Shrewsbury - Paul C. Wright, 85, passed away on Monday, July 3, 2023. Born on July 21, 1937, in Worcester, Massachusetts, he was the oldest son of Chester J. Wright and Helen E. Wright (Clifford).
Paul was a loving husband to his late wife, Ellen Wright (Butler), whom he married in 1959 in Saint Margaret Mary Church in Worcester. Together, they built a beautiful life and raised a loving family. Paul's legacy lives on through his five children: Tara Wright of Holden, MA; Jonathan Wright and his wife Meg of Shrewsbury, MA; Heather Santry of Princeton, MA; Cynthia Beaudoin and her husband David of East Falmouth, MA; and Jennifer Wright LaMontagne and her partner Andrew Beard of Southborough, MA.
Paul, affectionately known as Papa, was a devoted grandfather to Briana McClure, Dillon McClure, Colin Wright, Bridget Beaudoin, Joseph Beaudoin, Ellen LaMontagne, Nathan LaMontagne, Calvin Beard, Dylan Beard and great-granddaughter, McKinley Beauregard.
Paul was preceded in death by his siblings, Virginia Dustin and John Wright. He is survived by his sisters Helen Paduch of Dahlonega, GA and Elizabeth Lewis of Middletown, RI, his brother C. Stephen Wright and his wife, Sandy of Shrewsbury, MA as well as sister in laws, Elinor Saarinen and her husband, Ralph of Shrewsbury, and Eileen Wright of Boylston. Additionally, he leaves several nieces and nephews.
He was a graduate of Saint Paul’s Grammar School and went on to North High School after completing his freshman year at St. John’s High School where…he would often reminisce with a grin…the Brothers ‘suggested’ it might be a good idea if he didn't return. He served in the United States Air Force Reserve from 1956 to 1964.
Paul retired from the International Union of Bricklayers, starting as an apprentice in the Worcester local immediately after high school in 1955 and retiring in 1999. He operated his own contracting business for many years. However, he often remarked that his most rewarding job was caring for his grandchildren, Ellen and Nathan, from infancy to their middle school years. Papa Paul will be forever cherished for both his loving presence and his legendary pancake breakfasts.
He was an avid motorcyclist who raced motocross, rode sport bikes, and dual sports. His passion for exploring took him on journeys to faraway places like the Yukon, Alaska, Quebec, Newfoundland, and Labrador. Yet, he found as much satisfaction in his backyard, be it riding the track at East Mountain St. in Worcester, Rutland State Park, or the back roads of Western Mass., New Hampshire, and Vermont. He loved to say that every trip started with a ride by the Wachusett Reservoir.
His most treasured adventure was going to Labrador in 1982 with Ellen on a Yamaha 650 twin. Setting out for the tiny islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon off of the Newfoundland coast, they met a truck driver on the ferry to Newfoundland who talked them into going to Labrador instead, giving them his tattered old road map to follow. Paul said it was the best advice he had ever gotten – leading them on the ride of a lifetime along the dirt roads and remote fishing villages of the Southern Labrador coast.
Paul will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and all who had the pleasure of knowing him. His spirit of adventure and love for family will continue to inspire and live on in the hearts of those who were fortunate enough to share in his journey.
Family and friends will gather to honor and remember Paul’s life on Saturday, July 15, 2023, for visitation from 10 - 11 a.m. in Saint Mary’s Church, 640 Main Street, Shrewsbury followed by his funeral Mass celebrated at 11 a.m. Burial will follow in Mountain View Cemetery, Shrewsbury.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. John’s Food for the Poor Program, 44 Temple Street, Worcester, MA 01604.
Arrangements by James & John Heald of The Joyce Funeral Home, 245 Main Street, Waltham, MA 02453.