UPDATED, July 2: Kevin P. Feeley, a 35-year member of the town Board of Assessors, most recently elected in April, died June 24 surrounded by his family. He was 86.
For many years, he was an Arlington Youth Hockey coach and very active in town government beyond the assessors, having served as a member of Town Meeting member, the Park & Recreation Commission and the Select Board.
During his 50-year professional career, he was a practicing attorney, the purchasing agent for the City of Boston and a managing director for the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority.
A graduate of the College of The Holy Cross and New England School of Law, he received a certificate as an urban executive from the Sloane School of Management at MIT.
Mr. Feeley was a constant presence at all of his grandchildren's school and athletic events.
Process for vacancy
Feeley's passing results in a vacancy on the Board of Assessors. Town Counsel Doug Heim says that, M.G.L. c. 41, § 11, controls the procedure for filling a vacancy on an interim basis.
Once the assessors make notice of the vacancy, the Select Board convenes a joint meeting with the remaining members of the Board of Assessors and votes on an interim appointee until the 2022 annual town election for the remainder of Mr. Feeley's term. Heim expects this to occur at the July 19 meeting.
In an interview in 2012, when he faced his first opposition as assessor in 18 years, he talked about the elections of 1991 and 1994, the last time he faced opposition, both times from Arthur Spero. In '91, Spero was also a candidate for selectman.
Early on in his career of town service, Mr. Feeley had been a selectman. In the interview, he looked through papers in a manila folder seeking the right dates -- and then remembered how to confirm them. On each side of the town of Arlington seal were the dates, 1964 to 1970.
That was the era of Selectman Joe Greeley, father of Kevin and Bob. He said that when Joe disagreed with him and the other "young punk," John Bilafer, he called them "Calvin," an inside family joke that seems to have its origin with Kevin. Bilafer later became the longtime town treasurer. He and Kevin Greeley have since died.
When he wasn't coaching youth hockey, Feeley served on Town Meeting and, for a number of years, on the Park & Recreation Commission.
For a lengthy period, he was general counsel of the Mass. Water Resources Authority. Following the large pipe break and flood at Weston in May 2010, he was called back to help because of his institutional memory.
That recollection reached back to how the town assessments operation has changed since 1986, when he was first appointed to the board.
On June 28, Guillermo S. Hamlin, a candidate for the Board of Assessors this spring, wrote:
"Our household is deeply saddened by the passing of Kevin Feeley, and the loss that is deeply felt by his family. We wish he had more time & more praise during his time as a public servant, especially in being gracious with us as competitors. If you supported my campaign this past April, please take time to honor his family's wishes, give them space, & be kind throughout this painful time."
Husband of 60 years to Eileen M. (Keefe), he was the father of Kevin Feeley Jr. and his wife, Cathy, of East Walpole; Mark Feeley and Thomas Mahoney of Waltham, Stephen Feeley of South Yarmouth and Maura Birenbaum and her husband, Eric, of Norfolk.
He was the 'Grandpa' of Matthew, Hannah, Caroline, Sarah, Jamison and Griffin Feeley, and Kevin and Jack Birenbaum. He was the son of the late Dr. and Mrs. Edward W. Feeley, brother of Brenda Lipizzi of Falmouth, Moira Lyons and her husband, Paul, of Belmont; Sheila Feeley and Joyce Finerty of West Yarmouth, and the late Edward Feeley Jr.
He is also survived by his sister-in-law Eleanor Feeley of Florida as well as many nieces, nephews, relatives and devoted friends.
Visiting hours are to be held from the Keefe Funeral Home, 5 Chestnut St. (Rt. 60, next to St. Agnes Church), on Tuesday, June 29, from 4 to 7 p.m.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated in St. Agnes Church, Medford Street, at 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 30. Relatives and friends are invited to attend.
Burial will conclude at Mount Pleasant Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Fidelity House, 25 Medford St., Arlington, MA 02474, or Rosie's Place, 899 Harrison, Ave., Boston, MA 02118. To send an online condolence, visit keefefuneralhome.com.
April 10, 2021: Winners in town election: Hurd, Helmuth, Mitropoulos, Feeley
Feb. 7, 2012: 26 years as assessor, Feeley seeks reelection
This news summary was published Sunday, June 27, 2021, and updated July 2, to add process to fill vacancy.