Fred Happel was born and raised in Weymouth, in a house that his parents still own and reside in to this day. Staying true to his Weymouth roots, Fred and his wife Julie, who have been married for twenty-four years, live in South Weymouth, where they are raising two sons of their own. Their younger son, Sean, attends St. Francis Xavier School on Pleasant Street, and their oldest, Michael, is a junior at Weymouth High School and plays the drums in the school's marching band.
Fred’s interest in public service, began at an early age. When he was only twelve years old, Fred began accompanying his grandfather, Henry Bosworth, to work, at the Quincy Sun Newspaper, on Saturday and Sunday mornings. This experience gave Fred the opportunity to meet a number of local politicians, and ignited a passion for politics that would become a major part of Fred’s life from that point forward.
After graduating from Weymouth North High School, Fred attended UMass Boston, where he graduated with a degree in political science. During his sophomore year, Fred became Senator Bob Hedlund’s first intern on Beacon Hill, gaining valuable experience and developing an even greater passion for constituent services. By the time he was twenty-years-old, Fred was elected as a Weymouth Town Meeting Member, where he would serve for the next couple of years, before eventually getting involved in various campaigns throughout Massachusetts. Over time, Fred has worked on a number of state and local campaigns, which included serving as Mayor Hedlund’s Campaign Manager, during his 2015 campaign to become Mayor of Weymouth.
Beyond his involvement in various political campaigns, Fred’s passion for public service, and commitment to the community, is evidenced by a number of different activities that he has participated in over the years. During his time as a Correction’s Officer, for the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Department, Fred served the people of Norfolk County, by working to uphold public safety. Fred has also been a member of several different organizations aimed at bettering the community. He is an active member of the Knights of Columbus, and was on the Executive Board of the South Weymouth Neighborhood Association.
Fred’s dedication to the community can also be witnessed by his involvement in a variety of different charity events. In 2014, he helped organize the Firefighter’s Fleadh, in West Roxbury, to raise money for the families of fallen firefighters, Michael Kennedy and Lt. Edward Walsh, who died in the line of duty while fighting a fire in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. Councilor Happel has also helped organize a number of events in support of organizations such as the Weymouth High Music Boosters and the Coop’s Troop Foundation Inc., which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization founded to honor the life of Cooper Matthew Richards, a young boy from Weymouth who dies at just 3 years old after battling GM-1 gangliosidosis.
In his free time Fred enjoys spending time with his wife and kids, and can often be found attending a variety of different events around Weymouth. His two sons are very active and, over the past several years, have been involved in a number of extracurricular activities. As an involved parent, Fred has volunteered to help out his sons’ teams by serving as a coach for South Weymouth Youth Baseball, as well as North Weymouth Flag Football. Recently, in March 2019, Councilor Happel also co-founded, and served as one of the lead organizers for, Weymouth's first-ever Irish Heritage Day, parade and festival, which included "more than 40 bands, organizations and businesses," to celebrate the town's deep Irish roots.
As a longtime Weymouth resident, who is currently raising two children in town, Fred originally ran for City Council in hopes of addressing a few key issues that he felt were hampering the community, in an effort to make Weymouth an even better place to live and raise a family. First, Fred was/is deeply concerned about the opiate crisis that has ravaged the area over the last number of years, and wanted to look for new ways to battle this epidemic and rid it from the community. Fred was/is also concerned about public safety, and, more specifically, the Weymouth Fire Department’s ability to respond to fires, particularly in the Jackson Square area of town, and is committed to reopening Station #2, which used to service this neighborhood until it was closed in 2009. Fred believes that reopening Station #2 will resolve this issue, by providing the fire department with a location that would allow them reach that particular part of town more quickly, and cut valuable minutes off response times.
Since being elected to the City Councilor in 2017, Fred has showed that he is committed to addressing these important issues in a number of ways. Councilor Happel currently sits on the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Committee for the Council and is an active member of the Weymouth Youth Coalition's Substance Abuse Prevention Team (SAPT), which looks to "fosters communication, community collaboration and opportunities for youth that promote and sustain drug free and healthy living in a trusting, non-judgmental environment." Fred is also the Chair of the Public Safety Committee, and has a strong relationship with the Fire Department as he continues to fight for additional funding to open Station #2. If re-elected, Councilor Happel is excited for the opportunity to continue working, with other members of the City Council, to address these, and several other, important issues that are affecting the community, and make Weymouth an even better place to live and raise a family.