The City of Revere honored Grace Hill Sannella at a plaque dedication ceremony in memory of her 42 years of faithful service in the City Solicitor’s Office and for being an affectionate advocate of Revere Beach.
Fred Sannella, Mrs. Sannella’s husband and a member of the Revere School Committee, led the speaking program in front of a large crowd of family, friends, and city officials.
Mr. Sannella began by noting the beautiful, sunny weather for the outdoor ceremony that was held at the pavilion on across from Kelly’s Roast Beef on Revere Beach Boulevard.
“I think it’s kind of indicative to say it rained yesterday, it rained last night, but [earlier this morning] there was a magnificent sky, all colors of the rainbow – it was gorgeous, so I like to think that Grace did well – she’s watching over us,” said Mr. Sannella.
The popular former Revere school administrator (Supt. of Schools Dr. Dianne Kelly led a delegation of school personnel in attendance) said, “this outpouring is overwhelming – it indicates the affection people had for Grace and it was reciprocal. Most presidents have summer White Houses, this was Grace’s.”
The Rev. George Butera delivered the invocation, thanking Grace Hill Sannella “for the grace that she gave all of us for her years of service to our city and to each and every one of us.”
Speaker of the House Robert A. DeLeo jested to Mr. Sannella about the tremendous turnout on a Sunday morning, saying “What an unbelievable turnout today. I’d like to say it had something to do with Freddy, but it has really nothing to do with Freddy – it all has to do with Grace.”
DeLeo said he got to know Mrs. Sannella as an attorney practicing in Revere and as a state representative.
“One of things I thought about this morning was the fact that in her name, the name “Grace,” she couldn’t have been named any better than that,” said DeLeo. Because frankly that’s what she was about. She was a lady who cared deeply about the city. Obviously she came from a very well-known family in the city. But she really forged her own identity. Everyone in the city knew Grace and everyone loved Grace because that’s the way she made you feel. I’m here today to take part in remembering a beautiful lady.”
Directing the crowd’s attention to the elegant plaque that will honor Mrs. Sannella forever at the pavilion, Mayor Brian Arrigo said, “This plaque could go any number of places in the City of Revere. It could go to the Immaculate Conception neighborhood where Grace and her family – an important family in the city’s history – lived. It could be in the Point of Pines where Freddy and Grace lived for over 40 years together. It also could be at City Hall for her over 40 years of dedicated service to the city that Grace provided. But there’s really no more fitting place or fitting day than today and here at Revere Beach.
“I didn’t have the opportunity to ever walk with Grace on the beach, but I heard that she had a pretty brisk place and that she really truly enjoyed the morning sun coming off that water,” said Arrigo. “To be able to be here today is such an honor. Today we get to remember Grace and we get to remember a life well lived.”
Mr. Sannella thanked the Revere City Council, City Clerk Ashley Melnik, Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, Rep. RoseLee Vincent and the DCR for their efforts in the legislative process that led to the lasting tribute of the plaque being dedicated in his wife’s memory.
“I’m just overwhelmed,” concluded Mr. Sannella, clearly touched by the tribute. “As the speakers indicated, it was for Grace – this was Grace’s day.”