CHARLESTOWN — Commander Robert L. Gillen, right, the 59th commander of the USS Constitution, has died. He is shown in this photo with U.S. Navy Commander Sean D. Kearns, the 73rd commander, which was taken for Bill Brett’s fifth book, “Boston: Irish,” which was published in 2014. Commander Gillen was 85. The two were photograph by Bill on the deck of the USS Constitution, the oldest commissioned naval vessel, which is oft-called “Old Ironsides” after…

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Thomas J. Hudner, 93, (center in accompanying photo) a war hero and former Veterans’ Affairs Commissioner, died on Nov. 13, 2017, the Boston Globe reported today. Bill Brett photographed Mr. Hudner with fellow Medal of Honor recipient Thomas G. Kelley, and Tom Lyons, a veteran who works with other veterans particularly Medal of Honor recipients, for Brett’s book, “Boston: Irish.” In its obituary, the Globe wrote:Navy Ensign Jesse L. Brown and Lieutenant Thomas J. Hudner…

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BOSTON — I’m sad to report that my friend Bill McGowan died on Sept. 16, 2017 surrounded by his family and friends. Bill, who was active in the Irish community, was proudly from Co. Sligo in Ireland, just like the Bretts. I often saw him at events and he was known to help out people who needed some assistance after they arrived in the U.S. There will be a wake at St. Elizabeth’s Church in…

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WEYMOUTH — I wanted to add my condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Massachusetts State Police Trooper Patrick Ahl, who died recently. Assigned to the Norwell barracks, Ahl was awarded the departmental Medal of Valor for saving a woman whose car had hydroplaned off the road. The Boston Globe has a full death notice here. Arrangements for Trooper Ahl are being handled by the McDonald Funeral Home in South Weymouth, with visiting hours…

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