John Bubier, long familiar to people downtown and elsewhere in the Boston area for his outstretched arms and "Do you have any spaaaare change?" requests, died Jan. 11 at 68.
Bubier graduated Watertown High School in 1971. He was a member of the Gridiron Club and listed his plans for the future as "Business." He worked as a caterer for American Airlines at Logan Airport and as a laborer for the Boston Housing Authority, he told MassLive.com in a 2014 interview. After he was laid off from the BHA, he never worked a steady job again, instead turning to panhandling and SSI for money.
While most people regarded him mainly as a croaking background to their walks through Downtown Crossing, he had a darker side: He was convicted in 2011 and 2019 on charges of indecent assault and battery. He was arrested several times for failing to register as a sex offender - and for his predilection for trying to get onto the T without paying.
Donations in his memory can be made to the St. Francis House homeless shelter.