PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Mourners lined up for a second day Sunday to say farewell to former Providence Mayor Vincent “Buddy” Cianci.
Lines formed at City Hall, where Cianci’s body was positioned – outside of the office he held for more than 21 years. His casket was adorned with red roses.
Those responsible for ushering people through the building told Eyewitness News that more than 7,000 people turned out to say goodbye to Cianci this weekend.
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Robert Jones, a Vietnam veteran, said he was Buddy’s driver in the 1970s and 80s.
“He called me Bobby,” he said.
According to Jones, he was driving Buddy one day to see Governor Garrahy and the Press Corps. He said he was having family issues at the time, and became choked up in the car. That’s when Buddy told him to pull over.
“He said, ‘what’s the problem?’ And I told him the story and everything else. We spent like 20 minutes on the side of Doyle Avenue,” Jones explained. “The whole State of Rhode Island had to wait for me. He says, ‘Look, anything I can do to help you – no problem.’ And he did. He was a great guy.”
Michelle Carvajal travelled the rope line, too. She said Buddy once helped get a friend and her family housing after a bad fire.
“[He] put them up in a new apartment, as well as donating for them to find food and new clothing,” she said. “The things that he did for the city, despite what everyone else says – it’s just, you can’t compare him.”
State Senator Paul Jabour ran as an independent against the Prince of Providence back in 1994.
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“He would always say, ‘I thank you for your civility, Paul.’ And I would say to him, ‘Mayor, that’s all part of the process,'” he explained.
Many say Cianci was responsible for helping Providence turn a corner and come into the light. But the forecast for Cianci’s funeral Monday is snow.
Jabour said it’s an appropriate metaphor for Cianci’s life.
“That’s the two sides, the sun and the storm,” he said. “The good Lord’s looking over him now.”
Eyewitness News has learned that some of the pieces for Cianci’s funeral service Monday will be moved into place a little bit earlier than expected due to the weather.
RIPTA routes detoured for Cianci’s funeral
Twelve bus routes will be detoured and bus stops relocated to accommodate the funeral procession for Cianci Monday morning.
The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority says the procession will affect Routes 1, 3, 6, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 30, 31, 92 and the R-Line.
They will be rerouted to avoid the area from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m.