It is with deep sadness that we, the family, announce the passing of our father, Paul David Grezel, 92, of Celtic Court, Sydney, formerly of River Ryan, on November 28, 2021.
Born and raised on Cabot St., Sydney, he was the son of the late David and Isabel (Carroll) Grezel.
He is survived by children, David (Pat), River Ryan, Rob, New Victoria, Paul-Joe, New Waterford, Isabel, Windsor, NS, Pattie-Anne (Doug) MacLeod, River Ryan, Irene, River Ryan, Teresa (Shaun Reid), Grande Prairie, AB, and Marguerite (Lawrence) Peckham, Hubley, NS; grandchildren, Stephen, Krystle, April, Robert, Jennifer, Danielle, Michael, Kristen, Bradley, Paul, Daniel, Nelson, Dawson; step-grandchildren, Tara, Alison, Marc, Michael and Corey as well as several great- grandchildren. He is survived by sister, Irene Cormier, and brother, Alfred.
Besides his parents, he was predeceased by his wife of 53 years, Patricia (Sisty) Roach; sister, Marguerite Mason; brother, Maurice, and recently daughter-in-law, Roxanne.
Paul was especially fond of his nieces and nephews from the Cormier, Mason, Grezel, Johnston and Roach clans and will be missed by them. He was a true father figure to many over the years.
Paul began work at an early age to help support his family. He was a veteran who served in Germany before returning to Sydney where he worked for 38 years at the Sydney Steel Plant. Paul was a true union man and understood the importance of solidarity and protecting the rights and interests of the working person. He served many roles on the executive of local 1064 of the Steelworkers Union and was president for the last six years of his employment.
Never one to sit idle, upon his retirement he developed his entrepreneurial spirit. He and his wife Pat purchased a bus canteen reminiscent of the Partridge Family bus. Next came boat rentals followed by the opening of River Ryan Campground. Paul and Pat loved welcoming people from all over the world. In the summer months, many local organizations held their annual family picnics on their River Ryan property.
Paul was a community volunteer and a founding member of the Sydney Harbour Fortification Society which saved and restored Fort Petrie turning it into a military museum in New Victoria. Many years were spent maintaining and expanding Fort Petrie so that this important piece of history could be remembered.
Paul was a hard-working man who loved being outside. He enjoyed tending the gardens on his property and tinkering in his barns. He and Pat enjoyed early morning canoe rides to South West Brook and just sitting watching the sunset over Lingan Bay. Family trips were made to George’s River for ice cream and apple picking, to the East Bay bungalow for fishing, and to Killkenny Lake Road for blueberry picking.
Paul was sharp-witted with a great sense of humour which he kept until the very end. And of course, those who knew him well, knew about Ya No, “the fella he was in the army with”.
For the past three years, Paul lived at Celtic Court in Sydney where he was cared for by some truly extraordinary staff who loved him and treated him like family. He knew all of them by name and thanked them often. He kept them laughing and we heard over and over again what a wonderful person he was. Over the past while, New Dawn Homecare provided company and one to one help for Paul and we are grateful for their genuine care.
Paul had wished for his body to be donated to Dalhousie medical school. Unfortunately, because of COVID this was not possible. He can rest knowing that what he taught us in life is worth a thousand times more than what he could in death.
It is never possible to capture the meaning of a person’s life in a few paragraphs. He was a truly good and honest man. Paul’s life speaks through the relationships he had and will continue on in the influence he had on all of us. It is up to us to pay it forward.
We love you, Poppy.
There will be no visitation. Cremation has taken place. A service will be held in V.J. McGillivray Funeral Home Chapel, 380 Smith Street, New Waterford at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021 with Father Peter McLeod officiating. Burial will be in Mount Carmel Cemetery with a reception to follow in the funeral home. Masks and proof of double vaccination are required. If one wishes, donations may be made to Sydney Harbour Fortification Society or a charity of one’s choice. Online expressions of sympathy may be sent to the family at: www.vjmcgillivray.ca.