Paul J. Watts of Long Island, Me. died on Nov. 11 from rapid onset and progression vascular dementia. He was 71.

He was born in Shepperton, England in February 1950 and emigrated to the U.S. in 1952. He grew up in Cape Elizabeth, Me. For more than 25 years, he held the record there for the most number of goal assists in soccer.

While in high school, he met Diane (Di), the love of his life. They married in 1970. Their love story is truly one for the ages. They married young and their love, patience and commitment to each other never wavered.

Paul began his banking career shortly after marrying Diane. He was always happy to help others to realize their fullest potential and dreams. He worked tirelessly until retiring to Long Island, Me., in 2015.

He was a banker and a friend to many. He always fought fiercely for his customers. He gave people the courage to take risks and he encouraged them. He always tried to think outside the box. The traits he passed on to his daughters are the same as those he instilled in his clients. Have faith in your own ideas and abilities. Take a leap if you want to fly. Treat others as you would want to be treated. He often remarked that the world is not black or white, but shades of gray. Always stay curious.

He taught his daughters the pleasure of philanthropy, to always put others first and to be kind. He was grateful for his opportunities and always looked for ways to pay it forward, including volunteering for numerous nonprofits. Some of the organizations for which he was most proud included the Big Brothers Big Sisters, Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce and selectman on Long Island, Me..

At the Rotary Club of Martha’s Vineyard, he won the governor’s award for his work with a sister club in Lima, Peru. He was instrumental in providing medical equipment, wheelchairs and computers for an orphanage. These contributions enabled them to learn and implement hydroponic gardening and animal husbandry so that they could become not only self-sufficient but a major provider to local food stores.

When their daughters were young, Paul and Di sponsored two young refugees from Poland and hosted several exchange students.

He was an avid sailor and led trips to the British Virgin Islands and up the coast of Maine. He was commodore of Centerboard Yacht Club and valued all the friends he met along the way.

Paul was larger than life. His eyes sparkled with love and mischief. His quick wit and generosity will outlive him.

He is survived by Diane, his devoted wife of 51 years; two loving daughters: Kimberly Peaslee of Concord, N.H. and her son Leo, and Jennifer Pillsworth and her husband Kenneth of Vineyard Haven. He is also survived by extended family and friends.

His family extends a special heartfelt thanks to all the friends and staff at Bay Square and Compassus Hospice for helping Paul on his journey with dignity and grace.

Paul lived for entertaining and mustn’t be limited to just one celebration, so celebrations of life will be held on Martha’s Vineyard and in Maine in the spring of 2022. Donations can be made to

Arrangements are under the care of the Conroy-Tully Walker Funeral Home of Portland. To view Paul’s memorial page, or share an online condolence, please visit