Henry J. Hernandez, 59

Henry J. Hernandez, 59, of North Quincy passed away on Tuesday, July 13, 2021.

Henry J. Hernandez

He was born in Boston to Addys (Urquiza) and Enrique Hernandez.  Henry graduated from Cotting School and went on to attend Bridgewater State University, Bunker Hill Community College and UMass Boston where he earned his Associate’s Degree in business administration.  He then became a portfolio administrator for State Street.

Henry was passionate about model airplanes, the Boston Red Sox, his family and friends and he was a firm believer in living life to the fullest. His presence is sorely missed and his loss is deeply felt.

Cherished son of Addys (Urquiza) and her husband Gil Alonso of North Quincy.  Loving brother to Richard Hernandez and his wife Anna of Weymouth. Beloved uncle to Julia and Melissa Hernandez of Weymouth.  Henry also leaves behind many aunts, uncles, cousins and extended family members.

Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to greet the family during the visiting hours on Monday, July 19, from 4-8 PM in the Keohane Funeral Home, 785 Hancock St., QUINCY. Funeral service will be celebrated on Tuesday at 10 AM in Keohane Funeral Home, Quincy. Burial in St. Joseph’s Cemetery, West Roxbury.

Memorial donations may be made to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, 636 Morris Turnpike, Suite 3A, Short Hills, NJ 07078.

Paul J. O’Brien

Paul J. O’Brien, 88, of Quincy died March 21, 2021.

Paul J. O’Brien

Paul adored his family, especially being “Grampy” to his grandchildren. His faith was very important to him and he was the last surviving member of the Legion of Mary at St. Ann’s Church in Quincy. Paul enjoyed doing yardwork, sitting on his front porch in the sunshine, and playing sudoku.

He was a graduate from Quincy High School, loved watching the football games, was a member of the Wollaston Yacht Club, and was proud to be from the city. He was also a proud veteran of the United States Navy, serving during Korea, and then worked for many years for Verizon until retiring.

He was a people person who had a great sense of humor and always had a joke ready. He was a kind man who loved to give hugs and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Son of the late Robert C. and Marion E. (Butler) O’Brien. Beloved husband of the late Lorraine (Downing) O’Brien. Devoted father of Bobby O’Brien of Quincy, Kathy Wills and her husband David of Quincy, and MaryAnn Russo and her husband Brian of Randolph. Brother of the late Robert O’Brien. Cherished Grampy of Courtney and Michael Wills, Shannon and Brianna Russo, and Dylan and Jacqueline O’Brien.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on July 31, 2021 at 10am in Divine Mercy Parish in St. Ann’s Church, 757 Hancock Street, Quincy.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Paul may be made to Father Bill’s Place, Development Office, 422 Washington St., Quincy, MA 02169.

Funeral arrangements were made by Keohane Funeral Home, 785 Hancock St., Quincy.

Robert O’Brien, 61

Robert “Bobby” O’Brien, 61, of Quincy, died on April 16, 2021 after a courageous battle with cancer.

Robert O’Brien

The beloved son of the late Paul J. and Lorraine (Downing) O’Brien. Devoted brother of Kathleen Wills and her husband David of Quincy and MaryAnn Russo and her husband Brian of Randolph. Uncle of Courtney and Michael Wills and Shannon and Brianna Russo. He  leaves his dear companion, the dog Lito.

Bobby worked for New England Telephone for 35 years. He was a member of the New England Telephone Pioneers club and enjoyed going to Dunkies with his friends. He was an avid fan of both the Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins and enjoyed photographing their games. He also enjoyed collecting Kennedy memorabilia.

The foundation of his life was his faith and his family. Bobby will be sadly missed by all those who were blessed to have known him.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, July 31, 2021 at 10am in Divine Mercy Parish in St. Ann’s Church, 757 Hancock Street, Quincy.

Funeral arrangements were made by Keohane Funeral Home, 785 Hancock St., Quincy.

 

RMV Cautions Customers To Be Aware Of Text Phishing Scam

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is cautioning customers to be aware of a text phishing scam that has been reported in the Commonwealth and in other states.

The scam reportedly involves customers receiving text messages, claiming to be from the “DMV,” that direct them to click on a provided link to update their personal identifying contact information.  Customers can identify this type of text as a phishing scam because it includes “DMV” and in Massachusetts DMV is not the name of the Registry of Motor Vehicles; in Massachusetts, the name of the Registry is abbreviated as “RMV.” Any text using the phrase “Department of Motor Vehicles” or “DMV” should be deleted.

Note that the RMV does not send unsolicited requests for personal and/or contact information to customers by text.  Any communication by text from the RMV would be as a result of a customer-initiated request or transaction.

