In Memoriam : Paul Bean
Paul Moreton Bean - age: 84
(April 20, 1934 to August 21, 2018
South Yarmouth, MA & Sugarloaf, Maine
Per the family’s wishes, there will be no services. Dennett, Craig & Pate Funeral Home, 365 Main Street, Saco, ME is entrusted with his arrangements.
The family would like to thank the staff at Gosnell Memorial Hospice House in Scarborough, ME for the care and support they provided.
In memory of your friendship with Paul, donations may be made to the Melrose High School Permanent Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 760695, Melrose, MA 02176, Attention: Paul M. Bean Scholarship (www.mhsfund.org), or to the South Yarmouth United Methodist Church, 324 Old Main Street, South Yarmouth, MA 02664.
Born in Melrose, MA on April 20, 1934 to Evelyn Curtiss Bean and Moreton Chauncey Bean, Paul Moreton Bean lived an active life full of adventure. After he became a father, his family often joked, “it’s not an outing unless dad gets hurt.” But, from the start, bumps and bruises never slowed him down. Growing up in Melrose, Paul used the nearby “Common” to play every possible sport. Demonstrating the skills, kindness, and patience that would mark his entire life, he took care to include anyone eager to play, without regard for age or ability.
While at Melrose High School, he earned nine varsity letters in football, basketball and baseball; he won special recognition from the Boston papers, which touted his success on Melrose’s exceptionally talented ’50 and ’51 teams. Moving on to Springfield College, he earned seven varsity letters for football and baseball and received his Bachelor’s degree in 1956. A highlight of his college career was playing third base for Springfield in the 1956 College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska. While in college, he also played summer baseball in Grand Falls, New Brunswick. Paul was inducted into the Melrose High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998.
After college, he was drafted into the Army and served from 1956-1957 before receiving an Honorable Discharge to return home to help care for his parents in Melrose.
Hired to teach physical education at Stoughton High School in 1958, Paul met the woman who would become his wife of fifty-eight years, Anne Carroll, a French teacher who remembers spying him from a school window and announcing to a friend, “that’s the man I’m going to marry.” Marry him she did, at Gate of Heaven Church in South Boston on August 14, 1960.
Together, they moved back to Melrose, where Paul returned to the high school as a member of the physical education department and Anne later joined him as a member of the foreign language department. Continuing his studies, Paul earned a Master’s degree in Education from Boston University while also managing his teaching, coaching, and parenting responsibilities.
Raising two daughters, Heidi Bean, now of South Portland, ME, and Gretchen Bean Bergill, now of Kents Hill, ME, Paul and Anne spent summers working on Cape Cod and winters traveling weekly to their ski camp at Sugarloaf in Maine. Paul was his daughters’ first and best tennis, sailing, and ski instructor, and they are forever grateful for the time he spent teaching them these life-long sports. Although he claimed that he never learned to appreciate the rules of field hockey, he and Anne were dedicated fans of Melrose’s field hockey teams in the late 70’s and early 80’s.
Over the course of his thirty years’ tenure at Melrose High, Paul taught hundreds of students, some eager and athletic and some less so. No matter, for years after his retirement, Paul would run into former students and hear them say, “you were my favorite teacher of all time.” Typically, he would blush, shrug, or say, “thanks pal,” or “thanks buddy,” which was a sign to his family that he couldn’t remember the former student’s name but was too embarrassed to say so.
Above and beyond his teaching responsibilities, Paul never said “no” when asked to coach a sport; it didn’t matter if he knew how to play it or not. Baseball was always his favorite to play and coach, but he put his heart into coaching football, hockey, wrestling, and even, while his daughters were in school, their varsity tennis team. He also served as the Assistant Athletic Director for five years even though the responsibility cut into his winter ski season.
Away from school, skiing and golf were life-long passions. No one taught more people to ski well without ever being paid for it. Visiting Sugarloaf for the first time in 1958, Paul was “hooked.” In 1961, he surprised Anne on a return to Melrose by announcing he had “bought a camp” up in Carrabassett Valley. A member of the Sugarloaf Ski Club’s 50+ group, he had a season pass at Sugarloaf for 54 years. He took his last runs down the Narrow Gauge in 2016, at the age of 81. Paul was a tireless instructor with a natural gift for understanding the mechanics of a particular sport. He had a large group of friends at Sugarloaf and enjoyed years of fun and lively dinners that Anne put on for all their friends at their camp. Golf and his golfing friends, both in Melrose and on Cape Cod, kept him busy after his retirement from teaching. As recently as this summer, even though illness compromised his vision, Paul managed to sink a ten-foot putt when practicing with his daughter. For years, friends at the Bass River Golf Club in South Yarmouth admired his consistency and envied his handicap. Recently, he admitted that not being able to play daily was one of the greatest challenges that age and encroaching illness presented for him.
