Paul Wilber, Little Compton

Posted 8/4/20

Paul Wilber passed away peacefully at home of natural causes on August 1, 2020, surrounded by his beloved wife Fran and family.

Paul was born in Fall River on July 19, 1925, and grew up in Little …

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Paul Wilber, Little Compton

Posted

Paul Wilber passed away peacefully at home of natural causes on August 1, 2020, surrounded by his beloved wife Fran and family.

Paul was born in Fall River on July 19, 1925, and grew up in Little Compton.  He was the son of the late Janet Goodwin Wilber and Bernard C. Wilber of Little Compton (LC). 

Paul graduated from the LC school system in 1943 where Fran and Paul were two of seven in their high school graduating class. In the mid 40’s, Paul proudly served in the Army Air Corps with duty in Cincinnati, Utah, and the Augsburg area of Germany.  After completing his military service, Paul earned a BS degree in Physical Education at Boston University.  He played football in the linebacker position for BU and for a semi-pro team in Connecticut. 

In June, 1948, Paul married Fran (Frances E. Wildes) and they shared a treasured journey of 72 years together. He affectionately called her his sweetheart and the Queen. She fondly remembers, as a teen, riding on the handlebars of his bike, down the hill to S. Shore beach.

They set up home in Natick, Mass., and had four daughters. Paul worked in the Newton, Mass., school system as a physical education teacher, a coach, and a referee. Some early summers were spent on the Cape where Paul worked at Craigville Beach; and at various camps in Mass. and NH. Paul was co-owner for many years of Camp Osceola for boys on Mirror Lake in W. Thornton, NH.

One of the most memorable family adventures was in the summer of ’65. The family of six loaded into a station wagon, traveled and tent-camped across the Trans-Canadian highway to the West Coast and back across the northern US, capturing many national parks.  Paul was a master at loading and unloading the car and setting up and taking down the tent.  There were more camping trips throughout the U.S. and into Canada over the years. He promoted the value of education, travel and optimizing opportunities.

In 1965, Paul took a leave of absence from Newton to serve as a regional coordinator for the Job Corps, teaching men to run Job Corps camps. Over a few years this took Paul and his family to Nantahala Village, Bryson City, NC., Norman, Okla., and Wheaton, Md.  

He earned a Master of Science degree from BU and returned to the Newton, Mass., school system, Fall ’67, living in Framingham, Mass. In the Fall of ’69, Paul was selected as the Principal of the new Westport Middle School and relocated his family to Barrington, RI.  In 1982, Paul and family moved to Little Compton, into the home his father built in the early 1930’s. 

Paul served the Little Compton community in many ways: On the Town Council for six years, doing carpentry and handyman work, and transporting people to and from appointments and airports. He enjoyed watching the Boston sports teams (Patriots, Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox), and capturing opportunities to travel (England, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Hawaii, Alaska, across the US and Canada, to name a few).  Always fond of Little Compton, Paul enjoyed the simple pleasures: Johnnycake Special, clam chowder, cookouts with family at the Town Landing, catching crabs, watching the ocean, and coffee ice cream! Music soothed his soul.

Paul is survived by his wife, Frances E. (Wildes) Wilber; daughters, Marjorie Lint (husband John), Jennifer Teile Wilber, COL(R) U.S. Army,  and Deborah L. Wilber, son-in-law Peter Medeiros; grandchildren, Brian C. Wilber, Alexandra S. Medeiros, and Emily W. Medeiros.   He was predeceased by his parents Janet and Bernard, his brother Bernard (Billy), and his youngest daughter Merilyn.

In lieu of flowers, donations are welcome in Paul’s memory to the LC Fire Department, 60 Simmons Rd.,  LC, RI. 02837 and the LC Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 928, LC, RI. 02837.

Memorial visitation, to which relatives and friends are invited, will be held on Saturday, Aug. 15, 4-8 pm at the Potter Funeral Home, 81 Reed Rd. Westport. Virus precautions expected. Interment will be private.  For directions or to sign the online guest book, please visit www.potterfuneralservice.com

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