Paul Withington

Paul Withington passed away peacefully in his cherished Chiltonville home on Saturday,  March 18, 2023, at the age of 95. He was predeceased by his best friend and beloved wife of sixty years, Drusilla “Dru” Greenwood Withington, in 2008.

Born November 7, 1927, in Brookline, he was the seventh of nine children of the late Katharyn and Lothrop Withington.  He was a graduate of Governor Dummer Academy and of Harvard College, class of 1949, after completing his service in the Army.

Paul loved Plymouth and demonstrated his admiration of the town through more than six decades of public service in town government. He was a Town Meeting representative, served on the Safety, Finance, and Welfare Commissions, and chaired the Open Space Committee. Paul played an instrumental part in Plymouth’s adoption of the Community Preservation Act in 2002 which has since allowed the town to preserve more than 2,000 acres of conservation and recreational land, create more than 150 units of affordable housing, and preserve historical landmarks including the 1820 Court House, the National Pilgrim Memorial Meeting House, the Plymouth Center for the Arts, the Spire Center for the Performing Arts, and the Town Bell.

Growing up, he spent his weekends and summers in Plymouth where, at the age of two, he met Dru in the sandbox at the Eel River Beach Club; Paul was immediately struck by her intelligence when he observed her using the cardboard tube from a toilet paper roll as a tunnel in the sand for toy cars to pass through. 

At 14, Paul asked Dru, “When we grow up, do you want to get married?” Her reply was a matter of fact,  “Okay.” They were married six years later, on July 24, 1948.

Paul lived by the motto “use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without,” a sentiment that he worked tirelessly to impart to his children and grandchildren, all of whom benefitted — and occasionally suffered — from his unrivaled resourcefulness. Paul’s ingenuity and sweat equity resulted in a skating rink, a tennis court that’s been the site of many family matches, various boats, a dune buggy, a ski house that’s hosted scores of ski bums, and various other creations that were and continue to be enjoyed by his children, grandchildren, and their friends. Each of these endeavors came with a tale, many of which should be classified as cautionary.

Paul’s passions included his family that he adored immeasurably, his home that showcased his craftsmanship, hosting his breakfast club every Saturday, tinkering in his workshop where he could expertly fix anything, logging the goings-on of his pond that’s home to a family of swans, visiting the family ski house, Vineyard trips aboard the “Old Coot” with Dru, and making sure every dog that he ever owned — or met — received extra pats and a slice of bacon.

Above all, Paul took great pride in his harmonious, multi-generational, exceptionally large, extended family. He was a loving and devoted son, husband, father, brother, father-in-law, uncle, “Grampa” and “Papa,” and friend who will be deeply missed. He will be remembered for his lightening quick wit, his storytelling, his frugality, his debate skills, his kindness and generosity, and his profound love for his family and friends.

He is survived by his older sister, Pandy, and her husband and Paul’s life-long friend, Ben; his younger brother, Nathan; his three sons Tucker, David, and Mark, and their wives Neil, Tami, and Sue; his grandchildren Lia (Ian), Whitney (Jay), Spencer (Lexa), Hadley, Brooke, and Paige; and his granddog, Cooper, and two great-granddogs, Carla and Dixie.

A celebration of Paul’s life will be held in late May – details forthcoming.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Paul’s memory may be made to Cranberry Hospice either by mail to Cranberry Hospice, 36 Cordage Park Circle, Plymouth, MA, 02360 or by visiting, specifying Cranberry Hospice as the “Gift Designation”.