A fond farewell – Community says goodbye to Ward 1 City Councillor

James “Jim” Kimmerle loved being a member of the Revere City Council. Elected in 2007 and re-elected in 2009 to represent Ward 1, Mr. Kimmerle reached out to assist residents across the entire city, all the while emerging as a community leader who was respected and admired by all in city government with whom he served.

So it was fitting that Ward 3 Councilor Arthur Guinasso delivered the eulogy for Mr. Kimmerle at the Funeral Mass Friday morning at the Immaculate Conception Church.

A day earlier, people from all walks of life came to Vazza’s Beechwood Funeral Home to the honor the life of Mr. Kimmerle, who died on February 14 after a brave fight against a serious illness. He was 56.

Before a large throng of Mr. Kimmerle’s family, friends, and government officials, including Mayor Thomas Ambrosino, State Rep. Kathi Reinstein, city councillors and School Committee members, Guinasso gave an eloquent, heartfelt and touching tribute to his friend and esteemed colleague.

“It’s a trying time for all of us – we lost a special human being,” Guinasso said. “He reached our hearts like no other. I can only say that I was very privileged to have the opportunity to have Jim Kimmerle as a friend and a colleague. He was just one wonderful guy.”

Guinasso spoke of the strong bond that Mr. Kimmerle had with his father, Robert E. Kimmerle, of Revere.

“He absolutely idolized, as he referred to him, the salt of the earth, his dad,” said Guinasso. “He just thought the world of you and he said on many occasions how he considered you as a great person, and one that he took his advice from.”

Guinasso recalled his regular lunches with Mr. Kimmerle and how he cherished his role as a city councillor and being in a position to help others in the community.

“Jim Kimmerle absolutely loved his job as a ward councilor,” Guinasso told the gathering. “He told me, ‘I want one thing to be known, I just don’t represent Beachmont – I was born and brought up in Beachmont,’ but he wanted people to know that he was there to represent the whole entire ward.”

Guinasso related how Mr. Kimmerle enjoyed spending time at Dunkin’ Donuts conversing with friends about the issues of the day, often times in animated discussions.

“I asked Jimmy, ‘what’d you have for breakfast this morning – an argument?’ “They did more bickering but there was camaraderie – and that’s the type of thing he enjoyed.”

Kimmerle had many friends who enjoyed his company and who were graced to have spent time with him socially.

“This kind of friendship is hard to replace,” said Guinasso. “He was such a warm kid. I think it’s so unfair at the age of 56 to leave this earth and go on to greater pastures. I know the loss that all of you have experienced is hard to replace. He had so many, many dear friends.”

Guinasso specifically mentioned Mr. Kimmerle’s friendship with Tom and Joyce Feeley – “He would share the warmth and love of Tom Feeley and Joyce Feeley and the great cooking that she did,” said Guinasso.

“Jim Kimmerle opened his heart to everybody and everybody opened their heart to him,” said Guinasso. “So many people came to pay their respects and I heard them say, “I absolutely loved him and that sums up pretty well Jim Kimmerle. People absolutely loved him and certainly I loved him and everyone in my family loved him and I’m sure everybody in your family loved him because that’s the type of guy he was.”

Guinasso concluded his remarks with a beautiful poem in which he said that Mr. Kimmerle’s legacy of being kind and gracious to others would live on in people’s hearts forever.

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