William Francis Phaneuf, “Cape Cod Bill,” 72

Aug 5, 2021

William Francis Phaneuf, “Cape Cod Bill,” 72, died Saturday, July 31st  at Tobey Hospital in Wareham while holding the hand of his number one caregiver and youngest daughter Nichole.  

He was the son of Mildred (Myers) Phaneuf and the late John H. Phaneuf. Born in  Anchorage Alaska and raised in Monument Beach, MA. He attended Bourne Public Schools. His nickname in high school was "Moose" due to his presence on the football field. He was a Navy Veteran and served during the Vietnam War. In his later years, he made a home for himself in Wareham, MA.

Affectionately known as "Cape Cod Bill" to the most hard-core and rugged guys in the fishing industry, Billy was a proud, seasoned fisherman who honed his craft in his early years, from quahogging and bay scalloping in Bourne, MA, and later leading the toughest of crews as a scallop boat captain out of New Bedford, MA. Through the years, Billy ventured out for every type of fishing up and down the East Coast. He was an artist, he created beautiful paintings and illustrated short stories for his children. He loved to make music and never left home without his harmonica.

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

Billy was the type of Dad who wrote books and stories and sang crazy songs. He built extravagant tree forts. He actually ate dirt mud pies and boasted about their deliciousness. He brought groceries to the neighbor who had lost her husband. He was the kind of Dad that would tell anyone that would listen how proud he was of his children. His laugh was larger than life as was his sense of humor. He was one of the most generous men on the planet and he will be forever missed. Love ya Dad...over.

Survivors include his mother, Mildred (Myers) Phaneuf, 103, of Cocoa, FL; daughter, Lisa-Jo Miller of East Falmouth MA; daughter, Nichole A. Cross and her husband Gareth of Bourne MA; son, Sebastian P. Phaneuf and his wife Heather of Hudson, NH; the mother of his children, Roxanne K. Cunningham of Bourne MA; sister Mary Hoffman and her husband Bill of Cocoa, FL; brothers, Charlie Phaneuf of VT, Joe Phaneuf of MI and Tommy Phaneuf of Martha's Vineyard. Billy was also survived by six grandchildren - Emery V, Eric, Christopher, Ricky, Seamus and Tristan - and four great grandchildren - Emery VI, D'Aayla, Elaina and Saige.  He also had many cherished nieces and nephews. He held a special place in his heart for his nephews Jimmie Jones and Forrest Phaneuf. He was the brother of the late Margaret (Peggy) Tyz,  John (Jack) Phaneuf and James Phaneuf.

A celebration of his life will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 25, 2021 at the Aptuxcet VFW Post, 180 Shore Rd., Bourne, MA

Arrangements are by Chapman Funerals & Cremations – WAREHAM, 2599 Cranberry Hwy., Wareham. To share a memory or leave a message of condolence, visit: www.chapmanfuneral.com.