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C. Arthur Soucy, long-time Democratic activist, dies

New Hampshire Union Leader

July 10. 2017 10:40AM
C. Arthur Soucy checks voting results on election night in June 1994, when his daughter, Donna Soucy, left, won a seat on the Manchester Board of Mayor and Alderman. Raymond Buckley, now the state chair of the Democratic Party, is seated next to Donna Soucy. (UNION LEADER FILE)

MANCHESTER — Longtime Democratic Party activist and civic leader C. Arthur Soucy has died. He was 81.

State Sen. Donna Soucy, D-Manchester, announced his passing Monday. (View obituary here.)

“I am heartbroken to announce my dad passed away last evening after a long illness. I am thankful I was with him when he joined my mother, Lillian, in Heaven,” the senator said in a statement. “My dad loved his family, his city, his church, his country and his party.

He spent his entire life in service to others and will be missed by countless people whose lives he enriched.”

Soucy, the founding member and first president of the New Hampshire Young Democrats in 1963, was later elected as one of the youngest Manchester aldermen, serving Ward 12.

He served on several committees and commissions over the years. He was a Ward 6 moderator in Manchester, a city water commissioner, and a Parks & Recreation commissioner. He was a 2012 Elector for President Barack Obama.

New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley called Soucy a “lion of the Democratic Party,” who served on the state committee and as chairman of the Manchester City Democrats.

“C. Arthur Soucy dedicated his life to doing all he could to make the world a better place,” Buckley said in a statement. “Personally, C.A. has been a friend and mentor for more than forty years. His loss is devastating.”

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, recalled Soucy as a friend and mentor.

“From our days working on Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign to his many decades of civic engagement, C. Arthur Soucy embodied the very best of our state’s tradition of political activism and public service,” Shaheen said in a statement. “C. Arthur was a trusted friend and adviser to me and so many other public officials. He was a big-hearted man, a towering figure in the N.H. Democratic Party and a legend in his hometown of Manchester.”

Shaheen further remembered him as a devoted family man.

Former Manchester Alderman Bill Cashin recalled Soucy as the go-to guy in Democratic Party and Manchester politics. He called him a man of integrity.

“When he gave you his word, you could take it to the bank,” Cashin said. “He’s going to be sorely missed, I’ll tell you that.”

Alderman-at-large Daniel P. O’Neil considered Soucy a mentor. He said three things come to mind when he thinks of Soucy: “Faith, family, friendship.” Church and community service, including helping out at the American Legion Sweeney Post, were a life’s devotion, O’Neil said.

“Arthur was involved in so many different things,” O’Neil said. “If Arthur could help the man down the street on an issue, he would stop what he was doing and help. He was just an unselfish guy.”

Jim Demers, who served alongside Soucy as a presidential Elector in 2012, recalled that Soucy used to tell stories about working on President John F. Kennedy’s campaign. He was immersed in local politics, but presidential politics was a passion. “Like a lot of Granite Staters, our first-in-the-nation primary played a big part in his life,” Demers said.

Regarding being an Elector for Obama, Demers said, “He told everybody that it was one of the proudest times of his life.”

U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-NH, offered condolences and reflected on Soucy’s community involvement.

“C. Arthur Soucy demonstrated an unyielding commitment to his fellow Granite Staters, his community, and his party, representing New Hampshire’s long tradition of a vibrant citizen-led democracy,” Hassan said. “As a dedicated public servant, C. Arthur made a positive impact in the lives he touched, and he will be deeply missed.”

The New Hampshire Young Democrats have an award named in his honor. NHYD President Lucas Meyer called Soucy a “New Hampshire legend.”

“C. Arthur was a staple of the New Hampshire political scene. He embodied what it meant to be a New Hampshire elected official,” Meyer said.


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