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Paul DeStefano: A Greatly Lived Life

Paul DeStefano was a husband and father, reinsurer, author, politician, and a well respected man in the Haddam community. Paul and his wife Marianne moved to Haddam from Guilford in 2006. They have four children: Jill, Amy, Jessica, and Paul.

Paul DeStefano

Paul DeStefano

DeStefano graduated from West Haven High School, then from Quinnipiac University with a degree in English. His love of writing was demonstrated in his books and in his quarterly messages to the townspeople in the Haddam Events magazine while he was First Selectman. Necessary Evil was published in 2000, and Balance of Power was published in 2001. Both books were an interesting inside look at the re-insurance industry woven intricately with intriguing plots of suspense. He was working on another novel when he passed away.

After his reinsurance career, Paul established Prism Resources, a multi-faceted consultant partnership that addressed marketing and administration needs of specialty insurance producers. Most recently he was working for Lyman Real Estate. He served on several profit and not-for-profit boards of directors.

As a newcomer to Haddam in 2007, Paul was elected to the Planning and Zoning Commission and credited his victory to meeting lots of people by knocking on doors.  In 2009, Paul was elected First Selectman of Haddam and was re-elected to that position in 2011.  DeStefano is most known for his success in building the town’s new transfer station after decades of administrations had failed to find a location acceptable to townspeople and state agencies.  Paul was able to obtain the necessary approvals from DEEP and DOT to locate the facility on land already owned by the town and accomplish the project under budget and ahead of schedule.

One of his neighbors, Ray Skarsten, commented, “Paul was a warm and caring neighbor and friend and will be greatly missed by his Fieldstone Lane neighbors.”  Ed Munster pointed out that Paul was always working on plans to improve the infrastructure of Haddam which included bringing drinking water to Tylerville, a sewerage system for Higganum center and improving cell phone service with a tower in the area of Haddam center to name a few things.  Munster said that in his last conversation with Paul Destefano in mid-December, shortly after he had been diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer, Paul expressed regrets that he still had so many things he wanted to accomplish.  Munster concluded that Paul was a class act gentleman who will be missed by many.

Robert Norton, Jr, former Assistant Chief of the Haddam Volunteer Fire Company (HVFC) said about Paul, “He valued the volunteers who do so much for our town and was always a positive influence. . . He trusted us to do our job, protecting the citizens of Haddam. He supported us on numerous occasions. We certainly did not agree on everything, he a Republican and me a Democrat, but we had tremendous respect for each other.” Gary Klare, former HVFC Chief said, “Paul was a fair and open minded First Selectmen and would make time for you if you asked him. He was a tremendous supporter of the HVFC which I for one, truly appreciated. He never told you anything that wasn’t true. I’m proud to have known and worked with him and he will be sadly missed.”

Paul passed away the morning of December 26, 2014 after a brief battle with cancer. Service details.

Update: Middletown Press article about Paul’s passing here.

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5 Responses to Paul DeStefano: A Greatly Lived Life

  1. jane sibley

    December 27, 2014 at 1:03 am

    Paul was a Really Good Man, and Haddam will sorely miss him. My sincere sympathies to his family.

  2. Jody Lynn

    December 27, 2014 at 9:16 am

    Class Act for sure, RIP Paul.

  3. William R. Bowles

    December 27, 2014 at 9:51 am

    A true gentlemen who tirelessly served our community with class, intelligence and dignity. Paul treated everyone with respect, even if they had opposing views. I am proud to be able to call Paul my friend. He will be sorely missed. My sincere condolences to his loving wife Marianne and family.

  4. State Rep. Melissa Ziobron

    December 27, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    I was so sad to learn of Paul’s passing. My condolences to his family and friends. He was a good friend to Haddam and will be missed by many…

  5. Melanie Giamei

    December 28, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    Paul was a shining example of a true gentleman. He worked conscientiously at making Haddam a better place to live, and we are deeply saddened to hear of his passing. Our condolences to Marianne and his family.

    Melanie Giamei