For the latest Registry updates and information, check Mass.gov/RMV or follow the RMV on Twitter @MassRMV.

Blood Shortage Continues: Red Cross Needs Donors Now

While donors across the country have rolled up a sleeve to give this summer, the need for blood and platelets remains crucial for patients relying on lifesaving transfusions. The American Red Cross continues to experience a severe blood shortage and donors of all blood types – especially type O and those giving platelets – are urged to make an appointment to give now.

 Right now, the Red Cross needs to collect more than 1,000 additional blood donations each day to meet current demand as hospitals respond to an unusually high number of traumas and emergency room visits, organ transplants and elective surgeries.

 To thank donors who help refuel the blood and platelets supply this month, all who come to give July 7-31 will receive a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card via email and will also receive automatic entry for a chance to win gas for a year (a $5,000 value). More information and details are available at rcblood.org/fuel. Also, all those who come to donate throughout the entire month of July will be automatically entered for a chance to win a trip for four to Cedar Point or Knott’s Berry Farm. To learn more, visit rcblood.org/CedarFair.

Donors who give now will help stock the shelves for the rest of the summer season. Schedule an appointment to give blood or platelets by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

In most cases, those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine can donate. However, knowing the name of the manufacturer of the vaccine they received is important in determining donation eligibility.

Two Red Cross Blood Drives are scheduled in Quincy this month:

• Friday, July 16 from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Quincy Sons of Italy Social Center, 120 Quarry St., and Monday, July 26 from 1 to 7 p.m. at the Sons of Italy, 120 Quarry St.

Quincy, Braintree Residents Oppose Proposed Billboard

By SCOTT JACKSON

Residents and elected officials from Quincy and Braintree spoke out against a proposed digital billboard that would be located along Route 3 in Quincy. Members of the board vetting the proposal were also skeptical of the idea.

Quincy’s Zoning Board of Appeals held a public hearing Tuesday on the request of the John Flatley Company for a variance to construct the new digital billboard at 1 Crown Drive, which is located within the Elevation apartment complex at Crown Colony. The board did not vote on the proposal that evening and will discuss the matter again on Aug. 10.

The proposed billboard, which would be 35 feet tall, would face toward Route 3 and Braintree. It would replace an existing billboard already on site.

“We are essentially seeking to replace the signage that exists there today, the static sign that exists there today, with a new digital sign,” said Edward Fleming, the attorney representing the John Flatley Company at the hearing.

While the developer is seeking permission to build the new billboard, a provision in Quincy’s municipal code prohibits the construction of new billboards and also prevents the ZBA from granting a variance for such a sign.

“The construction of new off-premises signs, including billboards, is prohibited throughout the City and the City may not issue permits for their construction or relocation. No use variance shall be granted to vary this provision,” the municipal code states.

At Tuesday’s hearing, however, Fleming said a separate section of the code gives the ZBA the ability to grant use variances in all zoning districts throughout the city – a provision he said was not changed when the City Council barred the ZBA from granting variances for billboards.

“They didn’t change the underlying authority that was given to the Zoning Board of Appeals,” he said.

In addition, Fleming said the ability to permit billboards ultimately rests with the state’s Outdoor Advertising Board. That board, he said, would have to hold a public hearing where residents of Quincy, Braintree and other communities would be allowed to share their concerns.

“All we are asking the board to do tonight is to grant a variance to allow this matter to move forward to the state level,” Fleming said.

The sign will not be visible from Quincy’s residential neighborhoods, Fleming said.

“You will not be able to see this sign from a residential neighborhood in Quincy, whether it is on Independence Ave or on Centre Street,” he said.

Douglas Richardson, a vice president with the John Flatley Company, said the height of the billboard, 35 feet, was chosen because it is 18 feet lower than the nearby buildings that comprise the Elevation apartment complex. Richardson presented the ZBA a slideshow he said indicated the billboard would have no visual impacts when viewed from the Common Street neighborhood and other areas in Braintree.

“There are multiple buffers, trees and grade changes as we make our way over towards the Common Street area,” he said. “We have done multiple perspectives and you will not see it.”

Drivers headed northbound on Route 3, Richardson stated, would have a “very limited view” of the sign. He said the billboard would be placed at an angle and its pixels use shades – which he likened to blinders used on horses – to limit the amount of bleed from the side of the signs.

Elected officials from Braintree, however, said the billboard would negatively impact their community.

Braintree Town Councillor Julia Flaherty, whose district includes Common Street and other nearby areas, said the sign would be visible in areas at a higher elevation than Common Street and in the second floors of homes, particularly in winter when there are no leaves on trees.

