William was born in Providence on May 18, 1939 to Ethel (Dougherty) Needham. He graduated from Hope High School and later enlisted in the U.S. Army where he served two years in Germany. He attended Johnson & Wales University where he graduated with a B.S. in business administration in 1972. He was a faithful parishioner of Grace Church in Providence and served dependably as an usher for over 30 years until he was unable to walk on his own.
William had nearly 40 years of experience in the banking industry, working for Fleet Financial Group, Attleboro-Pawtucket Savings Bank, and Commercial Credit Union among others. During the last 10 years of his employment he worked for Cox Communications in Warwick.
In his retirement, he enjoyed spending time with his children and grandchildren and was an avid fan of the Boston Red Sox as well as a season ticket holder of the Providence Bruins. He also enjoyed reading and filling in crossword puzzles with a cup of coffee within reach. William is remembered for his kind and gentle character which always encouraged those around him. He cared deeply for everyone and his compassion for others will be missed.
Bill and Carol first met over 45 years ago at the former Old Auditorium, on North Main Street in Providence, during a Rhode Island Reds hockey game. They were married on June 27, 1970 at Warren Baptist Church and eventually moved to Barrington in 1978.
They were blessed with two children, Kristin (Violet) Charles of Pittsburgh, Pa. and Daniel Violet currently stationed in Key West, Fla. He is also survived by his son-in-law Paul Charles, his two grandchildren Selah and Adden Charles, and his father-in-law Edward Ellsworth of Barrington.
Arrangements are with Smith Mason Funeral Home, 398 Willett Ave. in Riverside, where family will receive friends on Thursday, July 25 from 4:00 to 8:00pm. Funeral will be held on Friday, July 26 at 11:00am in Grace Church in Providence, 175 Mathewson St. A burial with military honors will be at Swan Point Cemetery immediately following the service. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to Grace Church of Providence or the ALS Association. Visit Smithmason.com for online information and condolences.