Clyde Thomas Jr. worked for the city of Boston for 31 years before he finally retired in 2002.
Standing in line yesterday with hundreds of mourners on Beacon Hill to pay respect to former Mayor Kevin White, Thomas recalled how the renowned city leader helped launch that career.
“[White] opened the door for me and for a lot of people in Boston,” said Thomas. Thomas was hired in the 1970s as an aide to Clarence “Jeep” Jones, the first black Deputy Mayor of Boston, appointed by White.
“Mayor White definitely had an impact on Boston that can still be seen even today,” said Thomas.
The line outside White’s wake at the Parkman House stretched along the fence of the State House. It was a testament to a man who successfully lead the city out of some of its most tumultuous times.
Quincy resident Ron Iacobucci recalled White as “a great man” that “did a lot for the city.”
“He brought the government closer to the people,” said Iacobucci, who worked with White for four years as part of the former mayor’s “Little City Hall” program.
“He was a great boss,” he said.
Norman Herr, 77, also had fond memories of White being personable with the people of Boston.
Herr said he still had a handwritten letter sent from White dating back 40 years.
“He gave you a chance to talk to him,” said Herr. “That’s just the way he was.”
White, 82, passed away Friday in his Beacon Hill home.
There will be a procession beginning at 10 a.m. today traveling through Downtown.
The service will begin on Beacon Street at the Parkman House.
The path will then cruise through the city, pausing briefly at a statue dedicated to White in front of Faneuil Hall.
Mourners will then head toward Mt. Vernon Street where there will be another pause at the White family residence.
The procession will end on Belvidere Street in front of St. Cecilia’s Church for a funeral Mass. The public is welcome.
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