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Paul Donald McCusker

Posted By Hall-Wynne On November 23, 2010 @ 12:00 am In Obituaries | No Comments

Paul Donald McCusker, age 89, born September 23, 1921, passed away at home in Durham, North Carolina, on November 23rd, 2010, after a long illness and less than 3 months after the death of his wife of 62 years, Joan.

Paul was born in Niagara Falls, New York, the third child of Alexander McCusker and Catherine Barron McCusker. Paul was raised by his mother, as his father died when he was a baby. Paul achieved early fame at age 13 when he won second place as Boy Champion Speller of the United States at the National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC. He went on to the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA, and was “accelerated” to graduate with a B.A. in Economics after 3 years. Immediately afterwards he joined the US army and was assigned to Stanford University to study the Italian language and the European area.

While at Stanford, he met his future wife, Joan Gross from Denver, Colorado, who was studying at Mills College in Oakland. In the event, despite growing fluency in Italian, Paul served in India in World War II. In 1948, he married Joan, received his law degree from Cornell and was admitted to practice in New York in 1949.

He had, however, received a Fulbright Fellowship to study International Law in Rome. He and his wife spent six years in Rome, where he earned a doctorate in Italian law and joined the Foreign Service as Legal Officer. His first two children, Karen and Mary, were born in Rome.

Paul’s Foreign Service career took him to the Consulate General in Hamburg, Germany, where he was chief of the Consular Section and subsequently of the Economic/Commercial Section. Here, son Paul Alexander was born. In 1965, the family moved to Djakarta, Indonesia, where Paul was Counselor of Economic Affairs during the political upheaval of the waning Sukarno years. During his time there, his fourth child, Ian Francis, was born in Penang, Malaysia.

Paul left the Foreign Service to join the United Nations under U Thant in 1969. He was with the UN for thirteen years, including a stint with UNIDO in Vienna from 1973 – 1976. Paul and his family were residents of Pelham, New York, during the years of his service with the Secretariat. He retired from the position of Director of Professional Recruitment Services at the UN Secretariat in 1982.

After his retirement from the UN, Paul practiced law with the New York law firm of Garrity, Connolly, Lewis, Lowry & Grimes. During this time he taught a course to graduate students on Public International Law as Adjunct Professor at Long Island University. Paul’s youngest son, Ian Francis, died tragically in 1985, in a freak accident playing frisbee at Georgetown University, where he had just started. In 1993, Paul withdrew from what had become the law firm of Garrity & McCusker. He continued to do pro bono legal work and translated a book on the popes “The Popes: Histories and Secrets” by Claudio Rendina from the Italian.

In 1999, Paul and Joan moved to Durham, North Carolina. They loved their adopted home and were active in cultural groups in the community. Paul continued to teach courses in international law at the Duke Institute for Learning in Retirement and work on estates and wills until just a few years ago. Fluent in several languages, Paul was a lover of classical music, particularly opera, and an adept bridge player.

Paul, predeceased by both his wife, Joan, and his youngest son, Ian Francis, leaves three children, Karen McCusker of Chevry, France, Mary McCusker McLoughney of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Paul Alexander McCusker of Maconnex, France; five grand-children, Claire McCusker, Tessa and Rory McLoughney and Daniel and Samuel McCusker Alvarez, and two step-grandchildren, Daragh and Niamh McLoughney of Dublin, Ireland.

A funeral Mass will be held in Paul’s memory at Immaculate Conception Church, at 810 West Chapel Hill Street in Durham, at 10 a.m. on Friday, December 3. Visitation will be immediately prior to the Mass starting at 9 a.m. in the Daily Chapel and the family will be receiving guests immediately after the ceremony in the gathering space at the church.

A private cremation ceremony will be held at the Hall-Wynne Crematory.

For anyone wishing to contribute in Paul’s name, donations to the scholarship fund set up for Ian at Georgetown are welcome to be sent to Georgetown University Office of Advancement, attn. Jessica Perlman, 2115 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20007.

On-line memorials: www.hallwynne.com. Select obituaries.


Condolences for the family of “Paul Donald McCusker”

Condolence from Betsy & H.R. Malpass on November 29th, 2010 12:00 am

Joan and Paul were valued members of our Carolina Friends of the Foreign Service group here in Chapel Hill, and we will certainly miss them. Our condolences to the family.

Condolence from Mary and Bob Carrothers on November 29th, 2010 12:00 am

Our deepest sympathy to all of you. Uncle Paul will always be the handsome, personable man I knew.
Bebe and Bob

Condolence from Fahey on November 29th, 2010 12:00 am

Sincere sympathies Mary,Ed,Tessa and Rory on the sad loss of your beloved Dad and grandad.
Our sympathies also to Alex,Karen and their families.
Kate and Willie

Condolence from Don Beaven on November 29th, 2010 12:00 am

Paul is in my prayers. May God Bless his soul.

