Paul John Gorey
October 13, 1925 – November 8, 2018
We are celebrating the well lived life of our father, Paul J. Gorey. Paul died easily in his sleep, in his own bed, on the morning of November 8, 2018, at the great age of 93, in Ojai, California. He was born October 13, 1925 in Harlem, New York City to recent Irish immigrants Frank and Delia Gorey. Growing up with his older three siblings in his parents’ boarding house, Paul learned early on the value of welcoming others to your table. Paul developed in becoming a good listener, an engaging conversationalist, a teller of tales, a voracious reader, and a kind human being.
In their Harlem neighborhood, Paul’s parents were well known for welcoming new immigrants to the United States, offering shelter, and helping find employment. Paul never forgot their commitment to community by offering a helping hand.
Paul graduated from Rice High School in January 1944. He entered boot camp for the U.S. Navy in February, 1944, and he became a Motor Mechanics Mate on LST #882 in the Pacific theater. After returning to NYC in May of 1946, Paul enrolled in the police academy. His career progressed from starting as a street cop to Sergeant in the Emergency Services Division.
Frank Gorey and Michael Donegan were boyhood friends in Ireland. Eight of Mick’s 16 children immigrated to the United States, and a Gorey was always on the dock to pick them up. Hence, Paul met our mother Bridget as she got off the boat. Though, at first, she wanted absolutely nothing to do with him, Paul was nonetheless optimistic, persistent, and completely devoted to her, and they were married in 1956. A few years after their marriage, they moved to Massapequa Park, Long Island to raise their 3 children; Patrick, Delia and Theresa. Upon Paul’s retirement from the NYPD in 1976, they migrated west to Ventura and spent their final years together in Ojai.
In 1980, Paul was delighted to start his college career at Ventura College. He took every history class that was offered, and earned his certification as a Psychiatric Technician. He worked at Camarillo State Hospital for ten years. Paul then worked at Hillmont Psychiatric Center in Ventura, retiring again from public service at age 78.
Paul and Bridget thoroughly enjoyed their golden years, their travels from Ireland to Hawaii, Oaxaca to Alaska, and Rome to Morro Bay. Their son Patrick married Michele Gordon and they set up home in Morro Bay. Paul and Bridget loved visiting them there. Paul and Bridget considered Michele as their third daughter and they thought of Delia’s husband, Larry Manson, as their second son.
We are deeply grateful to Dr. Mary Dial’s compassionate care of both our parents, and to Livingston Hospice. Dr. Lamar Bushnell’s skills saved Paul’s life in 1996. Paul liked to say he was “replumbed for 20 years or 20,000 more miles.” He got them both. Our father became a friend of Bill in 1974 and he whole heartedly lived One Day at a Time. We will miss him, and were very fortunate to have him hale and hardy for so long.
Paul was preceded in death by his brother Bob (Rose), sisters Philomena (Chuck), Frances (George) and his beloved wife Bridget (February 2016). He is survived by his children and scores of nieces and nephews on almost every continent of this beautiful planet.
A memorial celebration of Paul’s life is planned for the Spring of 2019 in Ojai, followed by burial-at-sea of his ashes, near Morro Bay, by the United States Coast Guard in honor of Paul’s military service. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Livingston Hospice or the Ojai Library.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Ted Mayr Funeral Home, 3150 Loma Vista Road, Ventura. Condolences may be sent to TedMayrFuneralHome.com.