Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – John Robert Pakulski, 82, died peacefully on Feb. 3, following a short battle with lung cancer.

John was born in Livermore Falls, on April 28, 1927, to Joseph and Juliette (Corriveau) Pakulski. He attended Livermore Falls schools and graduated from Admiral Billard Academy in New London, Conn., in 1945, prior to joining the U.S. Navy at the close of World War II. He was stationed at Anacostia Island Naval Air Station in Washington, D.C., where he served as a mechanic. Following his naval service John attended the Spartan School of Aeronautics in Tulsa, Okla., after which he worked for Braniff Airlines in Dallas, Texas, as a flight mechanic. He went on to obtain his aircraft and engine license, and joined Trans World Airlines in 1951, as a flight engineer, stationed in Boston and New York, serving domestic and international flights. John received his pilot’s rating in 1961 to fly TWA jets as a third pilot/engineer, and kept his rating until retirement.

John married Ruth E. Ault of Wayne, in December of 1953, and the couple moved to Wayne in 1954 to raise a family. In 1955, they opened the Country Fair Gift Shop at their home on Morrison Heights. The gift shop was well-known in the area for its fine imports, supplied by John from his frequent trips overseas. The couple also ran a summer bed and breakfast for several years, and had four children together.

John remarried Concepcion Soto of Spain in 1975, and moved to Atkinson, N.H.

In 1986, John moved to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and in 1989, he retired after 38 years of service with TWA. He continued to visit Wayne yearly, staying at the Pakulski family camp on Pocassett Lake.

John was devoted to all creatures great and small, from his beloved cat, Purdle, and dog, Bruni, to the chipmunks he fed in the summers at camp and the group of neighborhood cats he took care of daily in Florida. He was an avid outdoorsman and registered Maine guide, enjoying hunting and fishing, skiing, sailing and flying his vintage Taylorcraft airplane around the lakes of Maine. As a young athlete, he was especially known as a hard-hitting football player. John was a born and trained mechanic, working on all types of engines for fun and pay, and was “Mr. Fix-it” to anyone who needed help with plumbing, wiring, cars, boats and any kind of equipment. He loved to sing and played a mean cornet. John was truly a man of the world, covering most of the globe before, during his career, and after retiring from TWA.

From his travels, he collected many wonderful pieces of art, crafts, historical items, gems, coins, stories and recipes. He was a great cook of many cuisines, and excelled particularly at Italian. He was generous beyond measure and a gracious host. Most important to John though were his family and friends, and he always drew a crowd of both.

He is survived by both former wives; his four children, Lisa Pakulski of New York City, Marek Pakulski of Brooklyn, N.Y., Stefan Pakulski and wife, Lynette Johnson, of Wayne, and Tom Pakulski and wife, Susan Pakulski, of Scarborough; five grandchildren, Ted, Mia and Anya of Scarborough, and Kai and Janika of Wayne; and several cousins, nephews, a niece and their families.

John was predeceased by his parents; and his brother, Dr. Francis Pakulski of Jay.

Guest Book