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Paul Mackin

Image by Nick Andréka

PAUL DAVID MACKIN

January 13, 1963 – February 28, 2024

With heavy hearts, we announce that Paul passed away peacefully on February 28 surrounded by family and friends in the comfort of his home at the age of 61.


Paul was predeceased by his grandparents, (James and Charlotte) and his dad (Norman). He is survived by his mother, June; his brothers, Norman (Stephanie), and Roy (Michele); his nephews, Jonathan and Andrew (Samantha, children Noah and Mason); his niece Alyssa; extended family and many friends, too numerous to mention.


Born in Liverpool, England, Paul spent the first 5 years of his life in the land of the Beatles, which may have influenced his later love for music. Depending on who you ask, the reason for the move to Canada was either for the opportunities provided to them by this new country, as per our mom and Aunt Margaret, or because they had an awful week of camping, according to our dad and Uncle Frank. No matter what the reason, Norman, June, Roy, Paul along with Margaret and Frank set sail and arrived in Winnipeg Easter weekend in 1968. Expecting any governmental help on a long weekend was the first of many missteps by the recent immigrants. The first 5 days were spent in a boarding house behind the Occidental Hotel, which makes it all the more surprising that they actually stayed. 


The families moved to the North End where they met many dear friends, none more so than the Meiers. With young boys of similar ages, Paul and Roy became fast friends with Randall, Russell and Dean. Later in life, the boys would always find themselves remembering their adventures in the North End or at the cabin. Paul and Roy lived 2 doors away from Faraday School, which made it very easy for them to run home at lunch to be with their new little brother Norman, the first official Canadian in the family. After many wonderful years in the area, Margaret and Frank moved to St. James while Norman, June and the boys moved to Ste. Anne, Manitoba, joined by grandparents Jimmy and Lottie who had also immigrated in 1969. Yes, a family with thick English accents thought that the best move was to set up shop in a small French-speaking community.


What a brilliant move it ended up being! Neighbours to lovely families with very attractive daughters, the Joyals and Lajoies, Paul got to hone his Casanova skills. Although not yet diagnosed, it was while living on Desautels Street that the news came of Paul’s situation, Muscular Dystrophy. Despite this diagnosis, Paul was unstoppable. He attended Ste. Anne School with friends and teachers who made his experience as “normal” as anyone else. His disability did not stop him from being one of Jude Boulianne’s best Phys. Ed. students. His positive attitude and support from his parents meant that he tried things that many would have thought impossible: snowmobiling, canoeing and capsizing on the Seine (and losing his glasses), getting run over not once but twice by the same guy (you would have thought he had really big feet), driving his green Camaro to Sherwood Park, Alberta to see a girl. All the ridiculous things young men might do. How did he support these endeavours? He worked for many years in our parents’ store, saying later that they were some of the happiest years of his life. He was living responsibility free and was flush with cash thanks to the slurpee machine. Access to these funds is what allowed him to drive to Winnipeg on a whim to have fast food, watch movies, buy records then CDs and cruise for the ladies with his pre-teen brother Norman and best buddy Gilbert Ragot in tow. Not exactly the best wing men! Once he made the decision to attend university and put his big brain to use for good rather than mischief, the Society for Manitobans with Disabilities provided him with a power wheelchair, and he never looked back. Trading in the sleek Camaro for the STX GMC van was a tough pill to swallow, but it opened doors to even more fun times and freedom.


With university in the rear view, Paul embarked on his career as a civil servant with the Province of Manitoba. During his near 30 years of dedicated service, Paul worked for and with some incredible people surviving numerous changes of department names and parties in power. Although the family still doesn’t know what he did everyday between 8 and 5, we are aware that he was a leader in Wellness before it was in vogue. He was a vital cog in the social committee machine planning holiday and Christmas lunches, introducing popcorn Fridays, panini lunches and the weekly NFL pool and subsequent wind-up dinner at Bombolini’s (his favourite restaurant of all time).


All good things must come to an end, and at 55 years old, Paul chose to retire because the daily grind was getting more difficult. Many thanks to Tam Nguyen, a dear friend, whose assistance allowed Paul to continue working much longer than initially thought possible. Retirement was not spent globe trotting but rather at home doing what he loved most, watching TV and following his teams: the Dolphins, the Jets and Liverpool F.C. 


Paul continued to enjoy dining with friends and having visitors. Sadly, the pandemic affected everyone, and Paul’s social network inevitably became a much smaller circle of friends. For those who had been unable to visit with Paul, cherish the memories of your time together when he was able share his wisdom, wit, humour and overall love of life. To those who continued to come, we thank you for breaking up his days with some laughter and banter. It truly meant the world to him to see you and reminisce. 


