BENSON – Polly Barefoot Salinetti, 81, formerly of Buies Creek, died on Thursday, December 9, 2021 at her home surrounded by her family. Polly was born on October 6, 1940 in Sampson County to the late Simon and Flonnie Westbrook Barefoot. She was also predeceased by her son, Michael Joseph Salinetti; brothers, Roy Harper Barefoot and Larry Barefoot; sister Rebecca Steed; and grandson, Martin A Garza.

Polly graduated in 1958 from Hobbton High School in Newton Grove. After high school, she moved to Washington, DC, where she worked in the accounting department of the Arlington Trust bank and where she met and married the love of her life, Richard, on January 2, 1960. From Washington, DC, the couple moved to Richard’s hometown of Lee, Massachusetts, and for the next 30 years Polly cared for the couple’s four children, was involved in the community, made wonderful lifelong friends and, somewhere in there, found time to attend culinary school. She took pride in having a spotless home, always having coffee ready in case the girls came and, although a Southern Baptist, made sure that she and her children attended Catholic Sunday Mass in the ‘time.

Polly and Richard continued to own and operate the Lee Men’s Club for over 20 years, where its cuisine and personality were cherished by local patrons. In 1993 the couple moved to Buies Creek where they operated the Front Street Café in Lillington for 17 years. The couple first retired in 2001. After becoming restless in retirement, they purchased the historic Front Street Inn Bed & Breakfast in Wilmington and have hosted thousands of satisfied guests from around the world. Through all the years in business together, Polly always led Richard to believe he was in charge but, of course, everyone knew better! The couple retired in 2017 and moved to their country home in Benson to be closer to their daughter and grandchildren. Despite all of her accomplishments, Polly always reminded people that her greatest joy in life was her children and grandchildren.

Polly is survived by her husband of 61 years, Erminio Richard “Dick” Salinetti; son, Richard Salinetti and wife Rali of Tucson, Arizona, and Christopher Salinetti of Henderson, Nevada; her daughter Rebecca Salinetti Wise and her husband Mike of Dunn; brothers, Simon Wayne Barefoot of Knoxville, Tennessee, and Glenn Barefoot of Bristol, Virginia; sister, Dixie Britton of Clinton; seven grandchildren, Diana Clark, Richard “Joey” Salinetti, Thomas Salinetti (his mother Suzanne), Gaby Salinetti (his mother Melissa Condron), Aubrie Wise and Austin Wise; and six great-grandchildren.

A funeral service was held at 11 a.m. on Monday, December 13 at Mary’s Chapel, 2311 Keener Road, Clinton, with the Reverend David Willis. Interment will be private. The family received friends an hour before the church service.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to St. Jude: ALSAC / St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or online:

Arrangements are made by Skinner & Smith Funeral Home of Dunn.

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