Oct 6, 2014 3:16 PM

Police identify 'untimely death' victim as Exec. Chef, Portsmouth Gas Light Company


PORTSMOUTH - Police have identified a man who was found dead in the Shaw's parking lot Saturday morning as 43-year-old Kieth Napolitan.

Napolitan was found unconscious inside a car in the supermarket parking lot. Unspecified drug paraphernalia was found in the car, but at this time, police are only calling the death "untimely." Friends of Napolitan said he had a past history of depression and addiction.

Napolitan served as the Executive Chef for the Portsmouth Gas Light Company. His loss comes as a shock to the downtown community and restaurant scene. Friends remembered him for more than his love for cooking.

"He was always making barrettes and thinking that he might come and sell them at my gallery sometimes. He's like ‘do you like this? I just made earrings.' And he was actually pretty good at it. He was a really good artist, so not only did he have artistry in food, but he was just an artist on the inside too," said Heather Lessard, owner of Tulips American Handcrafts and friend to Napolitan for six years.

Evan Mallett, who worked with Napolitan years ago, said he taught him so much about life and happiness.

"He among other things, showed me this ability to, this desire to make other people happy. I think that was always something that stood out with Kieth. No matter what he was going through at the time, he maintained this really beautiful, outward joy," he said.

His death comes nearly two years after his daughter, Nicole Napolitan, died a drug-related death. The cause of his death is still under investigation. Memorial services will be held Tuesday from 4 to 6 pm at the J. Verne Wood Funeral Home-Buckminster Chapel in Portsmouth.


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