“It will impact our property values. It will impact our quality of life. No digital billboard belongs that close to a residential neighborhood,” she said. “I really hope that Braintree neighborhoods are not irrelevant to your consideration.”

Flaherty also said the billboard would distract drivers traveling along Route 3, which could lead to car crashes.

“It’s already a fairly stressful place to drive because everyone on the road there has to be focused on getting into the correct lane as they approach the north-south split,” she said. “Billboards create a driving distraction that creates accidents…it is designed to draw your eye away from the road, away from what you are supposed to be focused on.”

Braintree Town Councillor Steven Sciascia, whose district abuts Flaherty’s, noted that a digital billboard next to Route 3 in Weymouth generated complaints from area residents concerned about light pollution after it was installed.

“The issue is not the billboard, it is the fact that it is a digital, 24-hour-a-day lighted billboard that will be seen from a lot of areas in Braintree,” Sciascia said. “Those lights radiate. Everyone has seen them. You have heard all the controversy from towns like Weymouth that have signs like this go in and the impact it has on neighbors.”

In addition, Sciascia noted the applicant’s presentation used images taken during the spring or summer, when trees are full of leaves.

“When it is winter, and when it is 8 o’clock at night and you are trying to get your kids to go to bed and you have to keep the blinds closed because there are lights coming in your window, it will impact residents,” he said.

Quincy City Councillor Anne Mahoney said the intent of city councillors was clear when they barred the ZBA from granting variances for new billboards.

“The city of Quincy made it very clear that we do not want billboards anymore in the city,” she said. “Billboards do not have an economic value for the residents of the city of Quincy. It doesn’t make the area more valuable – it actually depresses the area, and that is a fact if you do the research.”

Mahoney also said she was concerned about the electronic sign leading to distracted driving along Route 3.

“I agree with my neighbors in Braintree. They articulated it very, very well and I am thanking them for being here tonight, because digital advertisements – especially in that section of the highway – would be extremely dangerous and I would hate to see that happen,” Mahoney said.

Members of the zoning board were also skeptical about the proposed digital billboard.

Michael Covais, the board’s vice chairperson, said he was concerned about the proposed location of the sign along Route 3, calling it a “terrible place for it.”

“Though it is not part of my job, I know, I am concerned about our neighbors too. We should be good neighbors,” Covais added. “The citizens of Quincy aren’t going to get anything out of it and the citizens of Braintree may have some problems.”

Board member John Himmel said he drives through that particular section of Route 3 on a daily basis and called it a “nightmare” in the morning and “worse coming home.”

“I can’t imagine anything worse than a digital billboard up on that hill,” he said. “On top of that, what is the advantage for Quincy? Are we going to be known as the ‘City of Signs and Cement?’ And, the negative impact on the town of Braintree, I think, is terrible.”

Martin Aikens, the board’s chairperson, likewise questioned what value the new billboard would provide to Quincy. Aikens said he did not want to vote on the matter at Tuesday’s meeting because the board received more than 40 letters about the proposal. He wanted time to consider that correspondence before voting and made a motion to continue the matter until Aug. 10.

Board member Brian Radell added that he would like to hear from the city solicitor or another city official about whether the ZBA could even grant a variance for the billboard before the vote is taken.

Pauline M. Lecomte

Pauline M. Lecomte, a longtime resident of Quincy, passed away on July 13 after a lengthy illness.

Pauline M. Lecomte

She was the loving daughter of the late Paul and Kathryn (Pettit) Lecomte and loving sister of the late Ann C. Lecomte.

Relatives and friends are respectfully invited greet the family during the visiting hours on Wednesday 9:30-10:30 AM in the Keohane Funeral Home, 785 Hancock St., QUINCY.  Funeral services will be conducted at the First Baptist Church of Wollaston, 81 Prospect Avenue, Quincy, on July 21, 2021 at 11 AM.

Donations in Pauline’s memory may be made to the First Baptist Church of Wollaston, 81 Prospect Avenue, Quincy, MA 02170.

Thomas Crane Main Library Now Open

The main library of the Thomas Crane Public Library is now open. The main library is located at 40 Washington St., Quincy Center.

Hours are Monday to Thursday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday hours will resume after Labor Day.

Outside pickup service has been discontinued.

Robert A. MacDougall, 78

Robert A. MacDougall, age 78, a longtime resident of South Weymouth, died peacefully, Sunday, July 11, 2021 in the comfort of his home, surrounded by his loving family.

Robert A. MacDougall

Bob was born in Quincy, to the late Thomas M. and Christine F. (MacKay) MacDougall. Raised and educated in the Adams Shore neighborhood of Quincy, he was a graduate of Quincy Trade School. Bob had lived in South Weymouth for over fifty years, previously in Quincy.

