Paul Arthur Doucette, 73, of Mendon died on Monday, January 15, 2018 at his residence after a long
illness. He was the husband of Patrice M. (Sannicandro) Doucette for 42 years. He was the son of the
late Arthur J. and Stella M. (Cormier) Doucette, brother of the late Mary Louise Brown and uncle of the
late Michael P. Brown. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his brother, Robert J. Doucette and his
wife Ann of Westboro. He was the uncle of Nancy A. Bellavance and her husband Ben of Sandwich,
James P. Brown and his wife Wendy of Milford, Timothy J. Brown and his wife Sandra of Natick and Paul
P.J. Brown and his wife Tara of Milford.
Paul was born in Waltham on June 13, 1944 and graduated from Waltham High School, Mass Bay
Community College and Suffolk University. He was an accountant for several companies including
Northeast Airlines, Perini Corporation, Digital Equipment Corporation and Barker Steel. Paul had been
treasurer of the Mendon Town Forest Committee and the Mendon Historical Society. He volunteered at
the Mendon Senior Center as the book sale coordinator and was also active in their recycling program
and assisted in preparing their newsletter for mailing. He was a historian for Preservation Mendon and
also wrote articles for Hope1842.com.
Paul had a great respect for veterans and assisted in placing flags on their graves for Memorial Day for
many years. Paul was a serious collector of milk bottles and dairy memorabilia and continued to
acquire them for his collection throughout his illness.
Paul was a long-time member of the Southborough Historical Society and served on the Board of
Directors for many years. He wrote and published a history of the Burnett Family and Deerfoot Farm,
both of Southborough. In 2004 the society honored Paul by dedicating the Deerfoot Farm exhibit and
Burnett family collection to him.
Paul enjoyed bluegrass music and the occasional Manhattan cocktail at the Willowbrook Restaurant.
He was beloved by his friends for his keen mind, storytelling ability and his acerbic wit.
Funeral services will be held on Sat. Jan. 20, 2018 at 11 AM in the Mendon Unitarian Chruch, 13 Maple
St., Mendon. There will be no public visiting hours. Burial will be in Quaker Cemetery, Mendon at the
convenience of the family In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy in Pauls memory may be made to
the Southborough Historical Society, 25 Common St., Southborough, MA 01772 or to the Mendon Senior
Center, 62 Providence St. Mendon, MA 01756.
Published in Milford Daily News on Jan. 18, 2018
Dick Grady and I loved Paul. He was a good buddy. He made us laugh. So we said to each other, “Let’s
tell some Paul stories”. We asked Patrice if it was OK and she said, “Absolutely, Yes, go for it”. So here
Mendon’s 350th Anniversary parade was special for all of us in many ways. One reason why it was so
special for Dick and I was that we had the honor and privilege of riding in an open convertible with Paul.
It would be Paul’s final public event, his last public hurrah.
It was a hot, sunny day on September 24th. We met Paul at Miscoe Hill Road, where the marching
bands, floats, and parade vehicles had assembled. We chuckled when we saw him, because despite
the heat he was dressed just as he had promised, as a Confederate Civil War officer in a woolen
general’s outfit. He looked great, real handsome in his genuine General’s hat! But he must have been
sweating to beat the band under that heavy woolen coat. He would constantly wave his authentic Civil
War sword, showing it to everyone. We actually think that he brought the sword for our protection since
during that time period we were right in the middle of recent attacks on Confederate statues and
anything Confederate. There would be none of that stuff with Paul around. Not once did he complain
about the heat or the discomfort of his illness, or anything else for that matter. He was having a ball.
One of the considerations of the well-planned parade was focused on the condition of Paul’s health,
though no one ever said it. It just happened. There was an ambulance behind our convertible staffed
with an EMT. There was a nurse in the senior van in front of us. Patrice, Jane, Amy, and Kathy were all in
constant telephone contact. Nothing would happen to Paul on that day.
The parade was a culmination of Paul’s many contributions and a farewell to the town that he loved. We
have all been amazed at his brilliance in his creative presentations, his collections, and his articles in
Dan Malloy’s history web site. Among other things he left us a legacy of knowledge on the Town Forest,
Mendon Airport, Chief Matthew Mantoni, Lowell’s Dairy, Resthaven and the Lake Nipmuc Carousel. He
left us a memory of his intellectual curiosity and his thoroughness in completing and documenting
historical tasks and projects. He was a good guy and a great friend.
We have also experienced our friend Paul in action at the annual Mendon Senior Center Book Sale as
we worked together prepping and sorting of books for the actual sale day. Whenever I got that group
email that prep work was about to begin I smiled because I knew that I’d be working with the Book Sale
Master, himself, Paul Doucette. Now for sure, many, many people help out with the annual Senior Book
Sale but Paul was really special when it came to sorting and categorizing the books. Every year we’d set
up a list of authors and general book categories. Paul was real fussy with the categories. It was his way
or the highway about how to align the books into easy-to-access groups. That was real important to
him. He was a stickler. If anyone had any questions we’d go to him and he’d spend gobs and gobs of
time reading through the book to be sure we had it categorized properly. If we didn’t then we’d catch holy
hell. We were all afraid of making a mistake. Sometimes I’d catch him in the sorting room reading the
history books and not categorizing. I’d ask him “Boy, that one must be tough to categorize, right? He
would pause for a moment, put some more drops in his eyes, adjust his glasses one more time and
say “No. It’s just real interesting”. He was a blast to work with.
Another recent experience comes to mind that blew me away. We all know that Paul LOVED Mendon’s
dairies, their farm stories and especially their milk bottles. By the way, thanks for that great picture of
Paul in the newspaper, Patrice.
In one of our more recent History of Mendon Videos we needed to discuss agrarian Mendon and of
course her dairies. We asked Paul if he would be interviewed for the video (remember, he was very sick
at the time). He of course said yes. Well, little did we know what we were in for. As he welcomed me into
his collection rooms, (I think his collection took up his entire basement), he was dressed in a typical
milk-man’s outfit, complete with his milk-man’s cap, milk-white long-sleeved shirt and a black bow tie.
He was a real milk man. And he was in his glory; so much so that he decided to throw away the script
that we had been working on for weeks and decided to adlib his way through the entire interview. It
turned out fantastic. All of you have got to see him in that video, for sure.
At the end of the interview he got up from his couch, grabbed his metal milk carrier with the clanging
milk bottles, waved to the crowd and said, “Well folks, I stopped doing my milk route this morning just
to do this interview and now I need to get back to work. Waving, he told us to enjoy the rest of the video
and that he’d be seeing us all again on the other side“. We ALL knew what he meant.
That video history episode was presented in November in this very same church. Patrice and Paul were
in the audience. When Paul’s milk-man interview was shown to the audience there wasn’t a dry eye in
the place after Paul waved goodbye to each of us. Everyone stood up and gave Paul a Standing O. He
was so pleased.
So here we all are, gathered to wave goodbye to one of our town’s outstanding citizens. Yes, Paul we’ll
see you on the other side. Paul has left us a legacy of humor and light. We have all absorbed Paul’s
special nature and have been blessed by his presence.
Wave and say “God Speed, Paul”.
Flood and Hurricane, 1938 - Milford
Flood in Mendon, 1955
Harding Photos and Postcards
Carousel at Lake Nipmuc Park
Lowell's Dairy Fire
Harold "Putt" Lowell
Chief Mathew Mantoni