They say that you never stop being a parent. This is never truer than when you are the parent of a child living with a disability. Our mom was dedicated to making sure Paul was looked after with an unwavering love and commitment. The last 15 months were difficult as Muscular Dystrophy had taken its toll on Paul, both physically and emotionally. Our mother was thrust back into a reality that involved round the clock supervision. Graciously, our brother Roy selflessly uprooted his life to join in Paul’s care during the most difficult time of his life. The family would also like to express our deepest appreciation for VIP Homecare and its caregivers (Ola, Jaffe, Harsh, Emanuel, to name a few) for their kindness, dedication and compassion shown to our beloved Paulie when he needed it the most. 


On a personal note, Paul was the most impactful and important person in my life. I often bugged him that he was an evil genius because he could see his future and it was only going to work if I was on board. He recruited me early on with mid-week movies and fast-food, and I was hooked. We lived together for my entire life. We bought a house together. We traveled together. We laughed together. We quoted silly movies together. We often said that we shared a brain, which is why I didn’t ace my calculus exam. Paul was everybody’s friend and made a lasting impression on all who had the pleasure to meet and spend time with him. He was the best person I knew, and I am the person I am today because of him. There is no greater honour than to be known to most as Paul’s brother Norm. I love you.


In Accordance with Paul’s wishes, cremation has taken place and a celebration of life will take place at 2PM on May 15, 2024, when the weather is more to his liking. Man, he hated the cold. 


In lieu of flowers, the family invites you to honour Paul’s memory by inviting someone you love out for a meal at a local restaurant or out to a movie or concert, as these activities best reflect what Paul enjoyed most in life. If you wish to honour Paul with a donation, his two favourite charities were Manitoba Possible (previously Society for Manitobans with Disabilities) and the Humane Society (for Justin, the most gentle dog ever). 


Paul’s family kindly requests that all of his friends and relatives take a few minutes to honour his memory by watching the photo-biography above. Please, also consider sharing your own photos, memories, and stories by making use of the comment section on this page.


ETHICAL DEATH CARE

Cremation & Life Celebrations

530 St. Mary Avenue - Winnipeg

204-421-5501 - www.ethicaldeathcare.com

Memories, Stories and Condolences

 

Please share a story, photo, memory or condolence for the family by completing the form below and clicking "comment".

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Comments (23)
Guest
Mar 21

Reading all these wonderful tributes it is easy to see that Paul was universally beloved. Where each passing day presented new challenges to him, he chose light over darkness, fun over drudgery and brought us all along for the ride. He used to laugh about his attendance record at work and say: "Go figure, the handicapped guy never takes a sick day! And, over the course of twenty years I can recall him only missing a handful of days. Paul's office was a testament to his pursuit of fun. It was one part Peewee Herman's Play House and two parts a sport shrine. But beyond the tomfoolery of our everyday interactions, Paul was a serious and dedicated civil servant. In rooms of really smart people, Paul was quick, incisive and ultimately a great problem solver. I once asked him what he did best and without hesitation he said: I take complex problems, break them down and explain them simply to everyone so we can work on a solution. Paul could be impatient with heel dragging bureaucracy (ok, it was one of his biggest pet peeves), but he persevered and always found ways to add value to any project or endeavour . We were all lucky to be part of Paul's life, He gave way more than he took, and made us all feel better about ourselves. Behind it all stood his brother Norm, who EVERY DAMN day cared for Paul and got him ready for work. Norm, you were greatly appreciated by Paul and I was in awe of your love for your brother and your dedication to the very hard work it took to bring him into our lives. Thank-you from all of us. I loved Paul and told him so and would look at me laughing and say: I love you Man!!! And I would laugh too. I hope to see you on the other side, I will look for you in the middle of the light, holding court as ever with gathered family and friends. Till then....


Harold

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Guest
Mar 12

I was very sorry to hear the news of Paul's passing from my cousin yesterday. I knew Paul a long time ago. I have thought of him through the years and hoped that he was happy and well. Reading this page and watching the video it is obvious that he was. My deepest sympathy to all his family and friends.

"the girl in Sherwood Park"

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Guest
Mar 12

Meeting and getting to know Paul was one of best experiences I had in my 30+ year career with the Province. He was one of the most positive, intelligent, funny, kind, loving and charming souls I have ever met. His friendship meant so much to me. He taught me a lot over the years about resiliency and having a positive attitude no matter what. We had so much fun working together. The group of friends that formed was just amazing. We always had fun together and it made going to the office so much more pleasurable. I missed my friend over the last few years as life takes over and each day that passes goes by quicker and quicker. I will miss my friend, Paul, until we meet again. Much love,

Norma S

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Guest
Mar 11

I was very sad to hear the news of Paul's passing. I remember clearly when he and his family moved next door. We we're so excited to have new neighbours. Our footballs games were ever on-going. We had to rush to get the dishes done so we could go join the fun. And how they we're fun - especially when a great big St-Bernard would decide to join the game! Paul would rush to throw the ball and Roy would catch it and run fast as the dog was running after him. How we would laugh! Then, Paul and Roy would start discussing if we were playing under CFL or NFL rules! Thanks to him, I learned the rules and developed a life-long love of the game.


