Paul J. "Duke" Connor – Cumberland

Paul J. "Duke" Connor – Cumberland

The man, the myth, the legend....
Paul J. "Duke" Connor passed away peacefully on December 27, 2018, in the Jane Brown Building at Rhode Island Hospital surrounded by his loving family. He was the devoted husband to his beloved Thelma Rose (Poulos) Connor.

Paul loved his family, his friends and life. He was a leader of men. He died as he lived, bravely determined and ready to take on his next great adventure.

Paul was born and raised in Cumberland, the eldest son of James R. and Mary B. (Kennedy) Connor. Paul then raised his own family in Lincoln. He was the youngest elected president of the UA Local #51 Union and the Lincoln Plumbing Inspector. Paul was licensed in mechanical engineering in all New England and built his successful commercial contracting businesses, owning Retrofit Engineering, P.J. Connor Company and Paul J. Connor Plumbing and Heating. Paul was also co-owner of Johnny Shadows restaurant in Lincoln.

Paul was an avid golfer and outdoorsman. His annual Maine hunting camp "pilgrimages" with family and friends were legendary. He was a charter member of the Kirkbrae Country Club and a former member of the Board of Governors. He was a member of the Rhode Island Conservation Group, Montana Wildlife Preservation Association, and the Addieville East Hunting Club. He was an honorary Life Member 5th Degree of the Knights of Columbus.

Paul held a profound commitment to family and community. He donated his time, expertise and service to numerous community organizations and was a generous benefactor. His contributions were acknowledged with his induction into the Boys & Girls Club Hall of Fame, town of Lincoln Official Citations, and Senate Citation for his dedication to community by the Rhode Island Senate.

Most of all, Paul's deepest contributions were to those lucky enough to have known and loved him. He was blessed with a boundless spirit and all were drawn to him because of it. Paul was the sort of man that restored your faith in mankind. His big heart, wisdom, kindness, and lust for life touched all of us. We will miss him dearly.

Along with his wife, he is survived by five loving daughters, Christine and Stephen Bessette of Charlestown, R.I., Cathlene and David Cash of North Attleboro, Mass., Paula Reynolds of Lincoln, Stephanie and Don Osterborg of Newport, R.I., and Marisa Connor of Warwick, R.I.; two sisters, Ann Lanciano of Connecticut, and Mary Scott of Maine; 10 grandchildren, Lukas and Mikala Cash, Paul and Bree Bessette, Brittany, Victoria and Devin Rose Reynolds, Isabel and Anastasia D'Andrea, and Justin Tirrell; 5 great-grandchildren, Chandler, Finleigh, Teagan and Kaden Cash and Aurelia Bessette-Sereni. He was the brother of the late Helen Dean and James D. Connor.

Relatives and friends are kindly invited to Paul’s Life Celebration to be held Wednesday, January 2, 2019, with visiting hours from 4 to 7 p.m., and continue on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, 9 a.m., at J. J. Duffy Funeral Home, 757 Mendon Road, Rt. 122, Cumberland RI. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m., in the Historic St. Joseph Church, 1303 Mendon Road, Cumberland. Burial will follow in Resurrection Cemetery, Cumberland.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, P.O. Box 1000 Dept. 142 Memphis, TN 38148-0142.