Paul Joseph Finn, 74, of River Ryan, Nova Scotia, passed away peacefully on September 15, 2021 in New Waterford, Nova Scotia.
Paul was born in New Waterford to John Jim and Margaret (Poirier) on September 16, 1946. He went to high school at Mount Carmel School and went on to earn a Bachelor of Education degree at St. Francis Xavier University. It was there where he met the love of his life Laura Ann (Howley). They went on to spend 50 amazing years of marriage together.
Paul was involved in hockey and soccer at a young age and often shared stories about gathering with the neighbourhood boys for a game of hockey on the pond, despite their lack of equipment. Those who knew him, know his loyalty never wavered from his top team, the Detroit Red Wings, even if it meant enduring some friendly taunting. He later went on to play men’s hockey and also co-coached the New Waterford Jets Midget B Hockey Team to the provincial title in 1969-1970, despite the fact that there was no rink in New Waterford at the time. He also coached the Breton Education Centre (BEC) Bears Hockey team for six years. Paul had a lengthy teaching career starting in Mount Carmel School and then BEC from the day it opened until his retirement. For most of his 32 year teaching career he taught math. It was a running joke that Paul taught most of the town of New Waterford. He was fortunate to have spent 19 years of his retired life doing all the things that he loved. Paul loved the outdoors and spent countless hours tending to his garden. He was an avid hunter and fisherman. He loved going on fishing excursions with his father, friends, and most of all his treasured son Brian. His son-in-law and grandson even learned a few fishing tips. Although the catch was sometimes small he always returned with stories to tell, a big smile, and cherished memories. He loved spending time in the country especially Inverness and Mabou. He also loved a good game of cards and kept a close eye on the plays being made. Paul was a model family man who loved spending time with loved ones and friends. He was always thinking about others before himself.
Paul is survived by his wife, Laura Ann; his three children, Judith (Kyle Butts), Halifax, Jacqueline, River Ryan, Brian (Jillian), Sydney, and his grandson, Dylan. He is also survived by his three brothers, Johnny (Mary), Melvin (Coline), and Frankie (Bernice) along with his nephews, niece, aunts, uncle, several cousins, and his many close friends. He is predeceased by his father, John Jim and his mother, Margaret.
Thank you for being there every day for the love and guidance we needed. You have given us the best things in life, your time, your care, and your love. Thank you for teaching by example all of your values…kindness, humility, a strong work ethic, respectfulness, generosity, and unconditional love. We are truly grateful to have had you in our lives and you will be loved, missed, and cherished forever and always.
Memorial donations may be made to the the Leukaemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada or the New Waterford St. Vincent De Paul Food Bank. The family wishes to extend their gratitude to everyone who provided support during Paul’s battle with cancer including the staff at the New Waterford Hospital, the Victoria General Hospital, Halifax, the Cape Breton Regional Hematology Clinic, and all of the other healthcare professionals.
Visitation will be held at V.J. McGillivray Funeral Home, 380 Smith Street, New Waterford on Sunday, September 19, 2021 from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Funeral Mass will be held at the Parish Church of St. Leonard on Monday, September 20, 2021 at 10 a.m. with Father Peter McLeod officiating. Burial will follow at St. Michael’s Cemetery on Union Highway, River Ryan. Limited seating in the church with masks and social distancing mandatory at both the visitation and Funeral Mass. Online expressions of sympathy may be sent to the family at www.vjmcgillivray.ca.