North Kingstown man who inspired generations of softball players passes away

South County

NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — A man who made a positive impact on generations of people in North Kingstown passed away Wednesday.

North Kingstown Recreation Director Al Southwick organized softball games for the town’s league for 44 years.

“He had an impact that I can’t even put into words on this town,” Chelsea Gibbs, who worked alongside Southwick for years, said. “There’s nobody like him, there will be nobody like him. We will never replace him in this town that’s for sure.”

Southwick set up the rosters and scheduled for the softball league and ensured each team had equipment. He also drove an infamous blue bus that provided transportation to the fields for players.

“My younger daughter started her softball career with Al in kindergarten, and she’s 12, and she’s still going,” Gibbs said. “He really instills that faith in the kids and gives them that confidence he needs.”

Gibbs will be taking over Southwick’s responsibilities but said jokingly it would take at least seven people to fill his shoes.

The North Kingstown Recreation Department is planning a celebration of life in Southwick’s memory, which will be held on July 9 at 6 p.m. on the town’s beach.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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