Philip D. Panciera

February 22, 1934 ~ January 14, 2021 (age 86)


Philip D. Panciera of Westerly, RI passed away peacefully at his home, at the age of 86, on Thursday January 14, 2021, from lung cancer, after a full life of love of family and friends.

After attending Westerly Schools, Phil worked for his dad at Panciera Motors. Phil was drafted into the Army during the Korean Conflict, returned from the service in 1955 and married the former Sara “ Sally” Dawley. Phil was predeceased by his parents, Ernest and Irene (Lanphere) Panciera.

Surviving Phil is his wife Sally of 65 years, two children, Ernest C. Panciera and Kathryn Rathgaber (Donald) , five grandchildren pf whom he was so proud, Shawn, Scott and Ryan (Fiancée Rachel) Rathgaber, Rachel Machado (Matt) and Kyle Panciera (Elizabeth) and four great grandchildren; Luke Machado, Teagan and Maverick Panciera and Brielle Rathgaber. Also, surviving Phil is a sister Sally (Panciera) Buzzi, two nieces and brother-in-law Raymond Dawley.

Phil worked for local auto dealerships as a Master Technician and salesman. He realized his dream of having his own business when he opened Panciera’s Auto Repair in 1991. Phil always said he looked forward to going to work. He belonged to many car clubs including Westerly Pawcatuck AACA, National Antique Auto Club of America and Studebaker Clubs.

Phil enjoyed working on antique autos, owning and restoring them and collecting automobilia. Phil was also a fan of racing. He spent many happy times in Arizona with his life-long friend, Bill Knowles attending auto auctions and races.

At a very special event in August 2017, Phil was honored for his 60 years as Chief Engineer of the Misquamicut Fire Department with a new fire truck dedicated to him.

In October 2018, Phil went on the “Honor Flight” to Washington DC for veterans.
Mr. Panciera was a member of the United Congregational Church of Westerly, where he served as a Trustee for many years.

Memorial donations in Phil’s memory may be made to the United Congregational Church, 9 Castle Hill Rd, Pawcatuck, CT 06379.

Funeral service and burial with full military honors will be private.

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