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Thursday, May 26, 2016 Serving Maine and Lincoln County for over a century. Volume 141 Issue 21


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4/22/2014 4:29:00 PM
Paul Vincent Vassallo
Sept. 7, 1941 - April 9, 2014

Paul Vincent Vassallo, 72, of Newcastle, died at his home on April 9, after a battle with lung cancer. He was surrounded by his family and maintained his sharp wit, warmth, and sense of humor until the end.

Paul was born on Sept. 7, 1941 to Herbert and Priscilla (Holmes) Vassallo of Malden, Mass.

After graduating from Malden High School he briefly attended Northeastern University before moving to Paris, where he studied French and taught English.

Upon returning to Boston he held various jobs, including driving a taxi cab, before joining the National Guard and beginning his career in human resources. He ran his own employment recruiting businesses, Vincent & Associates and Soft Fair Career Link, and was Director of Human Resources for Data General and McCormick & Dodge. From 1966 until 1983 he was married to Marjorie Yates (nee Bruce) and they raised two children together in Lexington, Mass., spending summers in South Bristol.

Paul was an incredible storyteller and particularly enjoyed reminiscing about his childhood adventures with his five siblings, and about his later adventures in Paris, where he hung out with the Beat poets and dabbled at writing. He was extremely competitive at pool, chess, cards, ping pong and word games.

Paul made friends wherever he went. He was keenly interested in people and their stories, and was an exceptional listener. He remembered details of people's lives and could strike up conversation with someone he hadn't seen in years as if no time had passed at all. He put people at ease with his sense of humor and his ability to listen without judging or telling people what to do. He was also a talented craftsman and handyman, an avid vegetable gardener and a master of crossword puzzles. He was always quick with a pun or other witty wordplay.

Of all of Paul's talents and passions, however, the most important to him was his role as a father. Paul raised his two eldest children in Lexington, Mass. and his youngest son in Pepperell, Mass. All three spent time in South Bristol. Paul was a favorite parent of the neighborhood kids because of his ability to create adventure and excitement and his penchant for bending the rules. He took kids seriously, listened to their thoughts and ideas, and thought they made interesting conversationalists.

He spent a great deal of time with his children, writing and illustrating stories together, dancing to The Beatles and others in his vast record collection, making Sunday morning doughnuts, heading off to amusement parks, skating rinks and cross country ski trails, sitting in the bleachers at Fenway Park, boating on the Damariscotta River and camping on Fort Island. He made incredible wooden toys for them; handcrafted Star Wars figures, full size playhouses, a police car with working lights and siren that fit on top of a Big Wheel trike and allowed all the kids to race up and down the street with lights and siren blaring.

On a rainy day, he thought nothing of making a masking tape hopscotch board on the hardwood floors and letting the kids line up in the kitchen to try to pelt him with cupcake wrappers filled with whipped cream. He also coached his oldest children's Little League teams, making sure each kid had a chance to play every position at least once during the season. Paul also made a point of talking with his kids about history and politics and big ideas from an early age, and he instilled in them a sense of compassion for others and a belief in equal justice. He made sure his kids could always see things from others' points of view and always let them know he believed in them and their hopes and dreams.

Later in his life, Paul moved to Athol, Mass., where he and his eldest son worked for several years as house painters and rehabbed a house together. In 2003, Paul moved to Maine to be closer to his grandson, Isaac. He relished being a grandfather and quickly became known as Pops to family and friends alike.

He was known for his wry sense of humor, sparkling eyes, kindness, compassion, wit and ability to make adventure everywhere he went.

Paul was predeceased by his infant son, Brendan Delany Vassallo; brother, Robert Vassallo; and sister-in-law Carolyn Vassallo.

He is survived by his daughter, Andrea Vassallo of Newcastle; sons, Michael Vassallo of Arlington, Mass., and Justin Vassallo of Brooklyn, N.Y.; grandson, Isaac Yates Russell of Newcastle; former wife, Marjorie Yates of Cambridge, Mass. and South Bristol; former partner, Hermine Delany McCain of Ashburnham, Mass.; brothers, John Vassallo and wife Janice of Celebration, Fla., and Charles Vassallo of Cape Coral, Fla.; sisters, Priscilla Antkowiak and husband Ray of Auburn, Mass., and Lyn Dealtry and husband Don of San Carlos, Cal.; and numerous nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

A memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m., Sat., June 14 at the Union Church in South Bristol. A gathering will follow at 155 Westside Rd., South Bristol.

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