My Brother Paul D’
Welcome and thank you… Paul’s family, friends and colleagues – for joining us today to mourn and celebrate the life of my brother. I would like to express my families’ tremendous gratitude to the US Coast Guard for their support by making all of their facilities and resources available to us. You have been incredible. Thank you
Paul’s passing initially can only be described as a “huge loss for all of us”. Paul has been stationed in Alaska after having been hand-picked for special assignment as a Capitol Facilities Planner for the USCG. He was loving it out there, he was proud of the work he was doing and was fulfilled. He died unexpectedly.
Paul was born March 11th 1970 in Cape May NJ, grew up in Plymouth Mass. He played violin and our family practiced and performed for years as a “Family String Quartet” Paul spend many summer vacations in his youth visiting our late Mother and family on the Jersey Shore. On his own accord, Paul joined the Coast Guard the summer between his Jr. and Sr. year. At that time our father was an Officer in the Coast Guard and Paul was sworn in by him.
Paul then graduated from Plymouth High in 1988, he was voted “Best Dressed” for the High School Year Book. Shocking Right?!? He always looked good!
He attended UMass Amherst and Wentworth Institute to pursue his interest in landscape design/build and architectural engineering. In 1990 Paul served in the Gulf War.
His entrepreneurial spirit lead him to pursuing his dreams of creating beauty in this world as a Landscape architect, and he did. Paul enjoyed expressing his creative nature by designing roof decks, gardens, patios, beautiful properties, waterparks, and more.
Along that path Paul had numerous amazing adventures. He did a lot of traveling and touched the hearts of those he came in contact.
In 2010, he went to work full time as an Engineering Technician for the USCG right here on this base. 7 months ago he moved to Juneau Alaska for an opportunity which was perfect for all that Paul brought to the table professionally … and …JUNEAU, in true “Paul D fashion” his move to Alaska was yet another Amazing Adventure.
Among Paul’s incredible gifts, and possibly his most remarkable was his ability to develop extraordinary friendships and life changing relationships, which he then shared with everyone else. He was always bringing someone new into the fold.
Juneau Paul was ridiculously funny, I remember one Thanksgiving, Paul wanted to throw the turkey in the hot tub to thaw it. He was quite the character!
His influence on my life has been profound. He always believed in me and gave me incredible confidence. He would simply say “you’re Mike D’” … and I believed him.
I may be Paul’s brother but we all shared a very similar relationship with him as a brother. Many of you with your Facebook posts, e-mails and messages “I know” sums things up best … These are direct quotes from you:
1. “He was my “Rock” … “He was always there for me … He had a heart of gold and an infectious smile.”
2. “I can’t remember a time when Paul wasn’t making us smile or laugh.” “I will live my life better in honor of Paul.”
3. “I can’t tell you how sorry I am about you losing your brother, but what feels like my brother too. We go way back, many memories, so much history.”
4. “Thank you for teaching me to experience life with more passion, feeling, expression, and vulnerability.”
And I love this one…
“Oh no … I’ve lost my best dance partner ever”, no one danced like Paul D’
“Paul, You take a bit of me with you. That piece that you claimed through your love and friendship. You lived, loved and played hard. You were a mover and a shaker. A romantic, creative soul, a dreamer and catcher of dreams.”
Accolades like these were repeated over and over. And they really speaks to who Paul was.
The celebrations, steak dinners, social events (and there were plenty), his green architecture, roof top gardens, patios, Air Parks, Capitol Facility Planning, Plymouth, Cape May NJ, Boston, Newport, Nantucket, New York, Bermuda and Alaska … Paul embraced it all with his incredible personality and charm and took life by storm.
Paul was absolutely fierce in the kitchen, he could walk into any one’s home, and with whatever they happening in the cupboard could prepare an incredible 4 course meal. I was always like, “Dude, how do you do that?” I think if we should put together a book of all the Stories. We could call it “The book of Paul D’”
Paul was a “Giant Life Force” whose quest to live life on a grand scale awarded all of us these memories to last a lifetime. We are honored to have been a witnessing presence on Paul’s course and our lives have been enriched. All the love, passion and energy that he poured into our Universe remains within us.
Paul has successfully woven his very being … into ours … and built a network that eternally connects us together – thanks to (Point to the casket) “Our Brother Paul D’”
And this is his “Tremendous Gift” to us. Take Paul’s gift with you.
… Life can be fleeting. ….. Love the ones around you, share your memories and … most importantly … go on to create new ones.
To quote Kahlil Gibran one of Paul’s favorite philosophers:
Everything that exist endures forever, and the very existence of existence is the proof of eternity.