Paul Bourdeau

First post: Jan 11, 2018 Latest post: Jan 16, 2018
Paul Raymond Bourdeau lived a full and extraordinary life, bestowing upon his family, friends, and the wide circle of others whose lives he profoundly influenced an enormous array of blessings that derived from the many virtues bestowed upon him by his Creator.  A man devoted first, foremost, and fiercely to his God, his family, and his country, Paul was that rare individual who, drawing upon those devotions and his strong moral and religious convictions, gave so much of such value to so many while expecting nothing in return – other than the satisfaction of having sustained a life well-lived in the service of God and those around him.

Nowhere are those attributes better exemplified than in the enormous outpouring of sympathy and remembrances that have been offered by those whose lives he touched.  His family is deeply grateful for having been graced with numerous expressions of genuine respect, admiration, and love for Paul.

Paul, who passed away peacefully at 87 at his home in Carrollton, Texas, on December 31, 2017, was born to parents Stanislaus Bourdeau and Rosanna DuBois on October 2, 1930, in Turners Falls, Massachusetts.  Paul’s parents died within a year of one another when Paul was only 18 years old.  The youngest of 8 children, it was evident at an early age that Paul was a gifted student and athlete, excelling at both.  At Turners Falls High School, he was a National Scholastic Honor Society member, and his athletic achievements were exceptional.  Starring in three sports, he distinguished himself in particular in track, establishing high school and county records in the 100 and 220-yard dashes that were never broken for as long as those races were run.  In 2012, Paul was inducted into the Turners Falls Athletic Hall of Fame in recognition of his numerous athletic achievements.

In high school, his attention was drawn to his future and devoted wife of 67 years, Christine Duda.  Recognizing that they would likely wed in the near future, Christine assisted Paul in his endeavors at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst where Paul, hitchhiking back and forth to school, continued his exploits, leading to an award for scholarship and leadership for a three-sport athlete and graduating cum laude with honors.  Paul truly was the quintessential “scholar-athlete."

Paul and Christine married on March 31, 1951, while he was still in college, and they were never apart thereafter.  Upon graduation in 1952, Paul served as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force in the Korean War, following in the footsteps of 6 brothers who had served with distinction in World War II.  Capitalizing on his athletic abilities, the Air Force sent him on special assignment for a portion of his tenure in the military as a player-coach of an all-star basketball team touring both England and Spain.  Paul was honorably discharged from the Air Force in 1954, proud of – and grateful for – his service to the U.S. and his fellow countrymen.

Following his military service, Paul embarked on a distinguished career as an educator.  He is probably most prominently remembered for his role as a principal from 1963-75 at the John Pettibone and Schaghticoke Middle Schools in New Milford, Connecticut.  He also served as a mathematics teacher at the latter school from 1975-89, retiring in 1989 after 34 post-graduate years of service in the field of education.  Characterized as “very firm but very fair” during his tenure as an educator in New Milford, there can be but little doubt that Paul left an indelible imprint in that role.  While known as a “stern taskmaster,” the remarkable number of laudatory comments the family has received over the years bear witness to the markedly positive influence he had on students under this tutelage, encouraging and guiding them to be “all that they could be” in leading lives as productive citizens of whom their families could be proud.  In recognition of his contributions, he received in 1987 an award from the New Milford Board of Education for Academic Leadership as Evidenced by Quality of Teaching and the Dignity Brought to the Teaching Profession.

His children – Karl, Mickey and Diane – and one grandchild, Joseph, all of whom survive him along with his wife Christine, were the special beneficiaries of his insights – not only into the importance of a well-grounded education to happiness and success in life but also into the attributes and practices that make us all better individuals leading purposeful lives of service, compassion, and caring for our fellow man and woman.  There are many, many reasons why his family is proud of him, and why they admire, respect, and love him so much; this particular quality – his ability to both engage with, and bring out the best in, people – stands out among them.

Along the course of his life, Paul continued to make singular contributions to the world of athletics, most notably as an official where he gained not only statewide but national recognition.  Athletics, and the sense of discipline, teamwork, competition, and will to strive and succeed that they instill, were clearly a hallmark and focal point of his life – whether as an athlete, coach, official, or spectator.  While his noteworthy accomplishments (including officiating an estimated total of 8,400 soccer, basketball, baseball, and softball games at the collegiate and high school level over a 41-year career) are too numerous to catalog here, his extraordinary contributions to officiating men’s soccer competitions at the collegiate level warrant special mention.

It is fair to say that Paul was what others have referred to as “legendary” in that realm.  Paul started officiating soccer in 1950.  He was the founder and the first president of the Western Connecticut Soccer Officials Association (WCSOA) and the Connecticut Soccer Officials Association, the first state association of its kind in America. In fact, the WCSOA annually presents the Paul Bourdeau Scholarship Award for distinguished service to soccer, and every winner and his or her family since the award's inception in 1976 has received a personal letter from Paul directly congratulating the recipient for his or her achievement.

In addition to directing and publishing the first National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association Manual of Soccer Officiating, which established the official mechanics of soccer officiating in the U.S., Paul was a fixture at NCAA Division I soccer tournament games, officiating 5 NCAA Division I National Championship games.  His numerous soccer publications, leadership roles in various national and state soccer associations, and other contributions to the game are widely recognized and appreciated in the world of that sport in the U.S., and resulted in his being honored with multiple officiating awards.  Paul’s singular accomplishments to soccer in this country culminated in his induction into the National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association Hall of Fame in 1979, the Connecticut Soccer Hall of Fame in 2000, and the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1995.

Notwithstanding these notable achievements, Paul was most proud of, and devoted to, his family.  His family, in turn, adored him.  He was convinced that the family unit and one’s deeply rooted religious beliefs are the focal points for fashioning a purposeful, productive, and successful existence.  He was equally convinced that adherence to the values of those twin pillars are what has enabled the United States, a country which he venerated, to become a beacon of light and hope to so many, near and far.  He will be sorely missed by his family and those who knew him well – not only for who and what he was but also for what he represented.

A memorial service will be held on February 1, 2018, at 11:00 am CST at All Saints Catholic Church located at 5231 Meadowcreek Drive, Dallas, Texas 75248.  The family welcomes and invites all to attend.  Interment will be scheduled later and held in Turners Falls, Massachusetts.  Those who wish to honor Paul’s memory are encouraged to make contributions to the charity of their choice.  


The family invites and welcomes all who wish to leave a comment, thought, well wish, sentiment or even a short story about a memorable moment he or she shared with Paul or a way in which Paul positively influenced his or her life in the comment section of the first journal entry of the Journal, which can be found underneath Paul's Story on the Home Page or at the top of the Journal itself.  We also welcome you to view Paul's picture gallery included on the site.  Additionally, there are 4 other Journal notifications left in the Journal by the family.  Be sure to always click Read More to the bottom right of each Journal entry to read it in its entirety.  Scrolling and clicking are what will ultimately help you navigate within Paul's  site when all else fails! 

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