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William Paul Dooley

KENT — William Paul Dooley, an active land preservationist, public servant and successful businessman, died May 26, 2018, after a long struggle with GIST cancer. 

Paul was born in New York City on Sept. 15, 1937, the son of Raymond Nelson Dooley from Bloomington, Ill., and Lovilla (Frederick) Dooley from Walnut, Ill. Paul’s mother passed away in 1946, and then his father (a former president of Lincoln College) married Florence (Adams) Dooley. 

He grew up in Bronxville, N.Y., and Bloomington, Ill., and received his bachelor of arts degree in English in 1959 from Missouri’s Westminster College. 

After serving in the Air National Guard in northeastern France, Paul moved to Kent, where he taught science at a private elementary school before going into the real estate business. 

Paul met and married his first wife, Mary Anne Downer, in 1969. 

In 1982, he married his second wife, Beth Helene Dammerman, who had been his high school and college sweetheart. 

Together, the two started a real estate company, Dooley Real Estate. 

As a land preservationist, Paul was a director of the Housatonic Valley Association and helped with rerouting and purchasing land for the Connecticut section of the Appalachian Trail. 

He was an incorporator of Kent’s Pond Mountain Trust and its first executive director for more than 45 years. Pond Mountain Trust covers more than 800 acres and is open to the public for educational, scientific and cultural purposes. In addition, he was a founding director of the Kent Land Trust. 

Paul was also involved in public service. He was a member of Kent’s Board of Selectmen and a long-term member of the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission. He was also a founder and president of Kent’s Lions Club and a member of the Affordable Housing Task Force. 

For two decades, Paul ran the Local Grievance Committee for Realtors. 

In addition, he was an officer of the New Milford Board of Realtors and was awarded Realtor of the Year. He was chosen to lead the local Office of Realtors. 

After spending many years vacationing in Green Valley, Ariz., Paul retired there and became a full-time resident in 2017. 

In his free time, Paul enjoyed playing tennis, racing Formula Fords at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, sailing in the British Virgin Islands with family and friends and playing golf. 

Paul will be sadly missed by his brother, Raymond; his wife, Beth, of 36 years; his son, Kenneth; three stepsons, John, Mark  and Stephen; two stepdaughters, Caroline and Anne; and eight grandchildren. 

Paul was predeceased by his sister, Virginia.

A memorial service will be held Sept. 8 at 11 a.m. at the First Congregational Church in Kent with a reception to follow.