After retiring from teaching in 1989, Paul and Anne spent almost thirty years enjoying an active retirement. In 1995, they relocated from Melrose to South Yarmouth, MA, eager to spend more non-working time on the Cape and just in time to welcome their first grandchild, Niklas Bergill of Carbondale, CO. Two other well-loved grandchildren, Phoebe Little of South Portland, ME and Ingrid Bergill of Exeter, NH, followed, and all profited from “Grandpapa’s” knowledge and patience as they learned to carve pumpkins, ride bikes, ski, and hit baseballs. Many, many enjoyable days were spent building dribble castles on Cape beaches and going to see the herring run or daffodil bloom. Throughout their retirement, Paul and Anne took many road trips alone or with their close companions, Joe and Dot Mirisola, visiting their daughters in Ottawa, Seattle, or Lake Tahoe. On each cross-country trip, Paul loved exploring new states and experiencing life as a “local.” He particularly enjoyed what his son-in-law called “the Tahoe double,” skiing in the morning and golfing in the afternoon. As a grandparent, Paul was proud of Nik’s humor-filled blog posts about adventure and exploration, loved watching Phoebe perform in Portland-area musical theater, and, on one of his last excursions, enjoyed seeing Ingrid hit a solid double for her high school’s JV softball team.
A dedicated Methodist, Paul’s faith was an integral part of his character. A member of the First United Methodist Church of Melrose, Paul attended services regularly and formed life-long bonds. After their move to Cape Cod, Paul joined the South Yarmouth United Methodist Church where his legendary birdhouse-making skills earned him the admiration of other church members, who eagerly bid on the model birdhouses he contributed to fundraising events. For years, he was one of the most dedicated volunteers at the Church’s Fisherman’s House Thrift Shop. Making weekly trips up and down the Cape, he and his fellow volunteers would load donations into his minivan and bring them back to South Yarmouth for resale. During the summer months, Paul made a point to attend the weekly early morning service on the banks of the Bass River. He and Anne would bring their beach chairs and set them up on the wooden dock to worship and sing with the other members and summer visitors. In the colder months, the two of them could usually be found in the balcony singing each hymn with energy and enthusiasm. He lived a good life built on a strong religious foundation.
Those who knew Paul well, knew that each fall, he held a spirited competition with his wife. Every week, the two of them would “make their picks” prior to the first NFL game of the week. For the entire season, the two of them battled for the lead. Paul made his picks using athletic reasoning and past experience; Anne made her picks based on a fondness for certain players, familiarity with a team’s home city, and an appreciation (or lack thereof) for a team’s reputation. Needless to say, family members kept close tabs on the weekly results and were never surprised to learn Mom was ahead. He never complained…
Quiet and thoughtful, Paul often let Anne speak for him, but after fifty-eight years together, friends knew they formed a united front. When he did speak, both his children and his grandchildren laughed at the stories he’d tell of Miss Mott’s elementary school band, summers on the beach at Old Orchard, mishaps driving Route 9 back to Melrose from Springfield, practicing his drive on the airstrip at the Army base in Ansonia, CT, playing baseball at a high level, and even getting a call to try out for the Red Sox at Fenway Park when he knew he had to be back to Melrose High School in time for practice. When pressed, he would say that one great disappoint in his life was an invitation to fish with Ted Williams that was canceled at the last minute after the Splendid Splinter’s schedule changed. The follow up post card Williams sent to apologize was a treasured keepsake for many years.
In addition to his wife, daughters, and grandchildren, Paul leaves his sister Alice Cole and her husband Alton Cole of Carrabassett Valley and Old Orchard Beach, ME, son-in-law Ross Little of South Portland, ME, son-in-law Stefan Bergill of Kents Hill, ME, and sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Dot and Joe Mirisola of South Yarmouth, MA.
