Paul Joseph DesLauriers, Sr.
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Former Tyngsboro Police Officer
Paul Joseph DesLauriers, Sr. passed away on January 6, 2013, along with his beloved wife Susan "Sue" R. (Humphrey) Astle as a result of a fire at the Woodcrest Condominiums in Chelmsford. He was 77.
Paul was born in Manchester, Conn., the son of the late Prosper E. DesLauriers and Lucinda "Lucy" R. Montgomery. He was raised in Lowell. Following his graduation in 1953 from Lowell High School he was employed as a carpenter before joining the Tyngsboro Police Force in 1961 as a Special Police Officer. It was there that he found his life's true passion. Paul was widely known as a dependable go-to man, the one who could be counted on to be the first to lend a helping hand in any situation. His intelligence, gregarious spirit, and keen sense of humor made him a natural to work within the community at a time when there was only one police car available to the force. In every situation, he looked for the positive, set his sights on the silver lining, and was confident that in the end, things would turn out okay. This attitude earned him the respect of his fellow officers, and made him a successful community liaison, especially among Tyngsboro's youth population.
Dedicated to improving his skills and abilities on the force, Paul pursued a 10-week FBI course in Brookline, NH in 1962, and was named a permanent member of the force in 1963. In 1965, he attended a 15-week course in Criminal Law at Harvard University. He graduated from the Massachusetts State Police School of Fingerprinting and Photography in 1970, and in 1972, participated in a course at the Eastman Kodak Company for Law Enforcement Photography. He retired from the police force as a sergeant in 1982 after 21 years of service.
Despite the inherent demands and challenges faced by any long-time member of the police force, Paul managed to be a loving father, too. He will be forever remembered by his children as a man who was selfless, supportive and strong, with his positive, happy-go-lucky attitude and loving bear hugs being his best attributes of all.
Following his retirement from the police force, Paul worked for a time at BFI in Tyngsboro where he was nicknamed "Papa Smurf" -- he had the name emblazoned in blue on his truck. He also worked as a part-time dispatcher for the Tyngsboro Highway Department.
He married his wife Sue in 2001, and it was a natural companionship. Both shared a deep love of sports and enjoyed watching NASCAR and the Red Sox. The two also enjoyed a similar spirit of adventure, a gift for easy laughter, and a love for travel, whether it was short jaunts to discover a new eatery (they kept a basket full of potential restaurant ideas and randomly pulled one out each week to visit), traveling to Loon Mountain in New Hampshire, or relaxing seaside in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. Paul was well known and loved at Sue's last place of employment, Jack Morton Worldwide in Boston. As senior office manager, Sue often called upon Paul to join her at work to do odd jobs, make repairs and keep things running smoothly. He was affectionately known around the office as "Mr. Fix-It."
Paul was a member (#55) of the Tyngsboro Sportsmen's Club, and a lifelong member of the Westford and Chelmsford Elks.
He is survived by two daughters, Barbra DesLauriers, and Nancy Wheeler and her husband Chuck; and a son, Paul J. DesLauriers, Jr. and his wife, Joann; his siblings, Robert DesLauriers and his wife Margaret; Carol DesLauriers and her spouse Darlene Dery; as well as numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his daughter Sandra DesLauriers, his brother Edward DesLauriers, and his grandson Carson Dooley.
DESLAURIERS -- Paul Joseph DesLauriers, Sr. passed away on January 6, 2013, Visiting hours Wed. 3 to 8 p.m. Funeral Thurs. at 8AM from the DOLAN FUNERAL HOME, 106 MIDDLESEX ST., CHELMSFORD, with a funeral Mass at 9AM at St. John the Evangelist Church in N. Chelmsford, MA. Burial in Tyngsboro Memorial Cemetery, Tyngsboro. Memorials may be made in his name to the Shriner's Hospital Boston, 51 Blossom St., Donation Dept. Boston, MA 02114 or Woodcrest Fire Relief Fund, c/o CHOICE Inc., 185 Littleton Rd., Chelmsford, MA 01824. ARRANGEMENTS BY DOLAN FUNERAL HOME 978-251-4041. Guestbook at www.dolanfuneralhome.com
Published in Lowell Sun on Jan. 15, 2013