EAST GREENWICH — Every two weeks throughout the calendar year, Town Council president Michael Isaacs would always see his comrade, Henry V. Boezi, to his left while conducting normal business within a particular Town Council meeting.
On Monday, Isaacs looked to his left, but unfortunately saw an empty seat and had he, along with the other members of the East Greenwich Town Council – and the Town, itself, for that matter – had just as empty of a feeling within.
Boezi, who served the Town of East Greenwich in multiple forms, including residing as Town Council vice president, passed away on Saturday at the age of 69. Boezi was completing his fourth term on the Council and had a 32-year career as the assistant town engineer for East Greenwich prior to his retirement almost a decade ago.
“He was a dedicated servant, a colleague, a sports enthusiast and a friend,” Isaacs said, reflecting on the late Council vice president whom he was associated with for eight years in office prior to Monday’s meeting in Town Hall. “The Town of East Greenwich extends our deepest sympathies and condolences to his family.”
Isaacs lauded Boezi’s eagerness to look out for the best interests of the taxpayers of East Greenwich, saying he was always willing to do what was right.
“Henry touched the lives of a myriad of residents, between coaching Little League, students at our schools, colleagues in government, family and friends,” he said.
Boezi also was a regular substitute teacher in both the North Kingstown and Coventry school departments and had a pivotal role in shaping the school system within East Greenwich.
“Henry knew this town,” Councilman Michael Kiernan said. “Henry was a champion for schools and kids. It’s obvious that he was embedded into education. It’s kind of difficult to sit here without him in that seat. He was a true professional and a wonderful guy.”
Boezi was the husband of the late Theresa L. (Stockwin) Boezi, whom they had six children with. Born in Providence, he was the son of the late Domenico and Mary S. (Russo) Boezi. Boezi and his wife settled into East Greenwich 35 years ago in the home they built together. Along with his children, Boezi is also survived by three grandchildren.
He graduated from Syracuse University and Wentworth Institute of Technology and also received his Master’s degree in Education from Roger Williams University in 2003. Boezi was also an avid sports fan, rooting for both the New York Yankees and the Boston Celtics and always had spirited conversations with fellow Council members about sports, especially since he coached Little League for a period of time.
“I really enjoyed talking sports with him,” Town Solicitor Peter Clarkin said. “He was just a wonderful, nice man and I will certainly miss him.”
“One of his sons and my son played Little League ball together,” Town Manager William Sequino said in his reflection of Boezi, who got to know Sequino back in 1988. “My condolences certainly go out to Henry’s family in this time.”
Councilman Jeffrey Cianciolo said that even when Boezi wasn’t in the best of health for the last two Council meetings – his last being on July 9 – he saw Boezi have tremendous enthusiasm just knowing he was serving the town as he did when he first was elected to the Council.
A Mass of Christian Burial for Boezi will be held Thursday at 10 a.m. at St. Francis de Sales Church, located on School Street in North Kingstown, where family, friends and colleagues will pay homage one last time to a man who spent more than half his life serving the Town of East Greenwich with a smile on his face.
“I will miss Henry,” Isaacs concluded. “His colleagues on the Town Council will miss Henry. The Town of East Greenwich will miss Henry.”