HOLDEN – Paul Gaucher, a retired Penobscot County sheriff’s deputy, was known for the 6-foot stuffed teddy bear in his patrol car. He was known for “pulling over” children who were riding their bikes and then giving them awards for wearing helmets.
Most of all, he was known for the impact he had on people from the ages of 5 to 85.
Gaucher, 61, of Holden died Sunday at home after a long bout with health issues, including heart problems and lung cancer.
Gaucher’s fellow officers remembered him Monday as a man with a glowing personality and a desire to put a smile on other people’s faces.
Penobscot County Sheriff Glenn Ross said Monday, “He never had a bad day – ever – and brought happiness to everyone.”
Gaucher’s wife, Mary Lou Gaucher, said her husband had “a heart of gold.”
“He was devoted to not only his family, but to his community,” she said Monday. “He would take the shirt off his back for someone else.”
The man many knew as “Deputy Paul” was born in 1945. He served for 20 years in the U.S. Air Force. After his honorable discharged with the rank of technical sergeant, he started his training to become an officer for the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office. He spent several years as an officer with the Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program.
Gaucher did a lot for the youth in his community. He played an integral part in teaching kids the intricacies of fishing with the Hooked on Fishing Not Drugs program.
He also helped elderly drivers refine their skills with the 55 Alive Mature Driving Course.
Gaucher was forced into retirement by his failing health, but even during his repeated visits to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, he maintained his amiable nature, according to friends.
As a “thank-you” for the doctors and nurses who took care of him during his stays in the hospital, Gaucher, who loved to cook, would bake desserts for the staff, as well as other patients in the cancer ward.
He never forgot about his fellow officers. “Even in sickness, he continued to come in here every time and put smiles on officers’ faces,” Penobscot County Chief Deputy Troy Morton said Monday.
“He was just a terrific man, he did so much for other officers in his time here, and even after his retirement,” Morton said.
A service will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5, at the East Orrington Congregational Church, 38 Johnson Mill Road.