Enjoyed traveling, woodworking and digital photography

WAKEFIELD William Paul Heffernan, 81, of Wakefield, formerly of Somerville and Medford, passed away on October 11, 2021 after a long illness.

Paul is survived by his spouse of 57 years, the former Eileen Hooley of Arlington; three sons: Tom and his wife, Alisa, of San Diego; Dave and his wife, Marianne, of Wakefield; and Bob and his wife, Amanda, of North Reading. Paul was “Papa” to seven wonderful and loving grandchildren: Katie, Amy, Fiona, Haven, Erin, Brian and Hudson. He was preceded in death by his sister Jeane and brother-in-law Peter Beisheim. He is also survived by two sisters: Elizabeth Beisheim of Norton; and Mary Cashins and her husband, Bob, of Reading; and Jerry Sykora, of Marietta, Georgia, plus numerous nieces and nephews, and a special niece, Peggy Kelly and her husband, David, along with their two daughters, Lauren Kelly Chartier and Lindsey Kelly.

The son of William “Doc” and Margaret “Peg,” Heffernan, Paul was a graduate of St. Clement High School, The Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and the University of Rhode Island. As a Commissioned Officer of the U.S. Public Health Service, Paul enjoyed a distinguished career of 25 years, rising through the ranks to Director Grade 0-6, Captain. During his varied career assignments in health-related research, Paul developed and published microbiological methods of assessing shellfish quality in Rhode Island, conducted toxicology research of water contaminants in Cincinnati, and while on detail to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Boston, was the recipient of the EPA Gold Medal for exceptional service and innovation in fostering the goals of the USEPA. Paul has published numerous articles and research in scientific and trade journals. Since his retirement from the Service in 1986, Paul had been the proprietor of a consulting service to state and local government agencies, schools, and public and commercial entities and a training provider in matters pertaining to asbestos identification and control.

Paul loved and enjoyed his grandchildren, traveling and vacationing with Eileen, woodworking and digital photography.

His funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Joseph Church, 173 Albion St., Wakefield on Saturday, October 16 at 10 a.m. Visitation for relatives and friends at the McDonald Funeral Home, 19 Yale Ave., Wakefield, will be held on Friday, October 15 from 4-7 p.m. Interment, Forest Glade Cemetery, Wakefield.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Wakefield Food Pantry, PO Box 1624, Wakefield, MA 01880.