Greeleys and Hurds with
Frank Hurd Jr. photo

Brian Greeley, the kind man with a gift of gab and attitude of service, died at age 55 on Sunday, March 13, of a heart attack. Word of the unexpected passing of the younger brother in the Greeley clan brought out sharp memories, including those from Frank Hurd Jr., retired executive director of the Housing Authority.

Hurd shared with YourArlington a photo taken on April 19, 1955, illustrating the town's connection to family and Patriots Day.

"As you know," Hurd wrote in an e-mail from Florida, "Brian's dad Joseph Greeley and my father Frank Hurd Sr. both served as Arlington Selectmen in the 1950s and early 1960s. This led to occasions where my brother Ed Hurd and I, and the Greeley children met during various town activities."

On hearing of Brian's passing, Hurd wrote that he thought about him, his family, and many good memories they had over the years.

DeVito Funeral Home obituary

In particular, one such event occurred during Patriots Day Parade in 1955, when family members had a chance to meet a man playing Paul Revere in Town Hall.

In the photo, from left, are Brian, his brother Kevin, his sister Maryann Greeley, "Paul Revere," his brother Robert, Frank Hurd Jr. and his brother Edward.

"It was a day when we all enjoyed a very 'special' Arlington event," Hurd wrote, "and has always brought a smile to me when I think of the wonderful days we had growing up in Arlington.

Brian Greeley

"Our parents had always instilled upon us a sense of how lucky we were to live and grow up in Arlington. Looking at the photo, I think back with pride at the realization that we all, in some way or another, gave something back to our home town."

Hurd listed some of them:

-- Brian was a local real estate salesman, was elected commissioner of the Arlington Housing Authority and was a driving force behind the current town Patriots Day parade.

-- Kevin has been a selectman since 1989 and, Hurd wrote, "has played a significant role in Arlington's advances for more than 20 years."

-- Maryann was a very well-loved school teacher at Stratton before she was stricken with cancer and died in 1991.

-- Bob is currently Arlington's director of assessing.

Hurd added: "I would be remiss if I didn't mention that Brian's mom, Betty, was a very active person in her church and the community.

"I was saddened to learn of Brian's passing. He was an outstanding commissioner on the Arlington Housing Authority Board, and a tremendous contributor to the community.  But above all, he was a great and proud father, husband, son, and friend. He will be greatly missed, and the entire Greeley family has our sympathy during this very difficult time."

In response to a request to comment sent to a number of Arlington residents who knew Brian, School Committee Chairman Joseph A. Curro Jr. wrote:

"I remember Brian as a kind and gentle man, whom I almost never saw without the company of his wife and son. His entire family has worked hard for our schools, particularly for the Peirce Elementary School and in helping to raise awareness about our obligation to educate every child according to his or her individual needs.

"Brian's commitment to providing quality, affordable housing to our seniors and others facing financial difficulties, and to leading efforts to perpetuate Arlington traditions like the Patriots Day parade will be sorely missed."

Joe Marshall posted to the Facebook page of the Arlington Patriots Day Parade on Monday, March 14, 2011:

"We are all saddened with the loss of our dear friend Brian. His guidance and influence will be missed by everyone he touched. Brian was Arlington and loved the parade more then anyone else. He would be the first to say that we must carry on without him because it’s not about him, it’s about Arlington.

"So the show must go on. We have a meeting scheduled for tomorrow Tuesday March 15 at p.m.. We will be having the meeting at the town hall annex conference room. Please plan on attending we will need all to attend as we are running close to some critical dates. Hope to see you tomorrow."

Visiting hours at DeVito's Funeral Home are Friday, March 18, from 4 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, March 19, from 9 to 11:15 a.m. Funeral Mass is at noon Saturday in St. Agnes Church.