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Paul P. Houle, 74, of Lincoln, RI passed away on October 5, 2023 at Milford Regional Medical Center with his family by his side. Paul was the beloved husband of Kathleen (Sweeney) Houle, his childhood sweetheart and best friend through more than 52 years of marriage.
Born in Woonsocket, RI, Paul was the son of the late Maurice and Claire (Gelinas) Houle. He grew up playing baseball with friends from the Fairmount Neighborhood, spending memorable summers with family at Lake Archer, and serving as an altar boy at Holy Family Church. Paul was a graduate of Mount St. Charles Academy (Class of 1966), and it was during his time at The Mount that he met his future bride Kathleen, a student at St. Clare High and the sister of his closest friend.
Paul joined the Navy during the Vietnam War, where he served as a Machinist Mate on the naval destroyers USS Newman K Perry, USS Ingraham, and USS Samuel B Roberts during his deployments in the North & Mid Atlantic and Guantanamo Bay. He worked as a Central Office Technician at New England Telephone for over thirty years, and then as a Weigh Master at RI Resource and Recovery until he retired in January 2015. Paul was a charter member of the N. Smithfield Kiwanis Club, and was very involved in local politics as a member of the N. Smithfield Democratic Town Committee. He spent more than 10 years working tirelessly on both local and statewide political campaigns.
Besides his wife, Kathleen, he is survived by their daughter, Kerri Slezak and her husband, Richard Sr., of Blackstone, MA; his sisters Laurie Houle of Newport, RI and Celeste (Houle) Oliver & husband Blair of Blackstone, MA, as well as his grandson Elliot Slezak of Blackstone. Paul was dearly loved by his brother-in-law Thomas Sweeney and his wife Kathleen of W. Hartford, CT, his sister-in-law Janice (Plante) Sweeney and her late husband Roger J Sweeney of Woonsocket, RI, and many nieces and nephews.
When his grandson was born, Paul took the role of Grandpa very seriously. The two spent every Saturday together from infancy through adolescence, and those “Grandpa Saturdays” became the foundation of an extraordinary relationship that touched the hearts of everyone who witnessed it.
Paul was known to his family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers as a generous, kind, and loving man who was quick with a smile, a joke, and many words of wisdom. He took pleasure in the small wonders of life, and was always there to lend a hand to anyone who needed it. Some of his favorite activities were vacationing in West Palm Beach with family, cooking delicious food on the grill, and -- as a lifelong fan of University of Notre Dame Football – rooting for his team. Paul also enjoyed the outdoors and spent most mornings walking or riding on the bike path.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday October 20th at 10:00 AM in Divine Mercy Parish at St. Paul's Church, 48 St. Paul Street, Blackstone. Burial will follow with military honors at RI Veterans Cemetery, 301 South County Trail, Exeter, RI. Calling hours are Thursday October 19th from 4-6 PM in the Holt Funeral Home, 510 South Main St., Woonsocket. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Paul P Houle to The Lincoln Rescue Service, Town Hall, 100 Old River Road, Lincoln, RI 02865 or Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, at PO Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284 or via dana-farber.org/gift.