Irving A. Paul ’49

Irving A. Paul ’49 died on February 8, 2017, in Portland, Maine.

(The following was published in the Bangor Daily News, February 20, 2017:)

PORTLAND – Dr. Irving A. Paul passed away peacefully at the age of 88, surrounded by family on February 9, 2017, at Maine Medical Center, after dealing with several health issues.

Irving was an exceptionally kind, generous and thoughtful man. He was intelligent, complex, witty, adventuresome, and comically mischievous. At age 8, he was the youngest boy at Camp Jordan, worked at Old Orchard Beach at the age of 14, for decades practiced dentistry and orthodontics, rode a motorcycle in his forties and became a pool champ in his eighties.

He was born on March 28, 1928, at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, the son of Sam Polakewich and Dorothy (Brown) Polakewich. His parents ran the successful Lincoln Dry Goods Company and Milo Dry Goods Company, where Irving worked in his youth. With his early years spent in Lincoln, Maine, at age 7, his family moved to Milo where he graduated from Milo High School. He attended Bowdoin College in June of 1945, remarkably graduating Bowdoin with a BS degree at the age of 19. Exploring his options at that tender age, he briefly taught at Milo High School. He then became employed by the Penobscot Beef and Provision Company in Bangor and in 1950 went into the Army where he became a food inspector. In 1954, Irving left for New York City and attended New York University, School of Dentistry, where he graduated first in his class of 157 students and was the only student in his class from Maine.

Irving returned to Bangor and opened his practice in general dentistry where he practiced for 10 years. In the first year of practice, he met the beautiful Susan Rapaport on a blind date and was smitten. After a 3-month courtship, the couple announced their engagement and married 3 months later. Soon after, they had two children, Stephen and Sharyn. At age 40, with his young family in tow, he ventured off once again to further his professional accomplishments. He returned to school at Boston University, Goldman School of Graduate Dentistry for 2 years where he earned his certification in Orthodontics. With a world of options at his fingertips, the decision was made to return to the comfort of family and friends in Bangor. He practiced orthodontics there until 1991. Over the course of his career, he helped many people in the community by volunteering his services. He was well respected and loved.

Irving was a member of the Masonic Lodge in Milo, a 32nd degree Mason, and belonged to the Anah Temple in Bangor. Irving was president of the Penobscot Dental Society, belonged to the Maine Dental Society, the Northeast Dental Society and was a member of the American Association of Orthodontists. Irving enjoyed and excelled at playing golf, tennis, pool and bridge. He traveled often with his wife, was an animal lover, and a lover of the arts.

Irving and his wife Susan were married for over fifty years. Susan passed on in 2014. To be closer to his children, Irving moved to Ocean View in Falmouth, Maine where he embraced the vitality of life and shared a special relationship with his companion, Betty Beaulieu.

He is survived by his son, Stephen Paul, who is an orthodontist, his daughter, Sharyn Paul Brusie, who is a painter and filmmaker, his son-in-law, Kevin Brusie, who is a photographer, his brother-in-law, James Rapaport and his wife Wendy, his “grandchild” Jack (Sharyn and Kevin’s black lab), two step grandchildren Allison and Natalie, and his nephews, Bruce, Dean, Louis, Mark, his niece, Susan, and also many grand nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. He also had a sweet spot in his heart for Madeleine and Bella.