He was employed as a licensed electrician with the MBTA for twenty-seven years, and had been retired for many years. He was a proud member of IBEW Local 103.

Bob was a longtime active member of the Fort Square Presbyterian Church in Quincy.

Bob enjoyed fishing, hunting, gardening and golfing. Most of all, he was devoted to his family, especially his grandchildren, supporting all their many activities and accomplishments.

Beloved husband for forty-three years of the late Catherine I. (MacLeod) MacDougall. Devoted father of Kate S. Marshall and her husband Michael of South Weymouth, David A. MacDougall and his wife Elisabeth of Hanover. Loving grandfather of Michael J. Marshall, Jr. and Catherine M. Marshall, Duncan A. MacDougall and Ian L. MacDougall.

Dear brother of Joanne Cole and her husband Robert of Middleboro, and predeceased by Barbara Ryan and her late husband Richard, Donald MacDougall and his late wife Catherine. Bob is also survived by several nieces and nephews.

Visiting hours will be held at the Sweeney Brothers Home for Funerals, 1 Independence Avenue, Quincy, on Sunday, July 18, from 2 – 5 p.m. Relatives and friends are invited to attend. Funeral Services will be conducted at the Fort Square Presbyterian Church, 16 Pleasant Street, Quincy, on Monday, July 19, at 11 a.m. Pastor John W. Culp will officiate. Interment to follow at Blue Hill Cemetery, Braintree.

For those who wish, donations in Bob’s memory may be made to the Fort Square Presbyterian Church Mission Fund, 16 Pleasant Street, Quincy, MA 02169.

You are invited to visit thesweeneybrothers.com or call 617-472-6344.

Eileen F. P. Higgins, 90

Eileen Frances Patricia (Lyons) Higgins of Wollaston died peacefully on July 9 at the age of 90.

Eileen F. P. Higgins

Beloved wife of the late William S. Higgins, Jr.  Devoted mother of Eileen Higgins Robichaud and her husband, David, of West Concord, Liz O’Leary and her husband, Rick, of Croton Falls, NY, Kathleen Higgins Broderick and her husband, Matt, of Cohasset and the late Monica Anne Higgins of Wollaston and Cambridge.  Fun loving Nanny to Charlie and Gabe Robichaud, Richard and William O’Leary, and Kate, Will and Thomas Broderick.  Beloved sister of the late Anne L. Sullivan of Jamaica Plain and the late Betty O’Malley of Clinton.  She will be missed by her Lyons and Higgins nieces and nephews.

Mrs. Higgins grew up in East Somerville, the daughter of Jeremiah and Annie (Murphy) Lyons, immigrants from County Cork, Ireland.  She attended the Little Flower School and St. Benedict’s High School in East Somerville. She was a clerk-stenographer at the Boston District of the FBI where she made many lifelong friends and could recount the Brinks robbery file number at any given moment.  She held several offices of the Boston Chapter of the Society of the Former FBI Women including president and was a faithful member for many years.

Mrs. Higgins was the records officer at the Boston Athenaeum for more than 20 years. Upon her retirement, the Boston Athenaeum endowed the Eileen Lyons Higgins Book Fund.

She had a lifelong love of reading and instilled this love in her daughters and grandchildren. She was proud of the fact that like herself, each of her daughters and her granddaughter either worked for or volunteered at a library including the Thomas Crane Public Library in Quincy, The Ruth Keeler Memorial Library, in North Salem, NY, The Dinand Library at the College of the Holy Cross, The MacPhaidin Library at Stonehill College and The Paul Pratt Memorial Library in Cohasset; and her daughter, Monica, was the director of events at the Boston Athenaeum.

Mrs. Higgins was proud of her Irish heritage and researched her genealogy which she passed down to her family.  She loved to attend Irish social dances and sewed and embroidered many Irish step dancing costumes. Mrs. Higgins would playfully recount the memory of her first phone conversation with her father in the 1940s, as it was only then that she realized he did, indeed, have an Irish brogue.

She loved her home of 57 years on Kemper Street in Wollaston and her many friends from the Kem-Bass neighborhood and St. Ann’s Parish.  She made a new home in late 2017 at the Fenno House Assisted Living Facility in Wollaston. Mrs. Higgins’ family would like to thank the Fenno House staff and her private aides who allowed her to lead her best life these last years.

Memorial donations may be made either to the Pat Roche Hospice House, where she and her family received amazing care at the end of her life, or the Quincy Animal Shelter.

Funeral services are private.

Funeral arrangements were made by Keohane Funeral Home, 785 Hancock St., Quincy.