Petranella “Priscilla” B. Bechtel, 88, of Newport died on Thursday, February 9, 2017 at Newport Hospital. Priscilla was born August 1, 1928 in Norwich, CT. she was the daughter of the late Peter and Carmella (Mannetta) Ballaro. Priscilla was the wife of the late LCDR Donald G. Bechtel Sr, USN (Ret).

Priscilla grew up in Norwich, CT and worked for several years as a young woman at the Thermos factory. She soon married Donald Bechtel and they lived in Connecticut and later South Carolina, before settling in Newport in 1965. After her husband’s death, she worked as a home childcare provider for many years. In her retirement, she always enjoyed a good mystery novel or a challenging crossword puzzle.

She is survived by her children, Donna Cochran and Daniel of San Antonio, TX, Donald G. Bechtel Jr. and Debbie of Newport, William Bechtel and Lori of Bartlett, TN, Priscilla Belaire of Orlando, FL and Delores Champagne of Williamsburg VA; her siblings, Julia Peck of Belleview, FL, Jorine Salvidio of Norwich, CT and Alberta Ballaro of Norwich, CT, and Charles Ballaro of Rock Hill, SC; She also has fifteen grandchildren, Angelique Aubin and Michael, Donald Bechtel III and Janelle, Danielle Petsa, Patrick Bechtel and Leah, Faith Pouliot and Jeff, Holly Robare, Vanessa Wood and Rich, Jason Champagne, Jennifer Nasin and Todd, Nella Champagne and Michael Hopkinson, Michael Bechtel, Michelle Claiborne and Donovan, Charles Cochran and Tory, Jessica Cochran, Stephanie Mitchell and 27 great grandchildren.

Predeceased by her son, Robert Champagne, and her siblings Carmello Ballaro, Anthony Ballaro, Joseph Ballaro, John Ballaro, Peter Ballaro, Esther Wise, Blanche Ballaro.

Calling hours will be held on Thursday, February 16th from 4:00 to 7:00 pm, in the Memorial Funeral Home, 375 Broadway, Newport.

The funeral will be held on Friday, February 17th at 11:00 am in Memorial Funeral Home, 375 Broadway, Newport. Burial will follow at a later date in Arlington National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, P.O. Box 1000 Dept. 300, Memphis, TN 38105.

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.