WARREN, R.I.— William A. Zanghi, 70, of Hanley Farm Lane, passed away peacefully at home on Jan. 2, 2006, surrounded by his loving family. He was the devoted husband for 49 years of Barbara E. (Leonard) Zanghi.
Born in Providence, R. I., on June 6, 1936, he was a son of the late Catherine V. (Keegan) and Michael Zanghi. He lived in Warren for 10 years, Barrington, R.I., for 23 years and Riverside, R.I., for 13 years.
In his early years, he attended the Tyler School in Providence, where he performed yearly in their renowned minstrel shows. He loved to perform, sing and dance from an early age.
As a young boy, he was a communicant of the Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral in Providence, where he also performed in the Pelican Youth Choir.
As a teen, he worked as an usher at the Majestic Theater, now the Trinity Rep Theater. There he met his wife, Barbara, who was a candy girl. Their 45th wedding anniversary was celebrated at Trinity Rep.
His introduction to the theater was in 1961, when he joined the Barrington Players and performed the role of Will in "Oklahoma."
Entering the U.S. Navy in 1953, he served four years and attended multiple schools before he was assigned to ordinance in VA 75 aboard the aircraft carrier Hornet C.V.A.-12.
Following the Navy, he attended evening school at the Rhode Island School of Design. He was an astute student who excelled in design and mold-making. He worked for Davol, where he created the attachment design for the first disposable razor.
He was instrumental in leading the company to convert from using all rubber materials to plastics. Later, he began his own plastics manufacturing company, inventing and producing products such as the Lucite picture cube; the first method that produced wood-plastic used in picture frames; the first plastic insulation gun model for Sperry-Rand; the first seamless bulb-and-barrel syringe for use in surgery; and a bladder bag made with a new type of silicone.
He was formerly the vice president of the Welcon/Accorde company, and he was founder and president of WAZ Industries, a medical manufacturing company. He was a member of the Plastic Engineering Society.
Mr. Zanghi was also a member of the Barrington Yacht Club, the Elks Club and the Squantum Association. His hobbies included building a tree house for grandsons in Connecticut, and helping his neighbors and family, for whom he was always happily fixing things.
An avid golfer, he was a member of the Rhode Island Country Club since 1984. As recently as Nov. 11, he had a hole-in-one at the Agawam Country Club on the second hole; his friend Tony Paolino awarded him a trophy. His doctor said, "God gave him a miracle."
The year 2006 was a trying one, he said, and he prayed for an hour every morning. His friends sent him books, brought him religious articles from their travels, and even soil in small containers from places where miracles had occurred. He made his peace with God and felt truly blessed by his family and friends.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by four children, William L. Zanghi of Cranston, R.I., Christopher E. Zanghi of Barrington, Kelly Zanghi-Clark of Lakeville and Victoria Zanghi-Brown of Riverside; eight grandchildren; five brothers and sisters, John W. Zanghi of Cranston, Lucille R. Zanghi-Dow of Brookline, Mass., Michael R. Zanghi of Worchester, Mass., Robert J. Zanghi of Brookline and Jeffery T. Zanghi of Rutland, Mass.
He was predeceased by his sisters Pauline Shoemaker and Marjorie Mantius.
His funeral was held Jan. 6 from the W. Raymond Watson Funeral Home in Riverside.
A Mass of Christian burial was held at St. Mary of the Bay Church in Warren. Burial was at Princess Hill Cemetery in Barrington.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to the SPCA, 186 Amaral St., Riverside, RI 02915; or Rhode Island Hospital, 593 Eddy St., Providence, RI 02903.