Fred P. Benoit, 75, a longtime resident of Winchester and formerly of Ashuelot, passed away peacefully in the comfort of his home on Wednesday, November 30, 2022, surrounded by the love if his family following a battle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
He was born a son to the late Sophia (Jablonski) and Frank Benoit in Brattleboro, VT. on August 22, 1947. He was educated locally and graduated from Thayer High School in Winchester class of 1966.
After Fred graduated high school, he enlisted in the United States Army 101st Airborne Division as a paratrooper. He served in Vietnam and was wounded in battle when he and 5 others tripped a grenade trap. After receiving care for his injury he returned to his unit and continued to serve. He was awarded several medals for his service including a Bronze Star(heroic or meritorious achievement deed in armed conflict) a Purple Heart(Wounded in action), National Defense Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal(authorized for participation in the 29 campaigns specified for the Vietnam War), Valor Unit Citation(2nd Highest Decoration that can be received for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy), Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Parachute Badge and Vietnam Campaign Medal W/Device 60.
On November 20, 1971, Fred exchanged vows with the love of his life, Mary E. Snow. They held their service at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church in Winchester with all their family and friends.
Fred was multitalented in running heavy equipment and was also apt at fixing just about anything. He did so working for the Winchester Highway Department as a grader operator for 28 years where he was a familiar face with most of the people he helped maintain the roads for until he retired in 2014. He was formerly employed by AC Lawrence Leather Company in Winchester for 13 years as a mechanic.
In his spare time, Fred enjoyed bailing hay with his sons for various customers over the years supplying quality hay at a more than affordable price when the weather cooperated. Fred was also a voluntary firefighter and Forest Fire Warden. Fred was also a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) in Winchester. Music was a strong connection in the family. His father was an avid spoons player. He played guitar in the Fire Department Band. He loved cajun music and after attending a cajun festival in Connecticut met the son of a Master Accordion Builder from New Orleans(Marc Savoy) and had one custom made for him which he was proud of and played from time to time either outside under the deck in the summer or in the comfort of his cellar. He also enjoyed nature, watching birds and even befriending a few chipmunks over the years after he gained their trust.
Mr. Benoit is survived by his beloved wife of 51 years, Mary E. Benoit of Winchester, their 2 children, Jeremy N. Benoit and his wife Laurel of Westmoreland, Joshua D. Benoit, his 9 siblings, Frances Ross of KY. Sophie Cousino of Walpole, Raymond Benoit of Keene, Jospeh Benoit of AZ. Dorothy Sullivan of Keene, Edmund Benoit, John Benoit of Winchester, David Benoit of Hinsdale, Carol Benoit of Manchester. He is also survived by his two grandchildren Autumn Benoit and Carter Benoit, along with many cousins, nieces, nephews, extended family and friends. He was predeceased by his parents and his brother Frank Benoit Jr. and his sister Debra Smart.
A graveside service with military honors will be held on Saturday, May 13, 2023, at 9 am in the family plot in Evergreen Cemetery, 60 Forest Lake Rd Winchester, NH. 03470. A gathering will follow at the Winchester VFW, 35 Main St. Winchester, NH. 03470. Although flowers will be gladly appreciated, the family has requested that all donations be made out to (St Jude’s Research Hospital).
All services are under the care of Cheshire Family Funeral Home and Crematories, 46 S. Winchester St. Swanzey, NH. 03446. www.cheshirefamilyfh.com.