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Read the obituaries for Joseph Birolini and William Hickey, the two Pembroke High graduates killed in a crash

In lieu of flowers, the families are asking that donations be made to Pembroke Youth Hockey's Joseph Birolini and William Hickey Scholarship Fund.

Joseph Birolini (left) and William Hickey (right). Provided

Communities on the South Shore have been mourning the deaths of two Pembroke High School graduates and former youth hockey stars who were killed in a single-car crash early Saturday morning.

Both Joseph Birolini, 23, of Hanson, and William Hickey, 23, of Pembroke, suffered fatal injuries in the crash that occurred just before 1 a.m. on Elm Street in Pembroke, according to authorities. The passing of the two young men has prompted an outpouring of grief, with news of their deaths stunning school officials and the youth hockey community. 

Loved ones remembered each young man for their passion for athletics, their achievements on the ice, and their dedication to their friends. Below, read the obituaries for Birolini and Hickey, shared by Sullivan Funeral Home: 

Joseph “Joey” Robert Birolini

Joseph “Joey” Robert Birolini, 23, of Pembroke, passed away on April 17, 2021.

Born on April 1, 1998, Joey was the beloved son of Karen and Paul. He was the adored brother of Chris, Carly, Anthony, and Jennifer. Cherished grandson of Phyllis Marcinkewich and her husband Jack of Florida and the late Robert Joseph Lyons and the late Olivo and Mildred Birolini. He is also survived by several aunts, uncles, and cousins. He was the loving boyfriend of Erin Wengryn. Joey is survived by too many friends to count, but his “boys” hold a special and unique bond like no other.

Joey enjoyed many sports growing up, including basketball, soccer, and baseball, but his passion was for hockey. He started skating in preschool and grew up playing for Pembroke Youth Hockey and the Bay State Breakers. He played hockey for Pembroke High School and was a captain and an All-Star. Joey graduated Pembroke High School in 2016 and graduated Summa Cum Laude from UMass Boston in May 2020 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management. He was an employee of AAFCPA in Boston.

In recent years, Joey had become an avid golfer and skier. He was a sports fanatic. He was a Home Town fan cheering for Celtics, Patriots, Red Sox, and especially the Bruins. He loved the outdoors and he enjoyed camping in New Hampshire with his family. Joey enjoyed weekends in New Hampshire with his girlfriend and her entire family, who was a second family to him. Joey was the one who always took care of everyone else first. He would buy Christmas presents for his younger siblings but would make sure that they were “from Santa.” Joey was a role model to his younger brother Anthony. He was wise beyond his years and was truly an old soul.

Visitation will be held on Friday from 4-8 PM at the Sullivan Funeral Homes, 551 Washington Street, Route 53, Hanover. Due to Covid restrictions, the Funeral Mass will be livestreamed on Saturday at 11 AM. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inGICzaI4Io

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Pembroke Youth Hockey’s Joseph Birolini and William Hickey Scholarship Fund, PO Box 1022, Pembroke MA 02359. Please make checks payable to “Pembroke Youth Hockey.” Donations are also accepted by Venmo @Pembroke-YouthHockey.

William “Billy” Paul Hickey

William “Billy” Paul Hickey, born on February 13, 1998, in Weymouth, MA, to Robert and Kelly Hickey, passed away too soon on April 17, 2021, due to a tragic car accident.

Billy was a 2016 graduate of Pembroke High School, where he was captain of the hockey team. He was set to graduate from Salem State University next month with a Bachelor of Science in Cartography and Geographic Information Systems. Billy was also a member of the Salem State Hockey Team. Along with this extremely lifelong passion for hockey, Billy loved surfing, snowboarding, riding his dirt bikes, living life to the fullest, and hanging with his “boys.” His love for his friends was extraordinary. They were not just friends, they are brothers who will carry Billy forever in their hearts.

Along with his parents Bob and Kelly, Billy is survived by his brother Joey Hickey, and his beloved girlfriend Rachel Semonian. Maternal grandparents Patricia Foran of Hubbardson and the late Maurice Foran, formerly of Weymouth. Deceased paternal grandparents Camella and William Hickey formerly of Weymouth and Pembroke. As well as many loving aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Visitation will be held on Friday from 4-8 PM at the Sullivan Funeral Homes, 551 Washington Street, Route 53, Hanover. Due to Covid restrictions, the Funeral Mass will be livestreamed on Saturday at 11 AM. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inGICzaI4Io

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Pembroke Youth Hockey’s Joseph Birolini and William Hickey Scholarship Fund, PO Box 1022, Pembroke MA 02359. Please make checks payable to “Pembroke Youth Hockey.” Donations are also accepted by Venmo @Pembroke-YouthHockey.  

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