Paul F. Bergeron, an avid fisherman, master plumber and computer enthusiast, died at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital on April 29. He was 53.
Paul was born in Oak Bluffs on Sept. 17, 1954. His family moved in 1962 to Florida, where he grew up. Paul spent a great many of his years traveling. He and his family spent many summers on the Down Range Tracking stations which included Grand Turk, Antigua and Ascension Island.
He graduated from John I. Leonard High School in Greenacres, Fla. In 1973, he joined the U.S. Navy and was stationed at the U.S. Naval base in Rota, Spain, where he was a naval air crewman. His sister Tricia joined him in Rota for a summer and they continued to see the world, traveling throughout Europe and Africa. The pleasure he found meeting people from different cultures continued throughout his life.
Paul was extremely proud to have had the opportunity to serve his country. Paul was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1977. He then moved back to the Vineyard to be near his siblings Peter and Tricia.
Paul worked as a commercial fisherman for many years, first on The Bay of Isles for Herb Hancock, then on the Zibet as engineer and mate, and on the Independence for Capt. Larry Yucubian and his crew which consisted of, at different times, Paul Bangs, Alan Albee, Tony Troy, Richie Madeiras, Mark Landers, Jeff Leonard, Dennis VonMehren, Mike Mazza and many more. They were and still are very much a family.
He was passionate about the ocean and in later years he fished for tuna with Peter and Derek on Peter’s boat. When he retired from commercial fishing, he continued to enjoy recreational fishing on the Vineyard and in the Florida Keys. An avid fisherman, he is credited with a 52-pound and 55-pound striped bass from shore, a 12.25-pound bonito from Peter’s boat and a Derby grand prize-winning Bonito. Peter and Paul were known as the “Killer B’s” in the Vineyard fishing community.
Recently, Paul moved to Arizona to reacquaint himself with his brother Patrick and his family, Mary, Patrick and Phillip. He enjoyed the Arizona weather and the companionship and love of his Arizona family. Paul was very proud of volunteering at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Phoenix, Ariz., helping the disabled veterans from Iraq and past wars. He enjoyed sitting and listening to their stories, helping them get to their appointments and assisting them in understanding and obtaining the benefits they are eligible for. He felt honored to be in their presence. He said he received much more then he gave.
Paul was fiercely loyal and proud of his entire family and his friends and will be missed by all.
He was predeceased by his parents Mary Jane Amaral Bergeron and Eugene Bergeron, his nephew Eric Bergeron MacLean and his aunt Phyllis Alwardt, his cousins David Alwardt and Jamie Lynn Hendrix.
Survivors include his identical twin brother Peter, nephews Derek Bergeron and Jim Gibson, his favorite sister, Tricia Bergeron, niece Kristen MacLean, and her family Joe Peters and Benjamin Eric MacLean-Peters, nephew Thomas Wilkins, brother Master Sgt. Patrick Bergeron, USAF Ret., sister-in-law Mary Bergeron, nephew Patrick Bergeron 2nd and fiance Ashley Maxson and nephew Phillip Bergeron, his birth father William Shannon and half-brother Michael Shannon.
He was the nephew of retired fire chief Nelson Amaral, Bobbie Ann Gibson, Catherine Deese and stepsisters and brother Donna Montesion and her family of Edgartown, Lorraine Earle and her family of Hull, Linda Bergeron Freedman of Hawaii, Gene Bergeron and his family of West Tisbury, many cousins, friends and the love of his life Susie Madeiras, and her children Elyse and Benjamin Madeiras.
Think of him as living in the hearts of those he touched . . . for nothing loved is ever lost and he was loved so much.
Anyone wishing to make a donation in Paul’s memory can do so to his nephews’ scholarship fund. Donations can be sent to Eric Bergeron MacLean Scholarship, P.O. Box 77, Oak Bluffs MA 02557.
A graveside service will be held on Saturday, May 17 at noon at the Sacred Heart Cemetery on Vineyard avenue, Oak Bluffs with full military honors offered by the Veterans of Martha’s Vineyard.
Following the service, the family will host a celebration of Paul’s life at the Portuguese-American Club on Vineyard avenue. The family would love participants to bring a story, a picture or a dish to share with his family and friends.