LEWISTON — Daniel Paul Roy, 62, the second son born to Eugene R. Roy and Madeleine C. (Pare) Roy, died March 21, surrounded by family and friends, at St. Mary’s Hospital, following a valiant and determined battle with cancer.
Born on Feb. 25, 1956, with three congenital heart defects, Dan faced many challenges brought on by his condition. He fought and defied the odds throughout his lifetime and lived life to the fullest. He challenged himself to be as able-bodied and active as his eight siblings and his friends were and sometimes even more so, defying and graciously accepting the consequences brought on by his determination. Dan’s gutsy temperament served him well for 62 years, but despite his best efforts and relentless optimism for a cure, on the first day of spring, after a yearlong battle, cancer proved to be insurmountable.
After graduating from Holy Cross School in Lewiston, he attained his high school diploma from La Salette Seminary in Enfield, N.H., where he was a member of the hockey and baseball teams, as well as several outreach programs, graduating in 1974. He then attended St. Joseph’s College in Windham, where he obtained a degree in sociology and graduated with high honors and was listed in “Who’s Who Among Students in America.”
An awareness of social justice had been fostered at home, and nurtured at La Salette and at Saint Joseph’s College and led to Dan’s choices after graduation. Accepting an invitation to join the Lay Volunteer Program with the Maryknoll missionaries, he spent a period of time in Guatemala, followed by a year working with the Maryknoll Brothers in the ghetto of the Bronx in New York City. In 1979, he joined the Vista program and served for a year in Arkansas. Dan then spent two years, first in New York and then in Toronto, Canada, working with “at-risk” youth in Fr. Bruce Ritter’s “Under 21/ Covenant House” program.
After returning to Lewiston, Dan had a variety of employment experiences working in various group homes for high-risk youths both in Maine and New Hampshire; at Bosebuck Mountain fishing camp; and with the Franco-American Festival, among other things. He eventually felt lured to join some of his brothers in the fence installation business. That eventually led to his founding and running his own company, D.P. Roy and Son Fencing, until cancer forced him into early retirement.
In 2001, he married Brigid Kasuba and it was in 2008 that a baby boy that they named Christopher Paul came into their lives and hearts and changed not only Dan‘s name to “Papa” but his life forever. Christopher was a highlight in Dan’s life. He became his pride and joy and the main reason he fought his cancer so diligently.
Dan was an avid reader and a regular patron of the local library; an aspiring and inspiring writer; a frequent theater attendee; a lover of nature and walks by the ocean; a loyal man who really enjoyed being in the company of family and friends, both old and new, sharing time and conversations. Yet, Dan valued time alone and thrived on long, restorative, solitary walks out in nature year round, in both good and not so good weather. The sanctuary at Thorncrag, and the R.R. tracks near his childhood home in South Lewiston were among his favorite haunts. Dan had a delightful and sometimes unique sense of humor and laughed heartily and easily, enjoying many a “belly laugh,” while sharing one of his stories or jokes, often at his own expense. His love for his family was unwavering and all of us were recipients of some of his thoughtful gestures at some time or other. He especially loved spending time with Chris; roller skating, ice skating, sledding, taking walks, making blueberry muffins on Sunday morning, and so many other activities.
You were a lovable, unique, tenacious human being, Dan. You certainly fought the good fight. You will be deeply missed and remembered for years to come by so many and for so many reasons … May you rest in peace …
Daniel is survived and mourned by his mother; a son, Christopher Paul Roy, of Winthrop; sisters, Marie Roy, of Falmouth, Leah and husband, Nicholas Hersom, of Harrison; brothers, Francis and wife, Darlene of Poland, Dominic and wife Juanita, of Mechanic Falls, Timothy and companion, Laurie Goodwin, of Litchfield, Gregory and wife, Marsha, of Wayne, John and wife, Sarah, of Portland, Oregon, and Stephen of Livermore, as well as many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was predeceased by his father; brothers, David P. and Michael L.; nephews, Adam Dominic Roy and Matt Fitch, as well as his grandparents and many aunts, uncles and several cousins.
The family wishes to extend heartfelt gratitude to Dr. M. Andrei as well as the staff in the oncology team at St. Mary’s Hospital, the ICU staff and the multiple other physicians who cared for Dan on his yearlong journey trying to conquer nasopharyngeal cancer.
A special thanks also to his friends and cohorts in his social change community, a group that Dan participated in and contributed to for many years, especially to those who walked the cancer journey with him with their weekly visits, words of encouragement and many acts of kindness. You know who you are, and we are very grateful to you all.
Condolences, donations, and a video tribute may be accessed online at www.albert-burpee.com.
Daniel Paul Roy