1952 – 2021
Hampton – Paul Wakely was born into the loving family of John V. and Lorraine (Ladd) Wakely on June 8, 1952. Paul had three older sisters and would be joined later by a brother and two younger sisters. His parents brought up their children with strong values of kindness, generosity, and hard work. Always important was a sense of humor and love. Paul kept all of that throughout his life and passed it onto his children.
Paul was a strong believer in exercise and staying in shape. He played football (1970-1972) and rugby (1975-1977) at The University of Connecticut. Paul also did a stint in U.S. Army from 1972-1974. He loved to run and ride his bike, running the Boston Marathon in 1978 and the Hartford half-marathon in 2014, plus many road races in between. Paul took the trip of a lifetime when he biked the Trans am Bikecentennial route from Yorktown, VA to Florence, OR: 4133 miles in 2009.
After his graduation from UCONN in 1977 with a degree in Finance, Paul took a job at Dun & Bradstreet. Looking out the window every day and longing to be outside, he took up the building trade. In 1983 he became a partner in Lehto & Wakely Builders. In 1999 he took off on his own to form Paul Wakely Builders and Wakely Property Development. Paul kept up with all the latest building trends and prided himself on not only building a home that was energy efficient but also crafted to perfection.
Paul was gracious and giving of his time. He was a volunteer with and served on the board of Habitat for Humanity, served on the Recreation Commission, Inland-Wetlands, Green Energy Committee and Board of Finance in the Town of Hampton. He also served on the board of the Fletcher Memorial Library where he did many building and grounds projects which earned him the nickname “Schneider” among his family members. He was also very active in his family’s foundation, The Wakely Foundation, where he was always happy to see it grow and do good work in the local community.
These are all things Paul did, but not who he was. He believed in caring for and holding dear his friends and family. He and his longtime buddy Carl lived far away, but they could spend hours on the phone. Paul was the consummate teacher, never missing an opportunity to impart a life lesson or math problem upon his children and grandchildren. Paul believed strongly in many life lessons like giving others the benefit of the doubt, that we have the ability at some point to control our own lives by taking control, and to live with your good and bad decisions and move on. He felt parenting never ends and engaged his children thoughtfully on ideas and encouraged them to think and be open minded.
Paul was larger than life. He was generous to a fault. He loved to laugh and make others laugh. Even when he fell ill, he would show up at the infusion center with a big curly wig or some other disguise to bring some levity. He believed laughter was the best medicine.
Paul wanted everyone to know how much he loved his wife, and that you should tell the people you love how you feel often and sincerely. He was proud of his children; they made him laugh and gave him joy. His grandchildren filled his heart with gladness, and he loved watching them play, learn, and explore. He will be missed by his wife Sharon Wakely, son and daughter-in-law Benjamin and Meaghan Wakely, their children Nolan and Margaret, son Jacob Wakely and his fiancé Nakita Herne, daughter and son-in-law Samantha (Wakely) and Nicholas Rizer, and their children Westin and Ellis. In addition, he leaves his sisters Sharon Keith, Ann Wakely, Maureen LaPorte and brother-in-law Scott LaPorte, Katherine LaPierre, and brother Edward Wakely and sister-in-law Brenda. Brothers and sisters-in-law Gary and Sally Flur, James and Mindy Intner and mother-in-law Regina Flur, plus many nieces, nephews, and cousins will also remember him fondly. Paul was pre-deceased by his parents John and Lorraine Wakely, and two sisters Paula and Mary, and father-in-law Harold Flur.
The family would like to thank the doctors and staff at The Windham Hospital Infusion Center for all their unwavering compassion, friendship, and kindness. A special thank you to the staff at Hartford Hospital Conklin Building 2nd floor for their great care.
In lieu of flowers or trees, donations may be made to Dana Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Ave. Boston, MA 02215.
Calling hours will be held at the Gilman Funeral Home & Crematory, 104 Church St. Putnam, CT, from 6pm to 8pm on November 8, 2021. A gathering for family and friends to celebrate Paul’s life and to share stories and memories will be held at noon on November 9, 2021 at Grill 37, 37 Putnam Rd., Pomfret, CT. For memorial guestbook, please visit www.GilmanandValade.com.