Family and Friends Say Goodbye to City Employee
Friends and family line up outside of the Duffy Poule Funeral Home to say goodbye to their dear friend, DeAnne Auclair
One by one family, friends and co-workers said goodbye to DeAnne Auclair and paid their respects to her family.
Auclair, who worked at City Hall as the executive secretary to the Mayor for the last 14 years, died suddenly early Wednesday morning.
The death of the 62-year-old Attleboro resident was a shock to co-workers who were returning to work the day after City Hall had been shut down because of a winter storm. Co-workers tried to go about their day, but the shock of her death made it difficult at best.
Mayor Kevin Dumas said he lost a dear friend, someone who gave her all to the residents of Attleboro.
Lois Barber, Auclair's younger sister said her sister made beautiful flower gardens and said she was a hard worker who always helped others.
"I am so amazed at how many people DeAnne has touched throughout her life, I am so proud of my sister, for all she has done, for me personally and for the City of Attleboro, and the rest of her family," Barber said.
Attleboro City Councilor Richard Conti, who has been friends with Auclair for nearly 15 years, said everyone at City Hall was taking her death very hard. "We are all a mess," he said. "It hit everybody hard because DeAnne was everywhere."
"I told her mother tonight that she raised one amazing human being and that tremendous good came from the human she spawned."
Conti shared a story of the last time he and Auclair were together and had a laugh over Auclair's age.
"I said to her 'the mayor's office is in a crisis everyday and you are always the first one in and the last one out." The two joked about how old Conti thought Auclair was and her actual age. "I said 'I didn't think at 62 you could have that much energy' and she reached across the table and gave me a hug and a kiss."
Auclair, who was in the most stressful moment in any given day, always made time for people, according to Conti. " I'd poke my head in and say 'you got a minute' and the answer was always yes."
While Auclair will leave a gaping hole in the hearts of family and friends, her absence will be greatly felt on the second floor of City Hall.
"Mayor Kevin Dumas has a gaping hole to fill in his office," Conti said. "Kevin is one man and this is a big city. The mayor has to do something quickly."
"Not just anybody can do that job," he added. "DeAnne knew where all the buttons were in that city and a tremendous amount of cerebral knowledge disappeared with her."
A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday at the Duffy-Poule Funeral Home. Burial is private.
City Hall will be closed until noon so that employees can attend the funeral service.