In Memoriam: William (Billy) R. Tavares, Jr.


The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution announces with great sorrow the death of retiree William (Billy) R. Tavares Jr., at Cape Cod Hospital from post surgical complications on October 24.  He was seventy-nine years old.

Billy was born and raised in Falmouth, Mass., and was one of five children of Guadalupe (Silva) and William Tavares, Sr.

Shortly after high school in 1954, he joined the air force where he served most of his four years in Greenland as a sergeant in the air police. Billy was always proud to have served his country.

After the service, he worked for H.V. Lawrence for years as a truck driver and heavy equipment operator. Later, he started an excavation business called T & M Excavation, but as the economy changed an opportunity arose to work at WHOI.  Billy started as a  casual part-time cleaner in 1974.  In 1975, he became a full time senior service assistant.  In 1977, he was promoted to assistant building services supervisor.  In 1978, he transferred to facilities and became a junior plant mechanic.  In 1980, he was promoted to assistant plant mechanic.  In 1981, he was promoted to vehicle mechanic.  He retired in 2000.

After retirement he worked part-time at the Woods Hole Golf Club as a greens keeper, a job he truly enjoyed, because he loved the outdoors.

He married the love of his life, Donna (Sofuolis), in July 1993, and they began traveling and enjoying life together. He spent a lot of time in the winter in Naples, Florida. In recent years he was blessed with the addition of his French bulldog, Sweetie. They were inseparable companions. Billy’s greatest joy and exercise was working in his yard which was kept perfectly manicured. Billy’s legacy will be the generosity and kindness he always showed by extending his help whenever friends and family were in need.

In addition to his wife, he leaves two brothers, Robert and Charles Tavares of East Falmouth, and his devoted and dearest friend, Mathew Costa - as well as many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brother, Donald Tavares, and his sister Barbara Tavares.

Visiting Hours will be from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m., on Wednesday, October 29, in the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, 475 Main Street, Falmouth Center.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m., on Thursday, October 30 in the Saint Anthony’s Church, 167 East Falmouth Highway, East Falmouth.

Burial is private.

Donations may also be made in memory of Billy to a charity of your choice.

Information for this obituary was taken from the Chapman Cole & Gleason website.


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