales. In 2000, Bill left Fidelity Investments to pursue a start-up company based on this product.

Bill met his wife, Carol while a student at UMass Amherst, and they were together for the next forty years, having married in 1983. They moved to Chelmsford, MA in 1990 just before the birth of their first child, Erin and raised their family in Chelmsford before moving to Cape Cod in November 2016.

Bill loved to be home and spent the majority of his time maintaining his yard and gardens. He was a creative home chef and was happiest when preparing summer menus and holiday meals for family and friends. Bill was an accomplished woodworker, painter and genealogist, and was able to enjoy these hobbies after retirement. He also fulfilled a lifetime dream of working on the water when he took a part time job at Sandwich Marina. When not working, Bill’s constant companion was his rescue dog, Harlan.

Bill’s family extends their sincere gratitude to Dr. Ewa Niemierko and staff at Lahey Health oncology, to Dr. Prabh Singh of Dana Farber South, and to the doctors and nurses on the oncology floor at Cape Cod Hospital for their good care.

A memorial service will be held at Richardson-Gaffey Funeral home, 382 First Parish Road in Sciutate on Sunday, November 10, 2019 from 12 pm noon to 4:00 p.m with a remembrance service at 3:30pm. Burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Esophageal Cancer Action Network (ECAN), a non-profit organization which seeks to raise awareness about esophageal cancer and to promote early detection. Words of comfort can be left at

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