Buddy Cianci lying in state at Providence City Hall - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Buddy Cianci lying in state at Providence City Hall

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By Bianca Buono

bbuono@abc6.com

@BBuonoABC6

A final salute to Vincent "Buddy" Cianci Saturday at Providence City Hall. The former mayor is lying in state in the building he called home for more than 21 years.

His half-open casket is on the second floor outside the mayor's office, donning candles and an American flag. Before city hall's doors opened to the public, Buddy's closest friends and family, including his fiancé stood by his side.

His official portrait that was just unveiled in November was brought down from the third floor for the weekend. Meanwhile, dozens were lined up on Washington Street, waiting to pay their respects.

"I was sad and at 74 and you know that's kind of a short life nowadays,” said Richard Lopes of East Providence.

Longtime Rhode Islander Richard Lopes showed up two and a half hours early and was first in line. He says he worked at the Dunkin' Donuts Center and ran into the mayor on several occasions.

"Before and after he was mayor he was just a great guy he would go out of his way to help anybody,” Lopes said.

Others in line reflected on their favorite moments with Buddy.

"I remember one time my brother and I were walking downtown during the summertime and Buddy had just come out of city hall and he walked right up to us and he was very kind to my brother and I,” said Cranston resident Angela Wynkoo-Berard.

"He thought of Westerly as a gem of our state. Many of us in Westerly appreciated him. He was the grand marshal of our Columbus Day parade back in 1995. He even came to my house and made Italian soup two years in a row,” said Joe Iacoi of Westerly.

Rhode Islanders made their way around Buddy's casket, sad to say goodbye to a man they say they will never forget.

"I think the man was just a genuine individual. We'll never see anybody like him again,” said Iacoi.

"He'll always be the Prince of Providence for us,” Wynkoop-Berard said.

City hall will be open Sunday for another public viewing from 12 p.m. until 6 p.m.

Buddy's funeral procession will leave from city hall on Monday.

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