'He Loved Life': Huge Crowds Gather For Paul Tracey Funeral In Waltham

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To view a livestream of the events for Paul Tracey, click here.

WALTHAM, MA — Waltham is set to mourn Paul Tracey on Friday, with much of the city shutting down in order to pay respects.

Find out what's happening in Walthamwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

A funeral is underway at Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted Parish at 10 a.m. A burial will take place following the funeral at Mt. Feake Cemetery, 203 Prospect St., in Waltham.

The procession will begin after the funeral. An exact start time is undetermined due to the large size of the service, police said.

Find out what's happening in Walthamwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

The route from the church will be Trapelo Road to Forest Street, Beaver Street, Lexington Street (passing the police station), Main Street, Moody Street, Maple Street and Prospect Street to Mt. Feake Cemetery.

For those who can’t attend in person, Friday’s events will be livestreamed starting at 9:30 a.m. For the link, click here.

Here’s what to know:

Update, 11:25 a.m.

Tracey’s three brothers stepped to the podium to deliver heartwrenching remarks. Jim Tracey spoke, stating of the day that “as a family, this is the hardest thing we’ve ever had to do.”

Jim was joined by Jerry and Michael, stating that he was there to “celebrate” and “honor” their brother’s life.

To start, he asked a question: “How do you capture in words, in just a few minutes, the life of a man who meant so much to so many.”

Nothing was more important to Tracey than his wife of 16 years, Kristin, and their two children, according to Jim.

“Danika and Tyler, your dad loved you very much, and was fiercly proud of both of you,” Jim said.

“Two great kids, and you should be proud of how you raised them, Paul.”

Jim noted that it wasn’t just his family’s lives that changed on Dec. 6, but that the day will be dreaded on their calendar.

“So many lives were changed forever on the evening of Dec. 6,” he said.

“Unfortunately for us, this day will always be remembered as the day that the life of a great man was cut short. A law enforcement career that ended to soon, and a husband, father, brother, uncle and godfather and friend who had so much more to give was taken from us.”

“Paul Tracey was a hero,” he added.

The brothers exchanged texts daily, with Paul typically the one sharing funny videos and jokes to the group. They’ll miss those moments dearly, Jim said.

Paul was a beachgoers at heart, with trips to New England beaches a must for the family in the summer months. As the family bartender, he would keep the drinks flowing and unique.

As an avid beachgoer, Tracey was of course a Jimmy Buffett fan. He and Kristin attended many concerts together and thoroughly enjoyed the Parrot Head lifestyle.
At both family events and concerts, Tracey followed the common edict, according to his brother.

“No matter what time, it was always five o’clock somewhere.”

Not all of those beach trips were without serious moments, of course.

Tracey was on vacation with his family at Riviera Beach Resort in South Yarmouth in 2018. On a Friday evening, his sister Maureen saw a woman who didn’t look like she was moving.

Tracey and his cousin Cindy, a recently retired nurse, went over to the woman who they found was not breathing. They began CPR while nearby beach-goers called 911 and Tracey’s brother ran to find a defibrillator.

Yarmouth first responders administered Narcan, and the woman was revived and rushed to the hospital.

Then-Gov. Charlie Baker presented Tracey with a citation for his actions at the Massachusetts State House in 2018, and doctors and first responders credited his quick action for saving the woman’s life.

The Tracey family loves the holidays, with an annual gift exchange scheduled for Paul and his family’s house this year.

“Paul was so looking forward to this,” Jim said. “Taken away.”

Update 10:25 a.m.

The eulogy is underway, which began with a reading from “The Book of Wisdom”, followed by more musical accompaniment.

The priest began delivering his remarks around 10:35 a.m. He spoke directly to Tracey’s son, Tyler, stating that he has support within the church as he deals with his father’s death.

He spoke directly to Danika Tracey next, the daughter of the family, sharing the same message.

The family of Roderick Jackson attended a wake on Thursday in Waltham, and the priest said he — and everyone in the church — was praying for them as the family prepared for their own services this weekend.

Jackson’s Saturday service will be held at St. Paul AME at 37 Bishop Allen Dr. in Cambridge, according to the family’s attorney.

The priest described Tracey as a man who “loved life”, and loved an impassioned discussion and living life to its fullest.

“He had his own opinions. He was not shy. Truth is important to be said here, and he would want that,” he said.

“When Paul had family time he loved living life. And he wants to be remembered by you to live life.”

He added: “He was a man who lived his life as he saw it. Firstly as a family man, secondly as a police officer, but above all a child of God.”

In attendance at the funeral are many city officials, including Waltham Mayor Jeannette McCarthy and the City Council.

Update, 10:02 a.m.

The hearse carrying Tracey’s body has arrived at the church, with law enforcement officials and those affiliated with the church waiting nearby.

A group of police officers gathered to carry the casket, draped in an American flag, into the church, their footsteps echoing through the halls.

A rendition of “I Will Make the Darkness Light” was performed as the flag was removed, and the casket was placed at the entrance.

As somber songs continued, a seemingly endless crowd of people matching that mood entered the church past the casket, most taking in the image before quickly finding a seat inside the church.

Update, 9:56 a.m.

Many people gathered outside of the church before the beginning of the funeral, with hundreds of law enforcement officers lining the streets as music played. A firetruck flew a large American flag overhead.

As the time drew closer to 10 a.m., a procession of bagpipe players and drummers led many of those law enforcement officers into the church.

Officials from all over the country have come to Waltham to pay their respects, including one officer from Raleigh, North Carolina, according to Sera Congi.

The sheer volume of those in attendance can be seen from videos of the scene, including the one linked here.

Peter Simon Hearing Delayed

According to a report from the Waltham News Tribune, a hearing for Peter Simon, the New Hampshire man who is accused in the death of Tracey and National Grid worker Roderick Jackson, was delayed until January.

Simon is still being held without bail after that hearing, originally scheduled for Thursday, was moved.

Schools Closed

Waltham Public Schools will be closed on Friday, as will all district buildings, officials told Patch this week.

Our Lady’s Academy will also be closed.


The services this week are likely to bring a large number of people from outside of Waltham into the city.

It will also bring several traffic alterations, according to police.

On Friday Trapelo Road will be closed from Lexington Street to Forest Street from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be limited access to the church.

All side streets on Trapelo Road from Forest Street to Abbott Road will have no access to Trapelo on Friday morning by 7 a.m.

There will be no parking on Gilman Road on Friday.

Additionally, there will be no parking allowed along the entire length of Moody Street.

Athletic Field Road will be closed from Lexington Street to Bacon Street on Friday, beginning at 1 p.m.

New Fundraiser

According to Waltham police, Running 4 Heroes has launched a fundraising effort for the Tracey family.

This fundraiser will go through Dec. 28, and all proceeds raised by the campaign will go to the Tracey family.

To view the fundraiser, click here.

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