Paul David Curley, 77, of Norfolk, beloved husband of Patricia (Samia) Curley, passed away peacefully at home on Monday, July 19, 2021. Born in Everett, MA, he was the son of the late Edmund A. and Alice L. (Rodenhiser) Curley, and beloved brother of the late Edmund Curley. He was a long time Norfolk resident. Paul entered the US Air Force during his senior year at Waltham High School. He served four years in the military, including a tour in Vietnam, before being honorably discharged. He never sought praise or thanks for his service; he served because he felt it was his duty to do so.
Paul graduated from Boston State College in 1973 with a Bachelor of Science degree in History—Secondary Education. He went on to earn his Master’s Degree in Education (Secondary Reading) in 1975. After completing his studies, he spent almost 30 years teaching middle school and high school students in the Silver Lake Regional School District, before retiring in 2003. Never done learning, he spent the next 18 years earning a PhD in retirement. Armed with a distinctive laugh, a love for conversation, and a keen interest in traveling, he enjoyed every minute of his well-earned retirement.
Paul is survived by the love of his life, his wife Patricia, with whom he had hoped to celebrate 50 years of marriage on August 14, 2021. Paul is also survived by his two daughters and son-in-law, Valerie and David Salazar of Glastonbury, CT and Beth Ferreira of Windham, NH; his four grandchildren, Sydney, Julia and Samuel Salazar, and Brayden Ferreira; his sister-in-law, Emelee Curley, of Belleville, Illinois; and his nephew Justin Curley of Silver Spring, Maryland; and by many other loved ones.
Above all else, Paul cherished the gift of time with his family. When his children were young, some of their earliest memories were formed during vacations with their extended family at Duxbury Beach. Later in life, Paul continued this tradition with his grandchildren, vacationing with them every year on the Cape and giving them fond memories of sharing the best parts of their summer with Papa and Sitho. Paul’s grandchildren looked forward to nothing more than summers at the beach with their grandparents.
Paul had a thirst for knowledge about the world around him. Right up until the end of his life, he could often be found out on his deck reading the newspaper and smoking a cigar. Paul also loved to travel, ever since being stationed in Turkey as a young man. In retirement, Paul and Patricia traveled the world together, from Russia to the Caribbean, although Paul rarely turned down the chance to return to his beloved Aruba when the opportunity arose.
Diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in his early 20s, Paul realized how important it was to enjoy every day and every moment, and he never let his illness slow him down. When he fell ill in 2020, he fought courageously for more time – and he won that fight for far longer than any doctor expected. Paul wanted that time not for himself, but to make sure he had time to say goodbye to the friends and family who had given his life so much meaning. Throughout the last year he often expressed how much he cherished memories of the time he had spent with those close to him – playing cards, chatting about politics, traveling overseas, or just sharing a Mai Tai. Paul had a great sense of humor and loved to laugh, most of all at his own jokes. He always felt it was important in life to have a great sense of humor. He had a gift for listening and for conversation, and always gave great advice to his daughters and friends. Above all, Paul built a great life for his family, and truly lived a life worth celebrating.
Calling hours are Monday, July 26, from 4-7 PM in the Charles F. Oteri and Son Franklin Funeral Home, 33 Cottage St., Franklin, MA.
His funeral Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, July 27, at 10:30 AM in St. Jude Church, 86 Main St. Norfolk, MA. Burial, with military honors, will follow in the Massachusetts National Cemetery, Bourne, MA.
Paul’s family extend their heartfelt thanks and deepest appreciation for the care, compassion, support, and assistance provided to Paul this past year by Dana-Farber of Milford, MA. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his memory to Dana Farber or Old Colony Hospice of West Bridgewater, MA.