CASTINE – Paul Edward James Cyr died December 21, 2017, at Blue Hill Memorial Hospital, the result of injury from a bad fall.
Paul was born in Skowhegan, Maine, on July 1, 1929, the son of Emile & Marie (Sirois) Cyr. His family moved to Bucksport when Paul was a baby. He had two older brothers and 6 sisters. During WWII, with his older brothers serving in the military and his father working at the Portland Shipyard as a rigger building transport ships, Paul became the man of the house at the age of 14. In addition to his school work, he attended to the pasturing and milking of 4 cows, attended a ½ acre garden, helped the janitor at the local school, and served as an altar boy during Mass. At 16, Paul worked shift work at the Bucksport paper mill.
Paul enjoyed the outdoors. During one outing, while he and his Bucksport friends were jumping out of a tree into the “old swimming hole”, Paul noticed that one of the boys didn’t surface. So he dove in and hauled the boy out, saving his life. This would not be his last water rescue.
After high school, Paul enlisted in the Navy. After boot camp, he went into the Naval Aviation Crewman School, and then Aviation Electronics Technician School. Having passed in the top 10% in the class, he was promoted to Chief Petty Officer, which enabled him to choose where he would be stationed. He chose the Naval Air Station at Lakehurst, NJ. While there he attended Naval Electronic Equipment School and served on Naval Air Ships as an electronics and communications operator. During one mission the air ship crashed, sending the navigator out through the nose of the air ship. Paul hauled himself and the injured navigator onto a rubber raft resulting in another water rescue.
After discharged from the Navy, Paul attended the University of Maine. While attending college, he worked part-time at WABI TV, Maine’s first television station, where he met Lois, his wife of 62 years. Together they raised their 4 children, of which they are very proud.
The day after graduation as an Electrical Engineer, Paul started a new career at New England Telephone, first for 10 years in Portland, then for 19 years in Manchester, NH, designing microwave systems for the Maine, NH, & Vermont areas. While living in Kensington, NH, on his way home from work one cold, spring evening, Paul observed a car flip upside down in the Exeter River. He dove into the cold, murky water several times, rescuing one of the two passengers, for which he was awarded ATT’s Vail Award for Bravery on April 23, 1975.
At the age of 55, after 29 years at New England Telephone, Paul retired to the Moore family farm in Castine, where he started operating an apple orchard. In addition to the orchard, Paul was active in the Castine Conservation Trust, both as head of the Monitoring Committee and as President, the Castine Historical Society, and the Bagaduce Ambulance Corp. His hobbies included boating, working in the woods, gardening, and following his Acadian genealogy.
Paul leaves his wife, Lois Moore Cyr; 4 children: Kevin Cyr and wife Ellen (Ordway) Cyr of Newmarket, NH; Elaine Cyr Bertrand and her husband Paul of Castine; Dianne Cyr Carmody and husband William of Norfolk, VA; Brian Cyr, and his wife Melinda (Tidwell) Cyr of Pittsfield, NH. He also leaved 11 grandchildren: Erin Carmody, Matthew and Benjamin Cyr, Katherine (Katie) and David Bertrand, Elizabeth, Kimberley, Patience, David, Xenthios, and Arianna Cyr. Paul leaves a sister, Deanne Sheehan of Bucksport, and many nieces and nephews. He is pre-deceased by two brothers, Aime and Hector, and 5 sisters, Loranda Beaulieu, Lucille Hanscom Murphy, Catherine Sherman, Delphine (Cuffy) McCann, and Alma Doucette Bradley. Paul was a member of Our Lady of Holy Hope in Castine, and a very good neighbor.
Viewing hours will be January 3, 2018 from 10:00-11:30 at Mitchel Tweedie Funeral Home, Bucksport, with a Mass of Christian Burial to follow at noon at St Vincent de Paul Church. There will be a private burial in the Spring.
In lieu of flower, donations can be made to the American Diabetes Association, for which Paul was an active fundraiser.