Paul was such a good friend growing up. I will miss his smile and his kindness. My sincere condolences to all the Mackin family, relatives, and friends.

Nuiok Joyal

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Guest
Mar 09

I had the great fortune to meet Paul on a visit to Winnipeg and June with Lyn, although many years ago he made a lasting impression with his humour, outlook and genuine personality. On leaving I remember him saying to me that it had been "so lovely to meet the second smallest person he had ever known" ... the first being Lottie. I hope they are ready for you up there ... you deserve the best welcome. Janice

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Guest
Mar 09

The Mackin family lived right next door to us on Desautels Street in Ste. Anne and our parents were British, so for a while I thought everyone must be from England! I have the fondest memories of Paul, I would say that Paul taught me everything I know about flirting and being charming. Nobody could be as charming and disarming as Paul. Ever the gentleman, I daresay everyone walked away from an interaction with Paul, feeling better than they did before. What a gift and what a special person to have known so early in my life - thank you for the beautiful memories, neighbour ❤️

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Guest
Mar 08

All of us who love and loved Paul know how he made us feel and hanging out with us with his favorite thing.  They say at the end of the day the only thing that matters is how a person makes you feel.  With Paul – whom I called Mac – I felt smarter, funnier and that I possessed all the charm in the world.  My goal was always to make him laugh – this wasn’t hard by any means, but I knew he preferred when I was outrageous, so I obliged as much as possible (political correctness aside). I think back to the days when we had our motley crew lunches - Paul, Vic, George, Tam, and Louise - he would be in his element - asking Louise or I, to quote “not fight over him” but could one of us get a straw or take off his jacket.  Cheeky!


All I had to say was hey Mac remember “blank” song – and he would have the CD for me the next day.   He was particularly amused by my singing – quite badly – No One Is to Blame by Howard Jones. The joke was on me because he knew the song right away but made me go on and on with the off-key singing while wracking my brain for bits of lyric. Yup, I got that CD too. I mentioned key lime pie ONE TIME and that was it, we were off for weeks hunting the best one in the city. We found it at Grant Park shopping centre in this tiny café in a bookstore – so every Friday, for a while, it was key lime pie before movie night. He never forgot a thing or detail if it made someone’s day just a little better.


I saw Mac this summer – we listened to music – I tried hard to stump him with new music I liked but he was one step ahead as usual and was happy to gloat.  Near the end of our visit, he said, things were changing fast for him and not to cry. He was preparing me – and yet I was not prepared, not at all.


I have been re-reading our text messages, listening to little voice messages he left me – mostly to prove it wasn’t Norm texting me - lol, as if.  In doing so, he left me a gift, we picked up at the same place every time and everything was said. I’m grateful for that. I am grateful for my time with him in this realm.


June, Norm, Stephanie, Roy, Michelle, Richard, Shirley, Frank and Margaret and to all family and friends – my heart is with you.

 

Love, Bhupinder

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Guest
Mar 08

I had the good fortune to get to know Paul when we worked together. He was always there with a smile and joke to laugh and raise your spirits. He loved getting to know people, asking hard questions and enjoying life. He was so generous and caring, and an insightful listener. His music livened up the office as did the many thought-provoking conversations. He will be greatly missed. My condolences to his family.


Lisa Bukoski

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Guest
Mar 08

When Paul and his family moved to St-Anne MB and bought a home on Desautels Street, the neighborhood was never the same! With his big smile, infectious laugh, beautiful dark/thick hair and amazing sense of humor he was very popular with the neighbor girls. Our Summers became busy with our daily football games with Paul as the best quarterback, and yes, we all wanted him on our team! Days were spent playing pool at the Lajoie home and he became the neighborhood, Pool Shark! Paul did take advantage of having French neighbors to do his French school assignments! Winters were spent playing road hockey and he was pretty aggressive with his hockey stick always interfering and tripping the opposition. Paul was very popular and always had many friends with him hanging out at St-Anne School. If there was a group a student's mingling and laughing, you would always see him in the center! After I moved away from St-Anne, I enjoyed popping in at his parents store to say hi and catching up when I went to visit my family. Great memories of an amazing person.

Condolences to all the Mackin family.

Loulou Lajoie

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Guest
Mar 08

Paul was such an incredible person. His laughter was infectious, and he always knew how to brighten up a room. I'll never forget the times we spent together and the deep conversations we had.


