Paul Marcotte Paul Marcotte of San Luis Obispo passed away on July 2, 2019, while traveling in Italy. Paul was born in Lewiston, Maine, on March 30, 1934, to Raymond F. and Imelda (Baxter) Marcotte The second son of an optician, Paul attended Lewiston High School and went on to the University of Maine, Portland, graduating in 1956. Paul served proudly in the United States Army, stationed in Stuttgart, Germany, first as a field medical mechanic, then as a clerk, rebuilding a continent shattered by war. In post-war Germany, he picked up useful skills, which may have included bartering cartons of highly-prized military-issue cigarettes. Following his military service, Paul took a job at the Whitehall Hotel and Resort in Palm Beach, Florida. He struck up a conversation with the pretty elevator girl, Jean Begley, a native of Scotland. They married months later and eventually returned to Lewiston to start their family. They had two sons, James Paul, born in 1962, and Scott Michael, born in 1968. In Lewiston, Paul's Army typing skills enabled him to get a job as a beat reporter for the Lewiston Evening Journal newspaper, perfectly suited for a naturally curious, keenly observant, gregarious young man with local roots. Ironically, his single interview required him to write his as-yet-unwritten obituary. He landed the scoop of a career in the Spring of 1965, breaking the story of the much-anticipated, hastily organized rematch between Sonny Liston and Muhammed Ali to take place in Lewiston later that month. For a brief moment, the entire world of sports was focused on the controversial fight in Lewiston, and by virtue of his reporting, Paul found himself steps from the center of it all. From that time forward he had a life-long relationship with print journalism and wherever he traveled he would seek out the local newspaper, no matter which country he was visiting. After 14 long Maine winters, Jean and Paul returned to Florida for a few years before eventually landing with their two boys and a U-Haul in San Luis Obispo, California in 1978. They felt immediately at home in this undiscovered community of ranchers, railroad men, and professors. Paul joined the administrative team at Southern Pacific Railroad, retiring in 1997. Since 1984 he and his wife owned a local company, Pacific Building Care, which he managed up until the time of his passing. He was an active member of the American Legion Post 66, the Elks Lodge, the San Luis Obispo Rams Branch 2, and the Eagles Club. Few who met Paul could forget him. He loved to travel, especially on cruises, where he and Jean collected lifelong friends. If there was a theme party, he was in costume. If there was a dance floor he was on it. If you needed to find him in a crowd, you simply listened for laughter and high spirits. When not on the golf course, he was fully engaged in his community, calling the local radio station and holding politicians to account. He was honest and loyal, impulsive and adventurous. Three years after his wife Jean passed away, Paul met Patti Ollivier, of Bakersfield, CA. They felt an instant, deep connection, and for one year, both experienced a love that each thought they would never again feel. Patti and Paul were together with friends in the Tuscan countryside when Paul fell ill. He died on the continent of his ancestors and where he served his country after the Great War. Paul is survived and will be deeply missed by his two sons and their wives, James and Sarah Marcotte and daughter Rowan of Los Angeles, and Scott and Maria Marcotte of San Luis Obispo. Burial of his cremated remains will be in the family memorial bench at Mission Cemetery. Services for Paul will be held on Friday, August 2, 2019, at 2:00 p.m. at the Reis Memorial Chapel, San Luis Obispo, followed by a private family gathering at the Mission Cemetery. There will be a reception at 4:00 p.m. In place of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made in Paul's name to Wilshire Health and Community Services.
Published in San Luis Obispo County Tribune on Jul. 16, 2019.