On her first birthday, Abby (Bruno) Picano expected to get ice cream and bubble gum, but what she got was a sister – her sister Lorraine ‘Lorrie’ Bruno – and it was the best gift she would get in her whole life.
“She was a wonderful human being; I loved her so much,” said Picano. “We were one year apart, but we were really like twins. I miss her.”
The late Lorrie Bruno was a fighter and remembered as a persistent neighbor and politician that served on the old Common Council from 2004 to 2013. Her family and City leaders gathered in Swan Street Park on a cold November afternoon on Monday to celebrate and remember her life with a memorial bench in the park overlooking the playground.
She served as the Ward 5 representative on the Common Council under three different mayors, and was the Council President in 2008. She was an athlete who loved softball and was the past president of the popular Everett Women’s Volleyball League. She loved animals, and fought hard for the dog park in the 7-Acre Park.
“I remember serving with Lorrie on the Common Council and she was transparent and honest, and she always told you exactly what she thought,” recalled Mayor Carlo DeMaria.
State Sen. Sal DiDomenico said he owed a lot to Bruno for helping him learn the ropes in Everett politics after first being elected to local office. He said she was a great confidant, and helped him to decide to run for state senate more than 10 years ago.
“When she had an issue that someone had, she didn’t stop until it was solved,” said DiDomenico. “She wouldn’t give up until she got it done.”
Ward 5 School Committeeman Marcony Almeida Barros said Bruno was his landlord when he first moved to Everett 21 years ago. After getting married to his spouse, Mark, they continued living in Bruno’s home for seven years.
“She was like a mother to me and my spouse,” he said. “That’s why it’s very special to be here because when she was sick, Mark and I would visit her. I love and miss her deeply.”
Councilor Fred Capone had put in the order to get the bench placed in Swan Street Park. Capone also remembered serving with Bruno and said she was a champion for people who needed help of any kind.
“If it was a small or big issue, it was always a big issue for Lorrie,” said Capone.
Council President Rosa DiFlorio said she missed Bruno being on the Council, and working with her to get things done.
“Her word was strong,” said DiFlorio.