Paul A. Rugg, of Marshfield and formerly of Quincy, died peacefully on the night of January 15th, with his wife and son Ben by his side, after a long journey with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Born in 1950 to Warren Rugg and Ruth (Fitzgerald) Rugg, the eldest of 6 siblings, Paul enjoyed a childhood of mischief in Merrymount, playing sports, boating, and later “borrowing” his grandfather’s car on occasion. The Beatles set the soundtrack to his life, and a 13-year-old Paul would ride his bike around the neighborhood singing “I Want to Hold Your Hand” while delivering papers for the Patriot Ledger.
Paul graduated from Quincy High School in 1968, and soon after enlisted in the Army with a high school friend. He spent time in Vietnam, as the Sergeant of a small reconnaissance platoon, an experience that profoundly affected him for the rest of his life. He earned a Bronze Star for valor in combat. Paul earned an Associate’s Degree from Franklin Institute before joining Boston Edison as an electrical engineer, where he worked for about 40 years.
Surviving more than his fair share of hardship, Paul lost his first love and high school sweetheart, his wife Eileen (Hurney) Rugg, to breast cancer in 1994. To find love once is a miracle, but Paul was blessed with a second great love, his wife Barbie, whom he married in 2002. Paul and Barbie had many adventures, and when Paul’s life was touched by Alzheimer’s, Barbie was there by his side caring for him until his last breath.
Paul was his family’s favorite character, and his corny jokes will be missed by all. He had a zest for life and a belief that anything was possible, which was infectious. The glint in Paul’s eye made him seem like he was always about to do something you didn’t expect; and sometimes he was. His bright, charming smile always allowed him to get away with it. He was a stubborn force who was very good at doing what he wanted to do, whether it was a popular choice or not. An unwavering perfectionist and a jack of all trades, Paul kept his home, his tools, and his vehicles in pristine condition despite his children’s best efforts. Have you ever met anybody who had the same pair of sunglasses for two decades?
He learned to race sailboats at Wollaston and Squantum Yacht Club in the 70s and 80s, which became his passion, and he was introduced to the art of boat building by his sailing friends. Those who crewed for Paul on Bloody Mary, the sailboat he built in the neighbor’s garage, were in for an intense experience. An unrelenting competitor, Paul won many regattas skippering Bloody Mary in Quincy Bay. If Paul wasn’t out on the ocean or working on a project around the house, he was exercising or weightlifting. In the early 90s you could find Paul rocking out to Madonna’s Immaculate Collection on his NordicTrack. Later he became an avid rollerblader before taking up bike riding, a hobby he was able to continue post-Alzheimer’s diagnosis with the help of a friend.
Paul was one of a kind, and he will be sorely missed. We can only hope that his corny jokes, zest for life, and passion for whatever task it is that makes you happy will live-on within those loved ones he left behind.
He is predeceased by his first wife Eileen and younger brothers Warren and Peter. He is survived by his wife Barbie of Marshfield, his daughter Meredith and her husband Matthew Lebo of Quincy, his son Dennis Rugg and his wife Keri-Ann of Dover, NH, his son Ben Duffy of Carver, and his daughter Molly and her husband Justin Palmer of Marshfield. He is also survived by his brother Philip and his wife Gloria of Florida, and his sisters Susan and her husband Richard Mullens of Brockton, and Margaret and her husband Daniel Gorman of Quincy. Paul also has four beloved grandchildren: Liam, Mae-Kathrine, Philip, and Theodore.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Paul’s name to the Marshfield Council on Aging Memory Program. Checks can be made out to “Marshfield Council on Aging – Social Day Club” and mailed to 230 Webster Street, Marshfield, MA 02050. Alternatively, please consider a donation in Paul’s name to the Alzheimer’s Association.