For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Joanna Saltonstall - August 21, 2018 Contact this person
What a great man. I will always remember him behind the counter at the beach club smiling or heading our on his Rhodes 19 once lunch was done. My thoughts are with you Anne, Gretchen and Heidi. Jody
Donna Giggie-McCune - August 21, 2018 Contact this person
Thoughts and prayers for Mrs. Bean, Heidi, and Gretchen. I remember all of you with great fondness. Mr. Bean certainly lived a full life and his retirement years sound as busy and fulfilling as his years as a teacher. You are blessed to have had shared him as a husband and father late into life so he could enjoy retirement with Mrs. Bean, cherish Heidi and Gretchen as adults and enjoy his grandchildren. I hope you remember the good times as you deal with your grief.
Cindy Hemenway - August 22, 2018 Contact this person
Condolences to Anne and daughter’s, Heidi and Gretchen. Your husband, and father, was highly respected and truly loved. RIP, Coach Bean.
Kathryn Graham - August 22, 2018 Contact this person
Condolences to the Bean family .. Ann i am so sorry about the passing of Paul thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time .. god bless
Mardi Lowery - August 22, 2018 Contact this person
Please accept my sincere condolences. I knew Paul through Anne, and the stories she told were heartwarming and hilarious. Many were related to their times in Sugarloaf, but I also loved the stories from their early days. Although I left Melrose in the eighties, I remember the whole Bean family as one filled with caring, love, and just plain fun. -Mardi Lowery
Judy Grace - August 22, 2018 Contact this person
So sorry to hear about your loss. I will always remember the fun times we had visiting and playing tennis on Great Island.
Rennie Welch - August 22, 2018 Contact this person
Sorry for your loss ....Met Coach Bean in 1962 as a freshman at Melrose High School. I will always remember him as an inspiration for all and a leader we respected and loved.
Jan Johnston - August 22, 2018 Contact this person
Words are difficult. Paul was a gentleman, kind and caring and always so helpful to me, especially when I was just beginning my career at Melrose. I loved to listen to his stories about baseball and always remember him flipping a baseball over and over in his hand. Of course the most interesting discussions we had were about Field hockey and trying to get him to understand the rules. My deepest sympathy to you Anne, and Heidi and Gretchen. I knew Paul as a co-worker but observed his relationship with his family, especially his daughters. I can only imagine how wonderful he was as a grandfather. May your memories bring you comfort during this sad time.
John S Driscoll - August 23, 2018 Contact this person
My condolences as well to Anne and the family. The Paul Bean that I knew well in his school years in Melrose was pretty special. His demeanor never changed from Winthrop Elementary School to his graduation from Melrose High. He was always genuine and upbeat. It was no surprise that he was our Class President. From what I gather he never changed through the years. It was an honor for me to be his friend. jack driscoll
Nancy Simpson - August 23, 2018 Contact this person
So sorry to hear of Paul's passing. We have so many great memories of Great Island and more. Love to Anne, Heidi and Gretchen and all the Beans. He really had a wonderful life and family. He will be missed.
Ralph Hannabury - August 23, 2018 Contact this person
Anne, Heidi and Gretchen,
Mary and I were very sorry to hear about your loss. I first met Paul when I was a 10th grade student in his first year at MHS. What I didn't know then was that the relationship would evolve from student to mentor to friend. Paul was always there to offer advice and encouragement from the time I became a student teacher, landed a full time teaching position, took over a x-country team midseason and became faculty manager of athletics when he was the Asst. A.D..
Over the years our daughters were so fortunate to have had both Paul and Anne as their caring, patient teachers. Mary and I benefited from their advice as well when our daughters were preparing for college.
A couple of years ago, after a long interlude, we were able to connect with Paul and Anne again.
When we met it was if it were yesterday and we spent a nice day catching up, sharing stories about our grandchildren and having lunch at the Yarmouth House on Cape Cod, followed by a private tour of Great Island. So glad that we have that memory.
Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.
Jeanne Simpson Dunn - August 23, 2018 Contact this person
Sending my heartfelt condolences to Anne, Heidi, and Gretchen, and your families. My memories of all of you are warm and special, and I was saddened to learn from my mother that Paul has passed. Please know that all the Simpsons are thinking of you.
Bill Ball - August 28, 2018 Contact this person
Mrs. Bean, Heidi and Gretchen, so sorry for your loss. Mr. Bean was an outstanding educator and coach and his impact upon hundreds of students at Melrose High School will live on for decades. Above all, he was a terrific person, one who helped many people along the way. Respectfully, Billy Ball and Family, Exeter, NH