worcester – Paul Francis Gill, 77, of Worcester, MA and formerly of Shrewsbury and Northborough, died June 25, 2022.
Son of Ruth (Mealey) and W. Harold Gill, Paul was born in Boston and grew up in Shrewsbury, near famous Dean Park and General Artemas Ward House. Legend has it that the general’s far-sighted father chose the location of his house in anticipation of the imminent arrival of Paul and his family (two and a half centuries later).
Paul’s experiences in the big city were wide and varied. Walks through Shrewsbury have often sparked stories about the White City Amusement Park, the Worcester Tornado and friends converging on the Gill House to watch 1950s TV shows.
Paul attended St. John’s High School in Worcester, which, like the tornado, eventually made its way to Shrewsbury. He then enrolled at Holy Cross College (where he was known as “Gill the Thrill” before bestowing the nickname two decades later on Holy Cross star running back Gill Fenerty) and later at UMass Boston, in addition to serving in the United States Navy.
Paul’s working life took him to office jobs at the Thom McAn and Frye shoe companies, followed by the Arrow and TRW automotive companies. His lack of a distinct cowboy identity meant that his undersized feet (which he did not pass on to his children) were never adorned with the popular Frye boots. Likewise, his inability to distinguish between an oil drain plug and a spark plug (which he passed on to his children, particularly the gauge author of his obituary) rendered it utterly useless to him. to retail auto parts manufactured by its later. employers.
Paul was politically aware and active and felt comfortable sharing his opinions with friends and strangers (often in a civil way!). In some cases, his commitment to issues he was passionate about led him to engage in movements long before they gained popularity. He has participated in several local, state and national campaigns to win and lose candidates. He stayed local with his own political career, winning a seat on the Shrewsbury school board and eventually becoming president.
The desire to spend more time with his family led Paul to end his term as a member of the school committee before the end of his last term. Much of that extra time was spent watching her kids play sports and watching sports with them. Paul loved sports. Like. While he’d tell you his biggest personal ‘sports achievement’ was tossing a white-painted grapefruit down Broadway Joe Namath in a slow-pitch softball game and watching the hijinks ensue, he rarely missed. the accomplishments (and failures) of Boston’s sports teams. , whether in person or on television.
Among the other sports memorabilia he kept was his ticket stub from the 1961 Major League Baseball All-Star Game at Fenway Park. The game was interrupted by rain after nine innings and was the only MLB All-Star game to end in a tie until commissioner Bud Selig ruined the 2002 edition (and likely reduced the value of the heel of 1961).
Despite his love of sports, Paul suffered from an inexplicable and incurable need to give up the games prematurely. Examples of finishes he might have seen in person but did not include Mo Vaughn closing out a seven-point rally in the ninth inning of the Red Sox’ 1998 home opener with a walk-out grand slam. you and Jason Staurovsky hitting a 27-yard field goal in 1988 to secure the first overtime victory in Patriots franchise history after losing their previous ten. (Admittedly, the temperature was in the teens with wind gusts of over 20 mph in Foxboro that day, but still…)
But the instance which was cited more than any other in the Gill household was among the most obscure. In 1984, the undefeated US Olympic baseball team played a tune-up game against the Cape Cod League All-Stars in Chatham. The Cape Leaguers had a surprising 4-3 lead late in the game, and Paul had seen enough. For reasons that are lost to history, the 11-year-old version of the aforementioned gauge was a huge fan of Oddibe McDowell, who was scheduled to bat for Team USA in the ninth inning. The boy begged his father to stay in case McDowell hit a game-winning home run. McDowell did just that, and the Gills were there…in the car, listening to the radio.
However, not every Paul Gill Cape Cod car radio story has one of his kids reach for the Pepto. Often, the sun had barely risen before he and his youngest child set out to find Dennis donuts. With the windows down (kids, ask your parents if the car windows are “down”), they’d put on the Kingston Trio or the Beach Boys and harmonize loudly. Natalie and Nat King Cole combining on “Unforgettable” wasn’t, but it was unforgettable for both of them.
Nothing brought Paul more joy than hearing his grandson Carter and granddaughter Mazie call him “GrandPaul” or his granddaughters Emersyn, Rielyn and Kaedyn call him “PaPaul”. He is also survived by his daughter and son-in-law Jennifer and Timothy Clinton of Fort Mill, SC; son (/gauge) and daughter-in-law Robert and Amy of Cherry Hill, NJ; brother William (Bill) of Sacramento, California; and his sister and brother-in-law Barbara (Gill) and Paul Michalak of Shrewsbury, MA.
The services will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Paul’s memory at mitoaction.org.
Arrangements were taken care of by Hays Funeral Home, 56 Main Street, Northborough.
To leave online condolences for Paul’s family, please visit www.HaysFuneralHome.com.