Condolence from Sadie Martin on November 29th, 2010 12:00 am

TO THE MCCUSKER/MCCLAUGHNEY FAMILY.
MY CONDOLENCES TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. IT IS A SAD TIME RIGHT NOW FOR YOU AND ALL YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY. BUT AS YOU MOURN THE LOSS OF YOUR PARENTS, IT IS ALSO NEEDFUL TO CELEBRATE THEIR LIVES ALONG WITH THEIR GREAT ACCOMPLISHMENTS. YOUR PARENTS WERE SO CLOSE TO EACH OTHER AND HAVE LEFT A STRONG LEGACY OF FAMILY COMMITMENT AND DEVOTION TO BE EMULATED BY ALL.

PAUL IS IN A BETTER PLACE. NO MORE HEARTACHES,NO MORE PAIN,NO MORE DOCTORS VISITS. SO WHENEVER YOU BEGIN TO FEEL SAD AND DISCOURAGED, PLEASE READ 1CORINTHIANS 15 VERSE 1 TO THE END VERSE 57 AND 58 SAYS
BUT THANKS BE TO GOD,WHICH GIVETH US THE VICTORY THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.THEREFORE,MY BELOVED BRETHREN,BE YE STEADFAST,UNMOVEABLE,ALWAYS ABOUNDING IN THE WORK OF THE LORD,FORASMUCH AS YE KNOW THAT YOUR LABOUR IS NOT IN VAIN IN THE LORD.

Condolence from Brenda Armstrong on November 29th, 2010 12:00 am

Dear Mary and Family,
My deepest condolences to all of you. Your mother and father were both such amazing people in thier own right. I feel very blessed and privledged that I had the chance to know and love them.

Love,
Brenda

Condolence from Brenda Armstrong on November 29th, 2010 12:00 am

Dear Mary and Family,
My deepest condolences to all of you. Your mother and father were both such amazing people in thier own right. I feel very blessed and privledged that I had the chance to know and love them.

Love,
Brenda

Condolence from Philip Holz on November 29th, 2010 12:00 am

My thoughts and prayers are with you. Your parents are wonderful people and I will miss our conversations and fellowship.
Phil Holz

Condolence from Maribeth McCusker on December 1st, 2010 12:00 am

Mary, Karen and Alex and family,
Sorry for your losses these last 3 months – your parents were a great inspiration for the James McCusker neices and nephews and greatly admired by us and grateful for their caring and deep love for our well-being. Uncle Paul will be hugely missed. I loved to crack him up, as we had a similiar sense of humor. Love to you all – you are products of honorable and special parents. Maribeth

Condolence from Maribeth McCusker on December 1st, 2010 12:00 am

Mary, Karen and Alex and family,
Sorry for your losses these last 3 months – your parents were a great inspiration for the James McCusker neices and nephews and greatly admired by us and grateful for their caring and deep love for our well-being. Uncle Paul will be hugely missed. I loved to crack him up, as we had a similiar sense of humor. Love to you all – you are products of honorable and special parents. Maribeth

Condolence from Kathleen Figler on December 2nd, 2010 12:00 am

Dear Mary, Karen, Alex and family,

I was so sorry to hear that your Dad had died. Though our families drifted apart, your Dad was a favorite cousin to my mom, Marie Figler and a favorite nephew to my grandmother, May Suttel.
May all your wonderful memories of your Mom and Dad bring you solace in the days ahead.
Love and sympathy,

Kathy Figler

Condolence from Maureen M Olson on December 2nd, 2010 12:00 am

I was so very sorry to read about your father in the Niagara Gazette today. And especially shocked to read about your mother. I spoke to her several months ago and she shared with me that your father was ill. They were such caring and generous people. Niagara Catholic High School in Niagara Falls, NY a “descendent” of your dad’s alma mater, St. Mary’s honored your dad as a Distinguished Alumnus several years ago and he was very deserving. He was so interesting and amusing, and he and your mother were very proud of all of their children. They never missed an opportunity to brag about all of you, nor to mention Ian. God be with you during what will be a most difficult holiday season. I will certainly keep you in my prayers.

Condolence from Dana Simons on December 3rd, 2010 12:00 am

My heartfelt condolences in the loss of both your parents in such a short time. They both had a huge influence on mine as well as my children’s lifes. They will be sorely missed.
Much love to you all

Condolence from The Tangs on December 5th, 2010 12:00 am

He will be greatly missed. Much love to you in this difficult time. Condolences and hugs

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