This obituary originally appeared on Memorial Funeral Home.

William J. Day, PhD. Also known as Billy, Bill, Willy, Will, Dad, Grandpa.

Bill was born in the Yorkville area of New York City and raised in Staten Island and was the son of the late Edward N. and Grace (Villar) Day.

He married Karen (Pratt) Day in 1974 and was married for 46 years.

Bill enlisted in the Navy in 1968. He was assigned as a radarman on destroyers stationed in Newport, RI. After leaving the Navy in 1971, he remained in Newport and attended and graduated from Bryant University where in 1973, he received his BA in Restaurant Management. In 1998 he received his MA from Johnson & Wales University in Educational Technology. Bill went on to receive his PhD from the University of Connecticut in Higher Education Administration.

He began his career working in and/or managing several restaurants and clubs in Newport. In 1983 he began teaching restaurant management courses at Johnson & Wales University in the Culinary School where he served both as a teacher and an administrator. He ended his career teaching food service courses at the Hospitality School and retired in 2012. During his time at J&W, Bill was named Teacher of the Year in both the Culinary School and Hospitality School.

He served on the Board for the Society of Food Service Managers Education Foundation for 20 years, beginning while at Johnson & Wales but continuing to support the group after he retired. After retirement, he enjoyed work as a tour guide for cruise ship passengers with Destination North America.

Bill loved good wine and preparing and/or enjoying gourmet meals with friends and family, although simpler foods like Grandpa’s chicken parmesan and chicken fried rice were favorites with the grandchildren.

He enjoyed investigating his family genealogy, especially his Irish roots and recently began learning about his mother’s Slovenian background on a trip to Slovenia and Croatia. He enjoyed traveling throughout Europe, with a special love of Ireland where he visited several times and Italy.

He was interested in learning about the Irish language, Irish history and the history of Newport.

Bill loved attending all the school and sporting activities of his grandchildren including volleyball, baseball, soccer, and basketball and was always one of loudest spectators.

He enjoyed golfing with friends, often at Jamestown Country Club but he was willing to carry clubs anywhere.

Bill was active in his community. He was a proud and active member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, serving as Screening Chair for several years. He served as an usher in St. Mary’s Catholic Church for over 40 years and was a cook for St. Mary’s Hot Lunch Program for several years until his illness. Bill served as a docent at the Newport Irish History Museum and was a member of the Hillside Charitable Organization board.

Besides his wife Karen, he leaves their son Liam S. Day and his wife Kimberly Peirson. He loved beyond measure their grandchildren Averie Viveiros, Peirce Day, and Liam Day.

He also leaves his sister Elizabeth Mindlin (husband Mark) of NYC, his brother Timothy (wife Natalie) of Milford, PA, and his sister-in-law Brigitte Day of Staten Island, NY. Bill is also survived by his brother and sister-in-laws John and Kathrene Pierce of Methuen, MA, Kevin and Mary Pratt of Cape Coral, FL, Kristin Pratt of Methuen, MA, as well as 4 nephews and a niece and their families who were so special to him. He had countless dear friends and neighbors who were so important to him.

In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his brother Edward J. Day (FDNY, 9/11) and brother-in-law Kenneth Pratt.

Calling hours will be held, Tuesday, June 9, 2020, from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM in the Memorial Funeral Home, 375 Broadway, Newport, RI. Please understand, due to the pandemic, facemasks are required and there will be a longer than usual wait time to pay your respects to the family.

His funeral and burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to one of the following charities:

Hillside Charitable Organization, Inc. (P.O. Box 594, Newport, RI 0280)

Dennis E. Collins Division 1 AOH Charities (2 Wellington Ave. Newport, RI 02840)

St. Mary’s Hot Lunch Program (12 Williams St. Newport, RI 02840)

Visiting Nurses Home and Hospice Program (1184 East Main Rd, Portsmouth, RI 02871)

Or a charity of your choice.

For additional information, please visit


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