VESALA, Paul Vincent

It is with heavy and broken hearts, we announce the passing of Paul Vincent Vesala, who left us on May 8, 2024. Paul was the beloved partner and best friend of Heather “Cookie” Whyte and the cherished stepfather of Brittany Lucas (Owen Bennett) and Christopher Lucas.

He will be happily reunited with his parents, Kauko “Kenneth” and Mildred “Millie” Vesala, brother Robert David, and sisters Deborah Mae Bourn (Stuart) and Patricia Louise.

He will also be lovingly remembered by his sisters Betty-Ann Matthews (David) of Victoria, B.C., and Susan Rose Williamson (Tim) of Windsor, Ontario. Dear brother-in-law of Karen Wellwood (John), Mae Bishop (Michael), Anne D’Agostini (Vince), and John Whyte (Christine). Uncle Paul to many nieces and nephews who he held a special place in his heart for. He will be fondly remembered by his lifelong best friends Don, Jimmy, Lenny, Tom, and Ernie. Paul is joining his beloved fur babies Hoppy, Salem, Willie and Mickey, who undoubtedly await him, ready to shower him with love. He leaves behind his little buddy, Nicky, who is already missing him so much.

Born on January 12, 1949, in Timmins, Ontario, Paul (a.k.a. “Relic”) was a man of remarkable character and tenacity of spirit. His passion for adventure led him to a (sometimes very dangerous) legendary career in commercial diving, a calling that spanned all Great Lakes.

He worked on many major underwater construction and infrastructure projects, including the Power House in Sault Ste. Marie, the Water Intake at Gross Cap, projects on the St. Mary’s River, Port Elgin, Bruce Nuclear, the Trenton Canal, the Welland Canal, among many others.

He once spent a summer painting microwave towers in Northern Ontario, found himself in the depths of the nickel mine in Thompson, Manitoba and was hand-picked by an American company for an intricate and dangerous diving job in the Straits of Mackinac.

A proud member of the Carpenters Union, he worked as a scaffolder in the Alberta oil fields.

An experienced mariner, his boat was not just a vessel but a place of solace and joy. A man of simple pleasures, he loved the outdoors, fishing, the art of cooking, and watching the Tigers and the Raiders on his 60” TV.

A terrific storyteller, Paul was kind and generous to all. He would give the shirt off his back to anyone in need.

Heather would like to thank Dr. Aziz and his team at the Sault Area Hospital for their tireless efforts to save Paul’s life and for their kindness and compassion.

A Celebration of Life will be announced at a later date. Funeral arrangements entrusted to the Arthur Funeral Home – Barton & Kiteley Chapel (492 Wellington St. East 705-759-2522). Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be offered at for the Vesala and Whyte family.


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