William Joseph Rehill Sr., 91, of Mansfield, MA (formerly of Foxboro), passed away peacefully on Jan. 10, 2023 at the Brockton VA Medical Care Unit.
Born in West Roxbury on Oct. 6, 1931, he was the loving son of the late Margaret (Dwyer) and Edward W. Rehill.
Bill grew up in Jamaica Plain and the Mission Hill section of Roxbury. He graduated from Mission Church High School in 1951 and enlisted in the United States Air Force. He proudly spent four years serving his country as an airborne radio operator and was stationed in Texas and Okinawa, Japan. Spending time in Texas allowed him to reconnect with long lost family members and start a life-long obsession with Lone Star beer. Japan and the Japanese culture held a special place in his heart and the many mementos he brought back from Japan have become family heirlooms that will continue to be passed down though the ages.
Upon his honorable discharge, Bill began his lifelong passion for educating young minds. Bill earned his bachelor’s degree from Suffolk University and his Master’s in Education from Bridgewater University. He began his teaching profession in 1962 in Dedham and then became a 7th grade math teacher at the John J. Ahern Middle School. He also spent many years filming the Foxboro High School football games as well as being a professional photographer. He was a regular contributor to the Foxboro Reporter for many years (Photo by Bill Rehill) and FPS year books as well as teaching photography during FPS summer school programs.
He taught driver’s education with the Foxboro school system before creating “Bill Rehills Auto Driving School” in 1982. His is widely remembered as the BEST driver education teacher, and he will live in infamy for being the first driving instructor to take every one of his students into Boston so they could learn how to drive on the highway and in the city. He often communicated with his students, whether it was at the local donut shop or local events, and he often received cards and letters from his students. Bill had the privilege of participating in the Honor Flight in 2019 where he received over 125 cards and letters from his students and at the age of 88, sat down and wrote everyone back to thank them for their kindness. Bill retired from his business in 2002 at which time his son, Bill Rehill Jr. took over the driving school that continues to operate successfully today.
If you knew Bill, then you knew he had a big heart, loved all flowers and was an avid outdoorsman — his favorite past times included biking, camping, kayaking, ice skating. For many years, you could easily find Bill on his bicycle with a pair of ice skates strapped across his back so he could stop and skate on his way to work. He treasured his time playing cribbage with his many friends at the Foxboro COA, including best friends Paul Gookin, Joan Stafford and Faye Sullivan. He was also an active member of the “Over the Hill” gang where he made many long-lasting friendships. Bill lived in Mansfield for the past 20+ years and will miss his many friends at Park Street.
Bill was predeceased by his late wife Mary (Molineaux), his brother Edward W. Rehill Jr., Mary (Rehill) Papineau, Peggy (Rehill) Glennon. Loving father of William J. Rehill, Jr., James Rehill, and his wife Carolyn (Ruhl), Janice (Rehill) Cahill and her husband Jim all of Foxboro, and Judi (Rehill) Crisileo and her husband Jeff of Norton. Loving grandfather of James W. Rehill, Daniel J. Rehill and his wife Tonya, Kristina Cochrane, Elizabeth Rehill and her partner Chris Abdou, and Kaitlyn Cochrane and her partner Caleb Dyer. Loving great-grandfather of Lorenzo James Abdou. His is also survived by many cousins, nieces, and nephews including his favorite niece, Diane Papineau.
The Rehill family would like to thank everyone at the Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury and Brockton VA campuses for their kindness, compassion, and care.
Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend calling hours on Tuesday, Jan. 17, from 4 to 7 p.m., at the Roberts and Sons Funeral Home, 30 South St., Foxboro. A funeral mass will be held on Jan. 18, at 10 a.m., at St. Mary’s Church, 58 Carpenter St., Foxboro. Interment will immediately follow at St, Mary’s Cemetery. To send an online condolence, please visit the funeral home website at www.robertsandsonsfuneralhome.com.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Bill’s memory may be made to the VA Boston Healthcare System. Pay.gov — VA New England Healthcare Network : VISN 1 Donation Form.