Obituaries

Philip J. Baroni

Jun 16th, 2022

Philip J. Baroni
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It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of Philip Joseph Baroni, 83, of Dennis, MA. Philip passed away peacefully on June 16, 2022 surrounded by his loving family.

Philip exuded enthusiasm and a love of life. He adored his wife, Rachel, whom he called “Bride,” and was incredibly proud of his six children and 16 grandchildren. He inspired others in his generosity of spirit and giving nature. He showed his undying love for family through his enormous heart and ways of bringing everyone together. Phil was a man of abundance: abundant love, abundant energy, abundant family gatherings.

Philip was born in Brockton, MA, on May 31, 1939 and grew up in Bridgewater, MA. He was hard working, strong minded, and an entrepreneur through and through. He enthusiastically recounted his adventures as a nine-year-old, filling his red wagon full of Coca Cola, pulling it to local baseball games, and selling for a profit. And that was just the beginning. Before he could drive, he started scrap metal and trucking businesses. Business was a lifelong passion.

Phil was a proud member of the Boy Scouts, participating in nationwide jamborees, and eventually completed his Eagle Scout project. After graduating from Thayer Academy, he studied at Bentley University. At nineteen years old, he opened The Lobster Dory restaurant on Cape Cod and soon after Holiday Hill drive-in ice cream and burger bar and miniature golf course.

While operating his restaurants on the Cape, Phil met the love of his life, Rachel. Rachel was so special Phil broke his own rule of no dating employees. Phil and Rachel were married on October 10, 1964 and were blessed with six wonderful children.

In addition to the restaurants, Phil founded Baroni Motor Transportation, Drive-O-Rama, and Mill Stores. At the height of his career, he operated fourteen stores across five states. Notably, it wasn’t just about business. Phil cared about his employees and their families.

Full of energy, Phil did not limit himself to work and family. Until his passing, he was an active member of the Harwich-Dennis Rotary Club and the Boy Scouts, just two of the many clubs, organizations and committees he gladly served. He gave his time and donated generously to Saint Pius X church, the Cape Playhouse, and Tony Kent ice arena. As a devout Catholic, one of his most heartfelt accomplishments was being an organizational and fundraising force enabling the founding of the Saint Pius X School, where some of his grandchildren spent their formative years. Phil rarely missed a mass and once drove through a blizzard, at the age of 80, to attend–one of the only two parishioners present.

Beyond work and community, Phil cherished his dogs, trips to St. Croix, vacationing with his wife, children, and grandchildren, and enjoying the company of his many friends on the island. And the Ice Cream Smuggler. He gave his dogs equal parts love and ice cream. It would be fair to conclude that he saw them as one and the same.

Phil was predeceased by his parents, Hugo and Mary Baroni as well as his brother, John Baroni, and sister Barbara Fritz. He is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Rachel; sister Carol Williams; daughter Ann Fox and husband Jon; daughter Sarah Phaneuf and husband Eric; son Joseph Baroni and wife Sonja; son Anthony Baroni and wife Kim; son Michael Baroni and wife Allyson; daughter Elizabeth Lops and husband Chris; and his beloved grandchildren. He is also survived by a multitude of loving cousins, nieces and nephews.

Visiting hours will be held at St. Pius X Church in South Yarmouth, MA on Wednesday, June 22 from 4pm–7pm. A funeral mass will be celebrated at St. Pius X, 5 Barbara St. S. Yarmouth on Thursday, June 23 at 11am, followed by a burial at Dennis Village Cemetery, Dennis. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Harwich-Dennis Rotary Club an organization that services people in need. Donations may be addressed to Harwich-Dennis Rotary Club PO Box 188, So. Dennis, MA 02660. https://harwichdennisrotary.org

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