Paul Virdinlia, 80, a resident of Framingham since 1969, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, February 7, 2023, at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. Born in Fall River, MA, on August 25, 1942, he was the son of the late William Virdinlia and Loretta (Fournier) Virdinlia both formerly of Tiverton, RI.
After graduating La Salle Academy, Paul enlisted with the United States Air Force and completed basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. From there he was assigned to the Strategic Air Command’s fueling specialist training course at Schilling Air Force Base in Salina, Kansas. Paul spent a year and a half stationed in Turkey where he worked as a mechanic and jet fueling specialist. He was honorably discharged in 1966 as a Senior Airman. Stateside, Paul returned to civilian life and worked for Shell Oil and then drove 18 wheelers for Wonder Bread/Hostess until he retired in 2004. A major accomplishment for which Paul was very proud is that he received an award upon retirement for driving 3 million accident-free miles during his career.
Paul was predeceased by his loving wife, Joan (Panek) Virdinlia, with whom he shared 55 amazing years. He was also predeceased by his son, Stephen Virdinlia, who was taken too early by MS. Paul leaves behind his daughter, Carol Armstrong, and her husband Ted, grandchildren Brandon Armstrong (including great grandchildren Nori and Colby), Brittany Armstrong, Tyler Armstrong, and Tyler Virdinlia. In addition, he also leaves his nephew Scott Grinnell (wife Sue, son Jeremy), nieces Donna Grinnell (son Ben), Lori Burr, Jerilyn Ezinga, his partner, Kathy Mello, other members of the extended family, and so many friends.
Both before and after retirement, Paul and Joan lived life to the fullest and traveled the world together. Their adventures took them to all 7 continents, 84 countries, and 46 states and Paul thoroughly enjoyed sharing stories of their voyages. After Joan’s passing in early 2020, Paul remained active because he had a social spirit. He loved being around people, especially family and friends, and everyone cherished their time with him because he was genuine and down to earth. Additionally, Paul was one of the kindest people you would ever meet, and he would lend a hand – for anything – at a moment’s notice. His close group of friends in his neighborhood would attest to this, especially when it snowed or help was needed fixing a car or household item. They all jokingly and lovingly referred to him as the mayor of their road.
Paul was an active member of the Callahan Senior Center in Framingham, where he attended weekly activities, classes, and discussions. Everybody knew him and appreciated his contributions and humor. He also coordinated his golf group of friends that played together twice a week from late spring through as far as they could squeeze in games into the fall. In addition to golf, Paul was an avid baseball, football, and NASCAR fan. He’d catch most every race and Red Sox and Patriots game on TV. Once a season, though, he’d trek to Gillette with his daughter Carol for their annual father-daughter football outing. Selfies and beers became part of the tradition.
There was so much more to Paul’s life than what is captured here in these limited paragraphs. If you were fortunate enough to have known him, your life was better for it. Period. A really, really good man is gone, but we can all honor him by emulating his kind ways and treating others with care and love, because that’s how Paul lived his life, and that’s what he’d want us to do.
Family and friends will honor and remember Paul’s life by gathering for visiting hours in the McCarthy, McKinney & Lawler Funeral Home, 11 Lincoln St. Framingham on Monday, February 13th from 4-7pm. His Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday morning in St. Bridget Church, 830 Worcester Rd., Framingham at 10 o’clock. Interment will follow in St. Stephen Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (stjude.org) or a veteran’s organization of your choice in Paul’s honor.
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