Paul Murdoch Obituary

Paul  Leavitt Schofield Murdoch
Paul Leavitt Schofield Murdoch

February 9, 1922 - February 7, 2018
Born in New Bedford, MA
Resided in Niantic, Connecticut


Niantic - Paul Leavitt Schofield Murdoch passed away at home on Feb. 7, 2018, at the age of 95. He was born on May 9, 1922, in New Bedford, Mass., to Eleanor H. Fowler and Henry B. Murdoch. He was the beloved husband of Irene Teresa Murdoch (Sheehan). Using a puppy to strike up a conversation with an attractive sunbather, Paul met Irene on the beach in New Bedford, and continued that conversation for more than 68 years.

Following a childhood loving the water, he served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and the Korean War as a Master Diver. While in the Navy, he was instrumental in developing the safety bell that is still the Navy's standard rescue mechanism for submarines. After the war, he worked at Taylor Underwater Construction in Massachusetts and then moved to Connecticut where he worked for Whaling City Dredge & Dock in Groton for 38 years, retiring as vice president in 1991. While there, he worked on many projects for Electric Boat and the Submarine Base, as well as the underwater construction of many bridges including the Gold Star Memorial Bridge and the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore. He also led the underwater search and rescue effort of the Mianus River Bridge collapse. He was a member of the Connecticut Carpenters' Union.

Paul was extraordinarily resilient, having achieved a successful personal and professional life. Intelligent and curious, he also had a heart of gold and could always be counted on to lend a hand, solve a problem, or give an opinion. People were never in doubt as to where he stood on any subject. With an extensive workshop that reflected his organizational skills, precision, resourcefulness and intensity of purpose, he could fix anything. One could count oneself as lucky to have received one of his handcrafted wooden nickels that he doled out to people all over the world.

He and Irene enjoyed many travels and good times with neighbors and friends. A notoriously picky eater, he was able to travel to such destinations as China and Africa subsisting on a suitcase filled with peanut butter crackers. He was also the master of the cruise buffet dinner and could hold court with new friends at every port.

Paul was very sentimental and often recited his favorite love poems to his wife during their life together. He considered his family his greatest achievement and legacy. He loved nothing more than having everyone together around the dinner table.

He is survived by his loving wife, Irene, and will be dearly missed by his four children, Pamela Rottier of Guilford, Daniel Murdoch (Jean) of Westport, Joan Davidson (Thomas) of Madison, and Tracy O'Such (Bruce) of Fairfield. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Moriah Agovino (Eric), Amanda Rottier (Francisco Mira), Derek Davidson (Anastasia), Samuel Davidson (Natalie Freilich), Chase O'Such, and Leslie Martin (Thomas); as well as great-grandchildren, Alice Agovino, Birch Agovino, Maximiliano Paul Mira, Luke Martin, and Ethan Martin. His brother Henry Murdoch predeceased him.

A celebration of his life will be held on a future date.

In lieu of flowers, please send contributions in Paul's memory to the charity of your choice.
Condolences may be shared on Paul's memorial page at

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