This obituary originally appeared on O’Neill Hayes Funeral Home.
Paul W. Gagne, of Newport, RI, loving and devoted father and grandfather, passed away February 17, 2021 at the age of 89.
Paul was born on May 22, 1931 in New Bedford, MA and moved to Newport, RI with his family in 1941. He attended St. Joseph’s Grammar School and then De La Salle Academy, before marrying the love of his life, Mary (Wesley), in 1951. Paul joined the Newport Fire Department in 1956, where he would work for the next 33 years, serving as Fire Chief for nine years before retiring from the Department in 1989. Not one for sitting still, Paul worked as general manager for T.J. Brown’s until his second retirement in 2003.
A dedicated member of the community, Paul served on several local boards, committees, and commissions including the Board of Directors for the Newport Federal Bank, the Board of Directors for the Newport Hospital Healthcare Corporation, the Newport County Zoning Board of Review, the Newport Citizens Advisory Committee, the Newport School Department Asset Development Committee, and the Newport Tree Commission to name a few.
Paul was a devout Catholic and was an active communicant and Eucharistic Minister at St. Augustin’s Church. He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus, Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Green Valley Country Club. Of all his service, he most cherished working with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny, for which he and his late wife, Mary, were honored as affiliates of the Order in 2002. In 2013, he joined the Third Order of Our Lady at Mount Carmel and started his journey to become a professed Lay Carmelite.
Paul is preceded in death by his wife, Mary, and is survived by his two daughters, Katherine (Robert) and Julia (Al); four grandchildren: Paul (Amy), Kelly (Mike), Robert, and Michael (Jenn); and six great-grandchildren: Sarah, Abigail, Sophia, Bernadette, Johanna, and Christopher.
Visiting hours will be on Sunday, February 21, 2021 from 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm at the O’Neill-Hayes Funeral Home, 465 Spring St, Newport. Masks and social distancing will be required. Due to the current Dept. of Health restrictions, only 15 people are allowed into the funeral home at a time, wait time may be longer than usual. A Mass of Christian burial will be held Monday, February 22 at St. Augustin’s Church, corner of Carroll & Harrison Avenues, Newport at 10 AM. Burial St. Columba Cemetery, Middletown.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to theSisters of St. Joseph of Cluny, 7 Restmere Terrace, Middletown, RI 02842, or by visiting https://clunyusandcanada.org/share-in-our-mission/#make-a-donation