A coach, teacher and dad who was always there for anyone

MELROSE — Paul D. Finn, 74, beloved husband, brother, father and grandfather passed away suddenly, yet peacefully, on Feb. 7, 2022. Whether you called him Paul, Hawk, Coach, Dad or Papa, if you knew him he made an impact on your life. He was likely there for you in a time of need and you are probably smiling about that now. “He was that guy for you,” for all of us.

Paul was born on March 5, 1947 in Malden. Paul was raised in Malden and attended Malden High School where he excelled as a student athlete. He never lost an opportunity to remind us that his MHS basketball team won the Tech Tourney championship at the Boston Garden in 1964. In his final high school football game, Paul scored two touchdowns on Thanksgiving to beat Medford, pleasing his mother Lorraine for making the annual Thanksgiving dinner on the Fellsway a happy occasion.

After high school, Paul attended Amherst College where he played football and rugby and was a proud member of the Delta Upsilon fraternity. Here he met some of his lifelong friends and Jean, the mother of his three children. After graduating Amherst in 1969, Paul returned to Malden where he served as a dedicated teacher, assistant principal and head football coach until he retired in 2006. Paul’s passion was coaching, both in the classroom and on the field. Paul coached his team to win multiple GBL championship titles. His achievements as a player and coach were acknowledged with an induction to the Malden High School and Massachusetts High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame. To many, Paul was the teacher and coach that they never forgot and who inspired them to do better. And to some, he was the one they credited for saving their lives. This was the wealth and status that Paul sought after.

After retirement, Paul trained for and ran the Boston Marathon, crossing the finish line at the young age of 54. He hung up his running sneakers after that, but continued to walk every single day. He loved to “walk the lake”, walk to the cemetery and walk to church. Many times, he was pushing a stroller with one of his six grandkids on these walks. These were his favorite.

Paul was a caretaker. He found fulfillment in caring for his parents, his children and his grandchildren. He lived to make other people happy with no expectations of anything in return.

Above all, Paul’s pride and joy was his family. His wife, Marian, was his partner in all things. They enjoyed traveling to Las Vegas, Florida and Palm Springs and of course to “The Roadside.” No one doted on Paul more than Marian and vice versa. Their love for each other was unconditional and inspirational.

Paul was unapologetically boastful of his three children Alison, Meaghan and Christopher. Achievements large and small from this trio were never kept secret for long. His son in-law Wayne, daughter-in law Elizabeth and son-in-law Michael also held a special place in his big proud heart. But, nothing brought him more joy than his grandchildren “The Super 6” – Claire, Paige, Henry, Caroline, Jake, and Abigail. Paul took the art of grand parenting to a whole new level.

In addition to his wife, children and grandchildren, Paul leaves his brother Peter (“The Perfect One”) and sister Maryann (“The Princess”) with the constant reminder that he remains “The Favorite.” Paul is also remembered by a long list of Irish Catholic cousins (we believe the tally holds at 47), aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. And friends. So. Many. Friends. They will all miss him, his antics and his wisdom dearly.

A celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, February 12, 2022 at St. Mary’s Church in Melrose at 10 a.m. Visiting hours will be Friday, February 11, 2022 from 4 – 7 p.m. at the Gately Funeral Home in Melrose.

The Finn Family asks that all attendees of Paul’s celebration of life wear blue and gold to honor our favorite golden tornado. Go Malden Beat Medford!

The Finn family suggests memorial donations may be made in Paul’s name to Boston Children’s Hospital, 300 Longwood Ave., Boston, MA 02115. To send a message of condolence please visit www.gatelyfh.com.