Former Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci was laid to rest Monday. Scores of people turned out for Cianci’s funeral. Cianci died January 28th at age 74.
A one-time political foe who became a close friend of Buddy Cianci, former mayor Joe Palino, delivered Cianci’s eulogy at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul. Paolino says Cianci showed remarkable resilience in his life.
“Every time he suffered a tragedy, trials, tribulations or tears, he got back up,” said Paolino. “He had the tenacity to go against the establishment when it was necessary. He wanted to define himself.”
During the service, the Father Bernard Healey likened Cianci to the first Italian-American mayor of New York City, Fiorello La Guardia.
“It was La Guardia who once said, ‘It makes no difference if I burn my bridges behind me – I never retreat.’ I think that captures Mayor Cianci in his grand quest to build a better city, to build a better city here in Providence,” said Cianci.
In remembering Cianci, a priest said the former mayor should not be defined by his faults.
With a total of more than 21 years in office, Cianci was the longest serving mayor in Providence history. He is remembered both for helping to improve Providence, and for the felony convictions that twice forced him from office.