Bangor - Paul Lawrence Svendsen, 81, passed away at home on May 23, 2018, after a long illness. Paul was born on July 8, 1936, in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Harold and Alice Svendsen.
Paul grew up in Needham, Mass., and graduated from Colby College in 1958. After a stint in the Army Reserves, he went to work for the John Hancock Insurance Co. in Boston, and then moved on to The Travelers Insurance Co. where he met his wife Sue. They recently celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary. After a year living in Melrose, Paul and his family moved to Reading, Massachusetts and then in 1969 to Bangor, Maine, where he led a division of The Travelers office. Eventually, Paul began his own agency specializing in life, health and disability income insurance. He maintained his business and a tradition of excellent service to clients until the time of his death. He had served as the chair of the Life Underwriters professional group and was a Chartered Life Underwriter.
Paul was fun-loving and enjoyed people. His favorite words-to-live by were: "Do it now", and "Life is too short to drink bad wine". Paul had many interests including traveling, gardening, the arts, and community service. He grew vegetables and flowers in abundance at his Bangor home and enjoyed attending events at the Penobscot Theater and Collins Center for the Arts. He and Sue traveled the world, visiting six continents and over 40 countries. He volunteered for numerous organizations and was always fully involved and conscientious in such activities. He was a long-time volunteer for the United Way of Greater Bangor and once served as chair of its Leaders' Circle. For many years, he attended All Souls Congregational Church where he served on various committees and was elected to a term as Moderator. He had a life-long interest and concern for the mentally and physically challenged, with over 40 years as an officer and board member of Eastern Maine Friends, the Bangor Day Activity Center, the Multiple-Handicap Center and Amicus. He has had a long tenure as a board member and officer at Commonsense housing, served on the board of Community Health and Counseling Services, and in the past, was a member of the Bangor Planning Board. He coached youth basketball at the YMCA and was for many years a coach and the secretary/treasurer of the East Side Little League.
Paul was predeceased by his parents and his younger, brother David. He is survived by his wife Suzanne, daughter, Laura Chandler and her husband, Charlie of Portland, Maine, and son Eric and his wife Margarita of Brooklyn, New York. He had three special grand-daughters who were the joy of his life: Nola and Lucy Chandler, and Isabella Svendsen. He is also survived by his sister, Judi Benson and her husband, Peter of Cape Elizabeth, Maine; and by his sisters-in law and brothers-in-law, Guna Svendsen, Jane and Paul Hahn, Gretchen and Dexter Kamilewicz, Linda and Larry Meyer, and Julie and Keith Cunningham; and by numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews. He will be sadly missed by his beloved dog, Raffles.
The family would like to thank the staff of Community Health and Counseling Services' Home Health and Hospice Program and New England Home Health Care for their excellent care and kindness during Paul's final days.
A memorial gathering to celebrate Paul’s life will be held 4:00-6:00 p.m. Monday June 4, 2018 at the Family Reception Center of Brookings-Smith, 163 Center St., Bangor. A private family service will take place at a later date. Gifts in memory of Paul may be made to Amicus, Corporate Office, Attn: Julie Howland, 96 13th St., Bangor, ME 04401, or Commonsense Housing, Attn: Peg Buchanan, 15 Riverside Dr., Eddington, ME 04428. Condolences to the family may be expressed at BrookingsSmith.com.