In Our Care


William Robert VanVoast

02/18/1948 - 11/01/2021

William Robert VanVoast

02/18/1948 - 11/01/2021


Obituary For William Robert VanVoast

William Robert Van Voast, 73, of Bristol, RI, passed away peacefully with his family at his side on Monday, November 1, 2021 at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence.
He was the husband of Paula Ann (Piccirilli) Van Voast.
Born in Fall River, MA, he was the son of the late Donald W. and Victoria I. (Mansi) Van Voast.
Mr. Van Voast was the owner and operator of Van's Electric from 1989 until the present. He was a Communicant of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church. He had also worked at Carol Cable in Lincoln and at Kaiser Aluminum in Portsmouth as a supervisor for many years, but his greatest passion was serving the town he called home with dedicated volunteer service with the Bristol Fire Department in active capacity for over 50 years attaining the rank of Deputy Chief. He was inspired by his mother Victoria who was a charter member of the Ladies Auxiliary and his dad Donald who was a charter member of Engine 4 Fog Squad and Captain of the Dreadnaught Hook and Ladder Company #1. He was a life member of the Defiance Hose Company #1 currently serving as clerk, an active member of Engine 4 Fog Squad, a life member of the RI State Firefighter's league receiving their highest award of Firefighter of the year, was a life member of Fire Police attaining the rank of captain and was currently serving as secretary/treasurer. He was a life member of Fireman's Memorial and Welfare Committee attaining status of chairman twice to lead the memorial parade currently serving as secretary/treasurer and was a very active part of making the Fireman's Memorial Sunday services happen every year. He was also over a 40-year member of the Muster and Water Battle Committee, a 1041 and 1403 certified classroom and live fire Firefighter instructor. He received the Vicki Van Voast award for his dedication to the department and was currently secretary of the Colt Memorial Ambulance Fund. He served to support countless clam boil fundraisers over the years from Defiance Hose Company #1, Old Timers Bristol Fire, Engine 4, RI Fire Chiefs annual and Sons of Italy. His dedication to the department and Town of Bristol over the years was so far and wide words do not exist to fully explain the person he was to offer any help he could to anyone at any time in which credit also needs to be given to his wife Paula of nearly 50 years for supporting him for all he was involved in and all he was able to attain in his lifetime.
Besides his wife, he is survived by two sons, Donald Van Voast and his wife Stephanie of Bristol, RI, and Eric Van Voast and his wife Nicole of Coventry, RI, and four grandchildren, Giovanni, Victoria, Jaxon, and Carter.
Arrangements are by Smith Funeral & Memorial Services, 8 Schoolhouse Rd., Warren, where friends will be received on Friday, November 5, 2021, from 4-8PM in the funeral home.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, November 6, 2021, at 9AM, from Smith Funeral & Memorial Services, 8 Schoolhouse Rd., Warren, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10AM, in Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, 141 State St., Bristol.
Burial will take place in North Burial Ground, Hope St., Bristol
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Bristol Firefighters Memorial and Welfare Committee, 4 Annawamscutt Dr., Bristol, RI, 02809.
Information/On-Line condolences please visit-

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  • Paula and family, Please accept our sincere condolences of your dear husband Billy's passing. He was so loved by so many people in Bristol and other communities. Our prayers are with you Paula and family for strength and comfort at this time. Sincerely, Paula & Emilio Volpicelli

  • I'm at a loss expressing all my thoughts about Billy's passing. I recall our families had businesses across the street from each other. I remember going to see Santa at the original Van's, which was across the street from my parent's business at the corner of Wood and State streets. And the basket- ball games in the back lot of present-day Van's during the mid-60s. Steve Grimo, Billy and I would always reminisce about those games of 55 years ago. Billy was always there for others, involving himself in Fire Department and charitable events. He will be our thoughts always. Mike and Nancy Gibbemeyer

  • My sincere condolences to the VanVoast family. My thoughts and heartfelt support are with you. Bill was my electrician. He always was kind and professional. ~ Linda Coleman

  • Paula, I wish to send my deepest sympathy to you and your family.May Bill rest in peace. Dolores Grey

  • i was saddened by this news, i worked on a few jobs for bill , he was always a gentleman to work sure he was the same at home sorry for your loss. rest in paradise bill. your high voltage friends

  • Paula and family, We are so very sorry to hear of the passing of Billy. Although we can't attend the services for Billy, please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time and for the hard times ahead. Elizabeth & David Patton

  • I'm so sad reading about Billy's passing. My sincere condolences to his family and friends. We were in the same grade from Kindergarten at Mt. Carmel School right through high school at Colt Memorial. My deepest sympathies to his family. Goodbye Billy - Rest In Peace now in heaven. Georgette Emmel Dudley

  • We were so shocked and sorry to read about Bill's passing. He was the best guy in all aspects - he will be missed. Though we only knew Bill professionally as our electrician (along with Chris), our condolences and prayers go out to his family. Donna and Ted August

  • Dear Paula and family Bills passing was a big shock to me,he was a gentle Giant and very dedicated to what ever he did . He always treated me as a grandfather and i will always keep him in my prayers Paul and Ann D' Amicol

  • Bristol has sadly lost one of its best EVER citizen volunteers. There was never a need in town where Billy did not respond. His mild compassion, self-effacing demeanor and community-mindedness leaves a legacy that will live on in the hearts and minds of many. RIP Billy VanVoast DeWolf Fulton

  • My sincere condolences to the VanVoast family. I will never forget the respect and kindness he showed to my father, the late Arthur P. Sousa. Sincerely, Sharon (Sousa) Wollschlager

  • I send my deepest sympathy to all of Bill's family. As my 'electrician' he helped me at Sea Side Nursery School on countless occasions. I will always remember his kindness, his wit and his wonderful and joyful nature. Blessings to him on his next adventure !

  • Such a great man! Billy we will miss you. God Bless. Bob Sousa

  • I would like to express my deepest sympathy to Paula, Donald, Eric and the rest of Bill's family on his passing. He was a wonderful man truly dedicated to his family, and the Town of Bristol with his many years of service to the Fire Department. He was also very generous with his time and I can attest to that for the number of years I served as OLMC Feast Chairman, I could always count on Bill to do all of the electrical work under the tent. I considered him a friend and will always fondly remember his dry sense of humor. May He Rest in Peace, Amen.

  • Paula, Donny, Eric and family, there are no words to express the great loss we are feeling on the passing of Billy. What a terrible loss to his family and the entire town of Bristol, especially the Defiance Family. We know that he is now in his special place in Heaven with his Mom and Dad. May he now rest in peace!

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