Editorial: Remembering the Stringfellows

Posted 2/19/20

It is with great sadness we recognize the passing of William Stringfellow, the East Providence High School and Rhode Island football legend, who died Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, at his home surrounded …

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Editorial: Remembering the Stringfellows

Posted

It is with great sadness we recognize the passing of William Stringfellow, the East Providence High School and Rhode Island football legend, who died Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, at his home surrounded by his family.

The lifelong city resident, U.S. Army veteran, teacher, administrator and coach was predeceased by his wife of 61 years, Sheila.

For the better part of three decades, Mr. Stringfellow was the face of East Providence High School athletics, leading the Townies to back-to-back state football championships in 1979 and 1980, then serving as the district’s athletic director before his retirement.

The well-deserved accolades Mr. Stringfellow, affectionately known as “Beansy,” received for his efforts included induction into the East Providence High School Hall of Fame, the Rhode Island Football Coaches Hall of Fame, the Rhode Island Gridiron Hall of Fame and the Hendricken High School Hall of Fame among others.

He also received recognitions such as the Kodak Coach of the Year, State Athletic Director of the Year and the Savastano Sports Medicine Achievement Award.

In recent years, Mr. and Mrs. Stringfellow, who were ever-present at EPHS football games long after they had any direct ties to the program, were saluted by the East Providence City Council by having the press box at Pierce Stadium named in their honor.

Of note as well, Mr. Stringfellow was the city’s first recreation director, holding the position for 14 years. He spent another decade on the sidelines following his retirement from the district as the freshmen football coach at Bishop Hendricken, hence the induction into the Hawks’ athletics hall.

Above all else, Mr. Stringfellow, as well as his wife, were known for being “surrogate” parents to hundreds of EPHS football players throughout the years. It’s often claimed, but the Stringfellows, who had seven children of their own, truly did create a “family” atmosphere around the program. Their kindness was well-known inside and out of football circles.

There is no better way to have lived a life, nor to be remembered, than with the love and respect of the many. Bill and Sheila Stringfellow certainly had that in droves. They will be missed, but recollected fondly.

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Mike Rego

Mike Rego has worked at East Bay Newspapers since 2001, helping the company launch The Westport Shorelines. He soon after became a Sports Editor, spending the next 10-plus years in that role before taking over as editor of The East Providence Post in February of 2012. To contact Mike about The Post or to submit information, suggest story ideas or photo opportunities, etc. in East Providence, email mrego@eastbaymediagroup.com.