Paul Alan DuCommun
September 13, 1944 – April 1, 2022
Paul left this life peacefully while in hospice care in his beloved home surrounded by those who loved him. The cause was heart failure from endocarditis. He was 77.
Paul was born in Alton, Illinois, the son of Paul O. and Hazel Ducommun. He attended elementary and high school in Alton and was an active member of the Alton chapter of DeMolay. He received a B.S. in Nursing in 1967 from Washington University in St. Louis and later a Master’s of Public Health in 1972 from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
In 1969 he was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Public Health Service and served in this health service branch of the U.S. military for 23 years before retiring in 1992 with the rank of Captain.
Paul began his professional career in health services in 1967 in Chicago as a psychiatric nurse, and after becoming part of the U.S. military, served with the National Institute of Mental Health in Lexington, Kentucky. In 1972 he was stationed in the Washington, D.C. area to work at the National Institute of Drug Abuse. His responsibilities included the establishment and oversight of some of the original methadone clinics, overseeing federal grants to state health programs, and traveling between sites in each state for the programs he managed.
In 1992, upon his retirement from the military, Paul moved to Portland, Oregon with plans to start a second career as a clinical nurse; however, with nursing programs to refresh his skills in short supply, he accepted a position with the Multnomah County Health Department and worked for 10 years as coordinator of the county’s DUII diversion program. Upon retirement from his position with Multnomah Country, he finally returned to clinical nursing and worked as an on-call nurse at the Multnomah County Justice Center. In 2015 he decided to retire a final time and end his professional nursing career, much as he had started out almost 50 years earlier, in clinical service.
In his last years Paul became a volunteer at the Oregon Humane Society where his love of animals endeared him to the cats, dogs, other small animals, and staff there. He contributed time, money and effort to ensure the animals were well taken care of and to help get them to a forever home.
Paul was a gourmet cook and he shared his love of food and wine with all who came to partake of a meal he would prepare. He enjoyed classical music, particularly choral music, having sung in church choirs. He traveled the world and carried with him a knowledge of people and politics, a love of life and a love of animals.
He worked his whole life to protect and help the underprivileged in our society, those suffering from mental illness, drug and alcohol addiction, AIDS, and criminal convictions. And he was always concerned with the well-being of all our four-legged friends, especially the cats in his life, including Evelyn, Ellie, Emily, and Ennis.
Paul leaves behind his husband and life partner of 44 years, John Sarr, his cousins Carol Witham and Crystal Clark and their families, along with numerous friends and colleagues in both Portland and Washington, DC.
A Celebration of Life will take place Saturday, June 25, 2022 at 1PM at Holman’s Funeral Service, 2610 SE Hawthorne Blvd. Portland OR 97214.
Help tell the story of Paul by contributing to the Life Event Timeline. Upload the photo of an event...Post an Event
© 2022 MKJ Marketing