FARMINGTON - Paul Francis Sproul, 82, of Farmington, died Tuesday, July 29, 2014, at Orchard Park Rehabilitation & Living Center in Farmington.
He was born July 12, 1932, in Augusta, one of 12 children, including his twin sister Pauline, of John and Susan (Harvey) Sproul. He graduated from Cony High School in 1950, and after serving in the Air Force in Germany and Idaho, he earned a bachelor's degree at Farmington State Teachers College. He married Jeannette Lebel in 1957 and moved to Farmington. They had two children, Lee Jane and Joel.
Schools were the focus of Paul's multifaceted career. He was an elementary school teacher for 25 years, working in Jay, Wilton and Farmington. After retirement, he worked part time for many years as a custodian for the Mt. Blue Regional School District.
Bucky was known best as a coach, referee and umpire. While serving in Germany, he proudly coached a championship youth basketball team. He began refereeing basketball in 1956, and became a well-known fixture in the community. A reporter for the Sun Journal wrote in 2004, "Paul Sproul is as much a part of youth basketball in Franklin County as that bouncy round orange thing is." In 2006, the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials honored him for his 50 years of service as a basketball referee. Additionally, in 1994, Paul was selected as head linesman for the Maine Shriners Lobster Bowl Classic. He dedicated many hours umpiring Little League baseball and football, and for many years Bucky was the official clock operator for Mt. Blue High School sports. After retirement, he took pride in showing visitors his golden lifetime pass to all Mt. Blue games. Sharing his love of basketball with kids was Paul's favorite pastime. Mark Hayes, a former student who later became a teacher himself, recalled in a blog post how Paul routinely scooped up him and other boys on Sunday mornings after Sunday school and took them to play half-court basketball at Mallett School. "Paul Sproul, the only grown-up among us, must have been well into his fifties at that point … but there were days when he reminded us of (former Boston Celtics star) Bob Cousy." "He had the no-look bounce pass ready for any opportunity. Thank you, Paul, for all the hoops."
Paul is survived by his wife, Jeannette, of Farmington; daughter Lee Jane Libby, of Gray; son Joel Sproul, his wife, Elena Theodosiou, and their son Jacob Sproul, of Dover, N.H.; grandsons Ryan Schwartz, his wife Shannon, and their children, Sophia and Mason, of Biddeford; and Jamison Schwartz and his girlfriend, Kady Hafner, of Portland; sister Ida Owen, of Augusta; brother Robert Sproul and his wife, Donna, of Gardiner; twin sister Pauline Marceau, of Livermore Falls; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
Paul was predeceased by brothers Oliver Sproul and Harvey Sproul; and sisters Lillian Quigley, Annie Tomasello, Doris Sproul, Mary Wing, Jane Morin and Catherine Cronin.
Family and friends are invited to call from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 3, at the Wiles Remembrance Center, 137 Farmington Falls Road (U.S. Route 2 and Route 27), Farmington. A memorial Mass of Christian burial will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, Aug. 4, at St. Joseph's Church at 133 Middle St. in Farmington. Following Mass, a comfort reception will be held at the parish hall, hosted by the Altar Guild. All are welcome. Graveside services will be held at noon Thursday, Aug. 7, at the new Maine Veterans' Memorial Cemetery, Mount Vernon Road, Augusta, with military honors provided by Camp Keyes.
Remembrance gifts may be given in Paul's memory to either: Paul Sproul-Hippach Field Fund, Attn. Shelley Deane, Franklin Savings Bank, P.O. Box 825, Farmington, ME 04938; or Mt. Blue High School Athletics, Attn. Todd Demmons, Mt. Blue High School, 129 Seamon Road, Farmington, ME 04938. Tributes and condolences may be shared on his memorial wall at www.wilesrc.com.