Our Friend Paul

Below is Paul's Eulogy written and spoken by his brother Matt at his Funeral

Forgive me if Iím a little upset about this Ė nobody wants to deliver a Eulogy for his kid brother Ė its not supposed to work like that.

 

Having said that, I am happy to talk about Paul, he was a very smart guy with an immense heart and many talents.

 

He knew how to make friends and hold them for life.  He would do anything for his friends.  If you were a friend of Paulís you were lucky.  You might ask what exactly did he do to make his friends so happy?

 

Paul could fix anything.  He was a good carpenter, electrician, car mechanic, home remodeler, plumber, welder, you name it, he could do just about anything with his hands.  And, he would do it at a reasonable cost with repeated trips to Home Depot or Sears to get just the right parts.  He had a tool collection that would make most hardware stores envious.     

 

He worked on Wall Street and was a Bond Trader for a while after he got out of Stony Brook.  He did that for about 14 years.  I remember him saying that Bond trading with muti-million dollar accounts really excited him.  He was really good at it, too.  It was a glamorous time for him, wearing $400 suits every day and spending a lot of time in fancy restaurants afterwards.   And man, could Paul network Ė he would hang out and shoot the breeze with everybody.   The friends he made there were still his friends up until Tuesday when he died.  He also found time to manage the Pershing company bowling league and later on, a Womenís softball team.

 

He spent over 24 years with the love of his life, Stacy.  Despite disagreements about what constituted ďtaking good care of his healthĒ they got along famously.  It was always a pleasure to have Paul and Stacy over our house in New Jersey for the holidays.  Stacy was always friendly, polite and quiet while Paul went into his Santa Claus routine.  Paul was GREAT to his nieces, his nephew and his friendís kids.  In my family he showered my girls with really cool interesting presents that would put big smiles on their faces.  It was almost embarrassing to Lucy and I because the stuff Paul and Stacy gave them was always more fun than our sensible gifts.   Paul loved his nieces and he always hugged them and let them know.

 

Paulís next great love was cooking.  After his bond trading days he went to the French Culinary Institute in New York to fine tune his cooking skills. I think he must have majored in Bar-B-Queing because he really excelled at that in the ensuing years.  Paul could prepare a meal in the great outdoors that would blow your mind.  His cooking would add another whole level of excellence to any event, whether it was a friendís confirmation, graduation, wedding, or just a Giantís party.  He could prepare steaks, hamburgers and salads that would make you think you were eating in a world famous restaurant, even though you were just at a friendís graduation party.  He spent many years cooking for his buddies watching the Giantís games in Moeís shed.  He really had a talent for cooking and he enjoyed sharing that with people and making them happy.   

 

Paul always had a boom box going full blast at his outdoor feasts.  He loved music from the 60s and 70s like the Grateful Dead, John Prine, The Band, Bob Dylan, John Fogerty, Levon Helm, Mark Knopfler, Neil Young, you get the picture.  As far as Paul was concerned, that was real music.  He was always sharing copies of cds with me.  Growing up a few years ahead of him, I agreed with his choices, and I was happy to get the free cds to load on my Ipod.

One of his oldest friends, Ivy, came in with a few funny stories about Paul during his college days.  He discovered the wonders of recycling beer cans for the 5 cent deposit.  He would neatly put the empty cans back into the plastic holder that held the six packs together, and slide them on a broomstick one six pack at a time until the broomstick was filled up.   Then he would go marching back to the store carrying the stack of empty six packs on a stick to get his deposits back.  The store owner was a little confused at first with Paulís technique, but realized after a while how incredibly efficient it was.

 

Another story related to her sister Vicís birthday party at McDonaldís for a bunch of 6 to 8 year old kids.  Paul volunteered to make an appearance at the party as a clown, and he was a big hit with the kids, except for one named Lenny.  Lenny decided to pull the red nose off Paulís face, fill it with soda and stick it back on.   Paul remained calm, and finished up his clown duties as if nothing had happened.  A true testament to his patience.

 

Paul spread much love and happiness using his talents, and that was his mission in life, but he had one dream for himself that he didnít see fulfilled.  He wanted to buy that great big house he and Stacy lived in on Westminster Road.  He waited patiently for the Doc or her family to sell it to him.  As the years went by I tried to talk him out of waiting and encouraged him to buy something else in Brooklyn, but he wouldnít hear of it.  Unfortunately, the opportunity never came.

 

Otherwise Paul did everything he wanted to do, and we here today are much better off that some of his favorite things to do were sharing his talents and making his friends and loved ones happy.