Anthony Brian Kirmil
Anthony Brian Kirmil, 71, of Portsmouth, R.I. passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his loving family. He was the husband to the love of his life, Sue, for over 48 years. He was the absolute best dad one could ask for to his children Aimee (Kirmil) Lyden and her husband Jason of Walpole, Mass., Leigh Kirmil of Wakefield, R.I., Scott Kirmil and his wife Adrienne of Jamestown, R.I., Krissy Kirmil of Richmond, R.I., and his nephew Richard Dougan of Newport, R.I. He was also beloved Poppi to his five grandchildren, Cailyn, Sean, Breslin, Hope and Luke. The love and close bond he shared with all of his grandchildren is irreplaceable and will never be forgotten.
Born in Canton, Mass. in 1952, Brian was the son of the late Anthony J. and Rita M. (LePine) Kirmil. Besides his parents, he was also predeceased by his sister Janet Nelson.
Brian graduated from Immaculate High School in Danbury, Conn., where he met one of his lifelong best friends, John Mulvihill. When he arrived at Fairfield University, he immediately met several other forever friends including Gary Dittrich and Mark Cronin, his lifelong best friend who was there by his side to the very end.
When Brian was 16, he met his wife Sue, who was only 14, but they knew it was love at first sight. Eventually, they created a family that reflected the love they had for each other. They enjoyed many adventures together and were always there for each other, through it all. Even after 48 years of marriage, Brian still made it a point to stop whatever he was doing, to sing and dance with Sue when an old favorite song came on. He was her knight in shining armor and she was the love of his life.
Brian graduated from Fairfield University with a BS in Psychology and went on to earn his master’s in special education at Southern CT University. He worked in education across a few districts and in different roles around Connecticut before securing his dream job as principal at the Rockwell Elementary School in Bethel, Conn., where he worked for 18 years. Throughout the years he played guitar and sang in a wedding band with his father, Tony, appropriately named TKay5. Somehow Brian still found time to share his gift of music with his church community. He was devoted to ensuring music brought people together during mass at St Joseph’s Church in Danbury, later at St Rose in Newtown, and most recently at St Barnabas Church in Portsmouth. His distinctly deep voice, paired with his guitar, brought the church to life and you couldn’t help but sing along.
Upon retirement in 2013 Brian answered what he felt was a calling from God, and returned to work part-time as an assistant principal at the Sandy Hook Elementary School shortly after it reopened following the tragedy there. He felt he wanted to be a part of the healing and guidance that he knew the community needed. After a few years in that position, he and Sue moved to R.I., where they purchased a beautiful home with the water views they had always dreamed of. The house and his welcoming spirit made it quickly become the center of his family’s and friend’s lives.
Brian led a life of service to others. He was deeply devoted to his family and would do anything for them. They will forever cherish memories of days at the pool where he grilled, served drinks, played Jimmy Buffett, and made everyone laugh with his cannonballs ... he was truly the center of his family’s world. Brian/Dad/Poppi made sure he took every chance he got to tell his family how much he loved them and how proud he was of them. He never took anything for granted.
He thoroughly enjoyed so many things with his family including but not limited to celebrating every holiday and birthday as a family, annual Christmas traditions like holiday sing-alongs, helping at Scott’s restaurants as the in-house maintenance man, babysitting his grandchildren every chance he had, and sending texts to be sure people knew he was thinking of them. He loved volunteering his time and effort to make sure those around him had what they needed. The loss of Brian/Dad/Poppi is unimaginable but his family asks that those who knew him remember the lessons they learned from his example and move forward to show acts of kindness towards others in his honor.
Burial was private. The St Rose of Lima Folk Choir is offering a Memorial Mass in his honor on Saturday, June 24 at 9 am.
As Brian would often say, “Have a sparkling day.” Please come and sing and worship with us.
Donations in his name may be made to Hope Hospice and Palliative Care of RI at 1085 N Main Street Providence, RI 02904 or at HopeHealthCo.org