NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — The community gathered at North Kingstown Town Beach Tuesday evening to celebrate the life of the town’s former Recreation Director Al Southwick.
Southwick organized softball games for the town’s league for 44 years and drove kids to games on the “Big Blue Bus.” Many people who gathered were wearing blue in solidarity.
Southwick passed away on June 4 after a battle with cancer.
Chelsea Dumas-Gibbs stepped in to take on his role as the interim recreational director, but made it very clear that Southwick is irreplaceable.
“Al was an icon in this town, for close to 50 years, and it’s just been a detrimental loss, for everybody in the community and outside of the community,” Dumas-Gibbs said.
Southwick made a positive impact on generations of people.
For decades, he was the man who made sure all the town’s players, teams and games were ready to go season after season.
Dumas-Gibbs said the town will always remember Southwick, as he would remember each and everyone who played, and he’d want everyone to be smiling.
“We know he’d want to have a party, he wouldn’t want us all to be grieving over him,” Dumas-Gibbs said.