The outpouring from all neighborhoods of the Revere community on Monday and Tuesday when former Mayor and President of the City Council Robert ‘Bob’ Haas’ wake and funeral Mass were held showed how he touched every corner of the City that he loved in the almost 40 years of public service.
Hundreds of people waited for hours to pay their respects in a line that stretched down Broadway from Vertuccio & Smith Funeral Home. On Tuesday, hundreds of regular Revere citizens as well as City and State officials filled St. Anthony’s Church for the funeral Mass.
During the Mass, Fr. George Butera told of the love that Bob had for his wife Juanita and their children, Jennifer, Rachel and Bobby. For all in attendance, these words hit at their heart for the man that they had come to bid their last farewell.
Mayor Brian Arrigo gave the eulogy and again told how Bob loved Revere but loved his family more. He thanked Juanita and their children for allowing Bob to be shared with so many thousands of people of Revere. Arrigo also told how Bob mentored him such as when he was campaigning for the office of Mayor in 2015 saying, “Bob often outworked me whether it be going to the Pines or the Jack Satter House or going door to door in Ward 6.”
However, the greatest lesson he said that he learned from Haas was to disagree without being disagreeable. He mentioned how Bob would never hold onto his idea to the bitter end if a better solution was offered. He said that famous smile was genuine when he met people on the street.
We hope that the future leaders of Revere can take this advice from the legacy of Bob Haas – to always further a discussion in a positive way and when an idea is offered that is better than yours, support it. Always seek the higher good.
Looking at the those assembled at St. Anthony’s Church on Tuesday, Bob’s life maybe summed up in the following lines from Rudyard Kipling:
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
‘ Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
Bob never lost touch with the residents of Revere, or whom he was.
May he rest in peace.