Community mourns R.I. assistant chief gunned down off-duty
Warren Fire Department Assistant Chief Brian Remy, 66, was shot and killed at the Italian American Club
The Providence Journal
WARREN — Waiting in the line that stretched along three sides of the funeral home, Joe Morris, 67, shared some memories of his friend and neighbor since childhood, Brian Remy, 66, who was shot to death last Thursday.
"He was just a good old friend," Morris said. He remembered Remy from when they built forts in the woods and swung on Tarzan swings. "He was always nice to me," Morris said. "I feel terrible about it," he said of the shooting that killed his lifelong friend and injured another patron when a third patron left the Italian American Club after an argument and returned with a weapon.
"If I know Brian, he probably got in the middle of a fight to break it up. That's the kind of guy he was," Morris said. "To keep the peace. He was a peacemaker." Remy was always ready to organize a drive or put on a clambake if the chief relayed that someone in the community had a need.
"I feel bad that he was in his golden years," Morris said, as the line moved a few steps forward. "He had just started to enjoy his hard-earned money."
Tom Drainville, 72, stopped on his way home from the visitation, saying he had known Remy his whole life. The day before Remy died, Drainville said, they'd had a beer together at the bar of the same club, only the second time Drainville had been inside. "We're just sitting there, having a good time, talking about old times."
"It's just something that you would never expect in a small town like this."
He said he felt the same the day of the wake as he'd felt when he first heard. "It's horrible. Life's too short. Too short. Live each day like it's your last, because it could be. It was for Brian."
Large and somber procession
Promptly at 6:30 p.m., Remy's fellow firefighters marched in dress uniforms and tight formation from a nearby parking lot to their appointed time with the family and their friend, who was also in uniform.
A larger procession of first responders from all over the state who gathered to honor Remy and all who serve was to march through town to Central Fire Headquarters on Joyce Street. The procession was organized by Lincoln volunteer firefighter Aaron Gallucci, founder of First Responder Angels, an organization he formed to recognize heroes and their families.
Remy will be buried at St. Jean the Baptiste Cemetery on Vernon Street after a funeral Mass on Thursday at St. Mary of the Bay Church, 645 Main St.
The family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, remembrances be in the form of contributions to the Brian Remy Scholarship Fund at Roger Williams University. Contributions can be made by navigating to www.rwu.edu/give/remyscholarship
More information can be found at the Smith Funeral & Memorial Services website, https://www.wjsmithfh.com.