WESTBROOK – Paul H. Phelan, 95, passed away at his home on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016. He grew up in Calais, ME, one of six children of Leo and Clara Phelan.
He earned degrees in music and journalism from the University of Maine in Orono. His long teaching career started in the Washington County towns of Princeton, Columbia Falls and Woodland. He also taught in Yarmouth and Biddeford. Bands under his direction were chosen to represent Maine in Washington DC several times. In 1975 he was named “Music teacher of the Year.” Paul coached the Calais Chiefs basketball club and played for the Calais Orphans. His baseball teams at Princeton and Columbia Falls won numerous league championships. In 1990 and again in 2000 he was honored by Woodland’s “Paul Phelan Day.” The recipient of many accolades, in 2000 he received the Bishop Proulx Award for public and church service within the Portland Diocese. In 2008 he was also chosen “volunteer of the year” by the Maine Association of Retirees for his years of service as an entertainer at vets homes and rehabilitation centers.
Paul has written over 400 musical works and twenty-eight dictionaries of humor and satire. Paul was a WWII veteran serving in Italy, Last fall he participated in the Honor Flight Maine to Washington,D.C., and was chosen to place a wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Throughout his life he always lived his faith. Paul was widely known for his kindness, generosity and thoughtfulness and shared is humor, laughter and puns.
He was predeceased by his wife, Mary Frances; daughter, Linda Elizabeth Landry; and brothers Harold, Bert and Edward. He is survived by sisters, Jean Cavanaugh of Manchester, NH, and Lois Downing of Houlton; many nieces and nephews; daughter, Theresa Walch and husband, Dennis, of Westbrook; grandchildren, Jennifer Bouvier and husband, Joseph, of Swampscott, MA, Brian Walch and his wife, Jeanine, of Middletown, NJ, Elizabeth Walch of Brunswick and Rachel Schaible and husband, Rob, of Ft. Lauderdale, FL; great-grandchildren, Leah, Michaela, Allison, Jenna and Miles.
Visiting hours will be from 12:30-2:30 p.m. Friday, February 26, 2016, at Blais & Hay Funeral Home, 35 Church Street, Westbrook. A short service will follow.