Albert G. Brien, 79, lifelong resident of Woonsocket, died July 31, 2020 at home. Born in Woonsocket, he was the son of the late Lodie and Obeline (Meunier) Brien.
Mr. Brien received a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Providence College in 1961, served in the United States Army, graduating from Officer Candidate School, and earning the rank of Second Lieutenant.
A real estate appraiser by trade, he enjoyed a storied career in civic life. Mr. Brien served as a Rhode Island State Representative from District 62 from 1975-1987, where he was the Chairman of the Corporations Committee. Mr. Brien then served as Director of Finance and Administration for the City of Woonsocket from 1987-1990 to Mayor Charles C. Baldelli.
He later briefly served as the Director of Human Services to Mayor Francis Lanctot and later served as Director of Human Services and Administrative Aide from 2007 – 2008 to Mayor Susan D. Menard. In 2011 he was elected to the Woonsocket City Council, where he served as Council President until 2016.
Mr. Brien was a walking encyclopedia of knowledge regarding the City of Woonsocket. The depth of his knowledge of City Government and State law seemingly had no end. Not known for giving concise answers to a question, Mr. Brien would frequently dazzle the citizens of Woonsocket with a legendary memory and a personal library of historical documents, legislation, and maps. He was known for helping anyone who would ask, and over the years, the number of people who could tell a story about how he positively interceded in their lives was countless.
Mr. Brien was a notorious lover of animals. He could frequently be found feeding any number of stray animals, birds, squirrels, and groundhogs and even skunks at his office on Hamlet Avenue and his South Main St. home. Mr. Brien was also well known at the Northern Rhode Island Animal Hospital for bringing in numerous stray animals which he had spayed or neutered at his own expense.
Mr. Brien was also known for driving the most recognizable car in all of Woonsocket, a vintage Mercury Colony Park beach wagon. Over the years he could be seen driving around the city with his favorite companions, Princess, Kelly, and most recently, the giant German Shepard which he had rescued, aptly known as “The Big Guy”.
He is survived by his son, Jon Brien and his wife Nicole of Woonsocket; two daughters, Darlene Brien of Cumberland, and Jennifer Brien of East Providence; a sister, Obeline Plante of Slatersville; four grandchildren, Juliana and Gabriella Brien, Kristen Ricciardelli and Airman 1st Class Chad Ricciardelli; a niece, Katherine Plante; and two nephews, Matthew and John Plante.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday, August 8, 2020 at 10 AM in Holy Family Church, 414 South Main St., Woonsocket, and can be view live at https://client.tribucast.com/tcid/94992308 Burial will be private. Calling hours are Friday from 4 – 7 PM in the Holt Funeral Home, 510 South Main St., Woonsocket. Social distancing guidelines will be implemented upon your arrival. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Woonsocket Animal Shelter, 9 Cumberland Hill Rd., Woonsocket, RI 02895.
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Woonsocket Animal Shelter
9 Cumberland Hill Road, Woonsocket RI 02895