After a brief hospitalization, Paul R. Eastman of 46 S. Spring St., Concord, died July 29, 2018, of congestive heart failure. On the day he died, he was in Concord’s Hospice House surrounded by people who loved him.
He was a seventh-generation descendant of Ebenezer Eastman, the first settler of Concord. Paul was born in Dover, to Bernice Munn Eastman and Edson Farnum Eastman. He spent his boyhood in Durham; on Catamount Dairy Farm in Pittsfield; on Rosewald Dairy Farm in Hillsboro; and in downtown Hillsboro, prior to moving to Concord in 1944.
He graduated from Concord High School in 1949 and Davidson College in 1953, and at both schools was an outstanding baseball pitcher. Following two years of army service as a lieutenant, he earned a master’s degree from Springfield College, and then began a 29-year career in Amityville, N.Y., schools, where he coached a total of 80 squads in baseball, wrestling, and soccer.
Upon his retirement in 1986, he returned to his family home in Concord. Three years later his father, Red Eastman – Concord’s Citizen of the Year in 1980 – suffered a stroke. For his father’s final four years and nine months, Paul provided him with total personal care. This complicated and challenging responsibility was an enormous gift to his father and to his entire family.
Paul had a commitment to staying connected to people and honoring the past, qualities he admired and learned from his parents. He wrote and donated to the Concord Public Library, booklets on the genealogy of the Eastman family and the history of the Sunset League, the Chandler Eastman Wagon Company, the Hillsboro Center School, and the milk industry in New Hampshire, including Eastman’s Dairy. He also wrote an autobiographical booklet, My Life and the World I Lived In, 1931-2016.
Each December, Paul sent 150 Christmas cards to friends and relatives. Paul had expressive, sparkling blue eyes, a jolly chuckle, and a big heart. He contributed modestly to a number of charities and organizations, and was a faithful blood donor. Paul’s visitors enjoyed conversations at his kitchen table and often went home with articles or comics cut from the three papers he read daily.
He followed his parents’ tradition of giving to others produce from his own garden, lovely flowers from the woods he knew well, and extra corn and maple syrup. He found deep joy and satisfaction in doing this for people he loved, enjoyed, and appreciated. His devotion to his beloved Boston sports teams made him a citizen of three sports nations: The Red Sox, the Patriots, and the Celtics. Even in his seriously declining health, he insisted that the sport’s page of the local paper be brought to him.
Paul is survived by his brother William F. Eastman and William’s wife Judith, of Chapel Hill, N.C.; niece Kimberly Eastman Zirkle, her husband Franklin Zirkle, and their sons Chandler and Hartford Zirkle of Chapel Hill, N.C.; and niece Karen Leta Eastman, her husband Gregory Dohi, and their sons Julian and Jordan of Valley Village, Calif. Paul deeply loved his family to whom he was very generous and loving, of whom he was very interested and proud, and with whom he enjoyed many special moments.
Paul’s family is deeply appreciative of the extraordinary care, support and friendship extended to him by neighbors, friends, medical and nursing personnel, especially in these last few years of his journey. We are forever grateful for their loving and caring presence in his life.
It was Paul’s wish that donations in his memory be made to South Congregational Church, 27 Pleasant St., Concord, 03301, or the Concord Regional Visiting Nurse Association, 30 Pillsbury St., Concord, 03301.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, Nov. 18, at 2 p.m. at South Congregational Church.
Copyright, 2018, Concord Monitor