1932 – 2014

FARMINGTON — Paul Francis Sproul, 82, of Farmington, died Tuesday, July 29, at Orchard Park Rehabilitation & Living Center in Farmington.

He was born July 12, 1932, in Augusta, one of 12 children, including his twin sister, Pauline, of John and Susan (Harvey) Sproul. He graduated from Cony High School in 1950, and after serving in the U.S. Air Force in Germany and Idaho, he earned a bachelor’s degree at Farmington State Teachers College. He married Jeannette Lebel in 1957 and moved to Farmington. They had two children, Lee Jane and Joel.

Schools were the focus of Paul’s multifaceted career. He was an elementary school teacher for 25 years, working in Jay, Wilton and Farmington. After retirement, he worked part time for many years as a custodian for the Mt. Blue Regional School District.

Bucky was known best as a coach, referee and umpire. While serving in Germany, he proudly coached a championship youth basketball team. He began refereeing basketball in 1956 and became a well-known fixture in the community. A reporter for the Sun Journal wrote in 2004, “Paul Sproul is as much a part of youth basketball in Franklin County as that bouncy round orange thing is.”

In 2006, the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials honored him for his 50 years of service as a basketball referee. Additionally, in 1994, Paul was selected as head linesman for the Maine Shriners “Lobster Bowl” Classic. He dedicated many hours umpiring Little League baseball and football, and for many years, Bucky was the official clock operator for Mt. Blue High School sports. After retirement, he took pride in showing visitors his golden lifetime pass to all Mt. Blue games.

Sharing his love of basketball with kids was Paul’s favorite pastime. Mark Hayes, a former student who later became a teacher himself, recalled in a blog post Paul routinely scooping up him and other boys on Sunday mornings after Sunday school and taking them to play half-court basketball at Mallet School. “Paul Sproul, the only grown-up among us, must have been well into his fifties at that point … but there were days when he reminded us of (former Boston Celtics star) Bob Cousy….He had the no-look bounce pass ready for any opportunity. Thank you, Paul, for all the hoops.”

Paul is survived by his wife, Jeannette, of Farmington; daughter, Lee Jane Libby, of Gray; son, Joel Sproul, his wife, Elena Theodosiou, and their son, Jacob Sproul, of Dover N.H.; grandsons Ryan Schwartz, his wife Shannon, and their children, Sophia and Mason, of Biddeford and Jamison Schwartz and his girlfriend, Kady Hafner, of Portland; sister, Ida Owen of Augusta; brother, Robert Sproul and his wife, Donna, of Gardiner; twin-sister, Pauline Marceau, of Livermore Falls; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

Paul is predeceased by his brothers, Oliver Sproul and Harvey Sproul; and sisters Lillian Quigley, Annie Tomasello, Doris Sproul, Mary Wing, Jane Morin and Catherine Cronin.

Tributes and condolences may be shared on his memorial wall at www.wilesrc.com.

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