January 26, 2021

Seekonk World War Two Veteran Passes

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Dave Humphrey, one of the town’s few remaining World War Two veterans, passed away Monday, December 7th, a day which also marked the 79th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Humphrey, 95, joined the US Army at the age of 15 and was sent to Italy, where he served in the 15th Infantry, Third Division Army. 

Humphrey received a Purple Heart for wounds sustained on the battlefield.

At last year’s Seekonk Veterans’ Day ceremony, Humphrey was recognized by town and state officials for his military service.

Humphrey and his late wife, Lillian, raised four children. Humphrey became a champion racer at Seekonk Speedway, where he competed for several years.

“I drove everything,” Humphrey told the Reporter in 2019. “Midgets, spread cars, stock cars, three quarter midgets. It was just something I liked, that’s all. When I got out of the service, Seekonk Speedway was opening. I saw those guys (racing) and said ‘that’s what I want to do.’”

Humphrey gained national recognition when he started racing midget cars. He won his last midget race in 1986 at the age of 61. In total, he won 72 Northeastern Midget Association feature events, and six NEMA driving championships.

In 2016, Humphrey was inducted into the Seekonk Speedway’s Hall of Fame. He had been a member of the NEMA Hall of Fame.

Humphrey is survived by his children Steven Humphrey, his wife Maria of East Providence, RI, Betty Schifino-Cotoia of Pawtucket, RI, MaryLee Humphrey of Seekonk, MA with whom he lived and Susan Young of van Nuys, CA. His grandchildren, David Schifino, Kim Schifino, Heather Cotoia, Sheila Zuccarello and Jake Young.

Services with military honors and burial at Gate of Heaven Cemetery will be private.

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