WOONSOCKET â€“ Former Gov. Bruce Sundlun died Thursday at the age of 91, leaving what is likely to be viewed as a significant but controversial impact on the state he headed for two terms in the Governorâ€™s office.
Sundlun, who ran three times to win his first term as Governor in 1991, put the wheels in motion for construction of the stateâ€™s modern T.F. Green Airport in Warwick by the time he left office.
But it was his decision to close the stateâ€™s credit unions and banks shortly after being sworn-in in January 1991 that drew the strongest emotions about him among city residents on Thursday.
Dave Egan's rose-red face glistened with sweat as he sought out a sliver of cool shade beside his box truck in Woonsocket to escape the fast-rising morning temperatures.
Foreman of an outdoor labor crew for Providence & Worcester Railroad, Egan was working in air that made breathing seem more like inhaling a bowl of flavorless, hot soup.
Throw in the dust kicked up amid the screaming whine of an asphalt-cutting power saw, and creosote fumes that mix with perspiration to create a solution that literally burns the skin, and it added up to a scorching day at the office.