“Paul Tracey Is Our Hero”

By Chris Wangler
December 15, 2023

 

Friends and family of fallen Waltham Police officer Paul Tracey celebrated his life and legacy during a funeral mass Friday in Waltham. 

 

Tracey’s remains were escorted from Brasco Funeral Home along a somber procession route lined with hundreds of police officers and residents, coming to a stop at Our Lady’s on Trapelo Road.

 

WHS Class of 1983, Paul Tracey was baptized at the North Waltham parish where he also married his wife of 16 years Kristin, also a WPD officer. His children Danika [below] and Tyler were also baptized at Our Lady’s. 

 

“Paul was his own man. He had his own opinions. He was not shy. He loved life,” said Father Jim DiPerri. “He served with distinction. He loved his city.”

 

Paul’s brother Jimmy Tracey gave a moving eulogy, characterizing his brother as a compassionate police officer, loving father and husband, patriot, prankster and former Star Market worker.

“Paul lost his life in the line of duty doing what he loved most: protecting and serving the citizens of Waltham, and he’s leaving behind a great legacy for the rest of us to follow," Jimmy said.

 

He also performed kind acts because he was a good person, Jimmy said, like giving a final shave to an elderly man in need of care.

That man passed away the day after Paul himself died in the tragic hit-and-run crash on Totten Pond Road on December 6.

 

Amid all the tragedy, Jimmy found welcome comic relief, reflecting on his brother’s “Irish tan,” love of Jimmy Buffett, nicknames (“Pollywog”), pranks and tendency to introduce himself as Tony Mele.

 

Fourth of July family gatherings and cherished beach vacations at York or South Yarmouth were especially important to his patriotic brother. 

“Paul was happiest spending time with his family,” Jimmy said. 

 

“Today we say goodbye to Paul, but we will never let him go,” he said. “Paul will never be forgotten.”

 

Afterward, officers from far and near saluted Officer Tracey as the Brasco hearse carried his remains to Mount Feake Cemetery for interment with police honors.

 

Peter Lobo photos