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Loss of Holiday Mainstay Felt by Parade Organizers

Richard Viger, 52, died Wednesday. He was the main reason Swampscott started its holiday parade and was there to anchor it each year.

A driving force behind the Swampscott Holiday Parade was a Lynn man, Richard Viger.

Richard died on Wednesday at the age of 52 and his loss is being felt in Swampscott by members of the town's police force who worked closely with him organizing the holiday event.

Among them is Det. Ted Delano, also a Swampscott School Committee member.

Richard was a stalwart Lynn resident, known to help and seek help for residents in need and a mainstay with the Lynn Christmas parade, according to a Lynn Item story. The article aslo said he worked at General Electric and the Lynn Housing Authority before starting his clean-out and hauling business. 

He was the reason Swampscott has had its holiday parade going back to about 2004.

Each year he reviewed the route and safety precautions, brought four or five floats from Lynn, and drove the John's Oil truck at the end carrying Santa and Mrs. Claus.

He was outgoing. Had a good sense of humor. And devoted himself so kids could enjoy the festivities, Det. Delano said.

He was a regular with the crew of parade people who, before the parade, visited homes of children going through tough times, bringing them cheer and personal well wishes.

His favorite part of the parade was seeing the kids' sense of wonder, smiling and waving as the lights flashed, sirens boomed and the festive air swept along the route. 

He was an anchor in the parade sponsored by the Swampscott Police Association.

"I was in shock, and still am," Det. Delano said. "Honestly, I don't know how we will fill the void."

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