Hundreds Turn Out for Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter's Funeral

"Hopefully, we can pick up the pieces and move forward," said acting Brockton Mayor Moises Rodrigues

Hundreds of people turned out Friday for the funeral of Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter, who died unexpectedly last week.

The funeral was held at 11 a.m. at Brockton High School.

Carpenter was pronounced dead July 3 after being found unresponsive in his car outside a school where he had just dropped off a family member for a summer program. No official cause of death has been released.

The 62-year-old Carpenter had undergone a heart procedure earlier this year, but returned to work and was planning to run for a fourth term as mayor in November.

Among those who attended the funeral were Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker.

"He was an old-fashioned guy, in every positive sense of that word. He was capable of adapting to what it meant to being an old fashioned person as the world changed," Baker said. "But in the end, what he was most of all was a son of Brockton and a champion."

The city of champions must now find a way to move on without the man who meant so much to so many.

"We have had an out pour of support coming from all over the place, but it's been difficult for us in the city. Hopefully, we can pick up the pieces and move forward," said acting Brockton Mayor Moises Rodrigues.

Carpenter's body lay in repose at Brockton City Hall on Thursday, as more than 1,000 mourners stopped by to say their goodbyes to the three-term mayor.

Dji Dji Montiero broke down in tears while standing in line. The Brockton resident said Carpenter was an advocate to her and the Cape Verdean community.

"I don’t know if he can be replaced in this city," Montiero said. “But Mayor Carpenter, we love you and thank you for your service.”

The mayor’s chief of staff said Carpenter’s legacy will live on in the projects he started, including new market rate housing and downtown development.

“It will be very easy to remember Bill. All you have to do is look around and see the progress he’s made and his legacy will be preserved,” Nick Giaquinto said.

Carpenter was a leader in fighting the opioid crisis. Those who knew him hope whoever takes over as mayor will continue his vision for Brockton.

“He wanted to help others. He was so selfless and he did it all with a smile,” said Darren Duarte, who used to work with the mayor.

“He was the best thing for Brockton,” family friend Linda Melchione added, “and he will be forever missed.”

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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