Paul was one of those rare people who saw beyond the surface and embraced everyone for who they were. He never judged based on any external factor. It was all about the person inside, and that's what made him so special. He treated everyone with respect and kindness, creating a space where we could all feel accepted and valued. It's a quality that I truly admired about him. Paul's legacy of inclusivity and acceptance will always be remembered.


Paul had a heart of gold! He was always cracking jokes and making everyone around him laugh. His sense of humor was one of a kind and could brighten up even the toughest days. he was incredibly caring. He had this way of putting others first and making sure everyone felt loved and supported. It's rare to find someone as thoughtful as Paul, and I feel lucky to have known him. He truly made a positive impact on so many lives, including mine.


Ah, I remember those moments! Paul had a great sense of humor and loved to tease me about my local jargons. It was all in good fun though, and we both shared many laughs over it. And watching "Bob and Abishola" together was a blast!.Those memories are truly special.  It's these little things that make our friendship so unique and cherished. Paul's playful spirit and shared laughter will always be remembered.


Paul had this incredible talent for making us laugh until our chests hurt. His jokes and funny stories were just too good! I can still remember those moments when we couldn't stop laughing, gasping for breath, and our stomachs aching from all the laughter. It was pure joy and happiness. Paul had a way of bringing so much laughter into our lives, and I'm grateful for every moment of it. He had a gift for finding humor in the simplest things and spreading that laughter to everyone around him. Those memories will always bring a smile to my face.

Rest on Paul.


Ola

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Guest
Mar 07

I met Paul through work. My office was isolated from the main area, but Paul always wheeled in for a moment to say hi and share a funny story to lighten my day.

We shared a love of music, good food and laughs. My life was enriched by knowing him. He demonstrated how to live life to the fullest with an open, kind heart no matter life's challenges.

To know Paul was to love Paul. Thank you Paul for the gift of your friendship. I am sure you are entertaining the angels with serenades and are keeping a close eye on your football team. My sincere condolences to all who knew him.


Tami Reynolds

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Guest
Mar 07

Paul was my personal version of a singing telegram. I would answer the phone with the usual Hello and the response was him serenading me with a song he'd just heard that reminded him of me. Usually an oldie, but goodie from the 60's and 70s. One of my favorite calls was 12 years ago. It was not the usual musical call, in a very somber voice he said he'd been thinking of me all day because I was probably devastated with the news of Davy Jones (my Monkee) passing. I replied with, thanks very much Paul, I had no idea, and at that moment I was a 'tad' devastated. Then he said, let's honor Davy with a few bars of Daydream Believer...he started and I joined in. What a guy, Paul, not Davy!!

I will cherish all the wonderful memories and in every one you have your Paul smile.

You will always continue to Build Me Up Buttercup!

Keep smiling and most of all keep singing.

You will be forever loved, forever missed and forever in our hearts.

Cousin Cags (Carol)




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Guest
Mar 07

I met Paul at work when we had offices adjacent to one another. Paul introduced me to computer golf, where he would soundly beat me each time out. I attributed this to him having more time to practice but he insisted it was due to his superior eye-hand coordination. Over the years of his career, at times I worked with Paul and at times he worked for me. But whatever the status he was always in the vicinity and my life and career was that much richer having him around. He always brought a ray of sunshine into whoever's life he touched.

I recall one time at coffee Paul indicated to me that he had a fear of public speaking. As his boss at the time, and in an era of increasing political correctness, I admitted to Paul that this was something we shared, I too had a fear of him speaking in public.

In the later years of our careers our work paths diverged but Paul would regularly wheel into my office with this "plainte du jour". I could be another observation regarding the performance of Winnipeg traffic planners, or fellow Winnipeg drivers, or some deep philosophical conundrum. Whatever the topic of the day, it would always be entertaining, engaging and frequently well-reasoned.

I shall dearly miss Paul and extend my deepest condolences to all of his family.


Alan Barber

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Guest
Mar 07

The last time I saw Paul was when I was lucky enough to be a part of his 50th birthday celebration. I stayed at June's, so I got to see him everyday that I was in Winnipeg. That time was spent discussing tv shows and music, eating great food, karaoke and laughing.......a LOT of laughing. Along with our massive love for The Beatles, we shared in the delight of watching my mom Carol unsuccessfully and very humorously try to say things like chilly feesecake (philly cheesesteak) and Bon Jon Bovi (Jon Bon Jovi), which only got worse each time we asked her to say them! Paul was such a kind person that made everyone around him feel grateful to have been in his life.


You will forever be remembered.


Pam

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Guest
Mar 07

I originally met Paul through work about 25 years ago when I was a consultant. We quickly became friends. He is simply the most genuine, authentic, positive, heartwarming person I have ever met. Knowing Paul just made me a better person. It is impossible to put into words the impact Paul has had on people’s lives, everyone who knew him has felt it and knows what I mean. Everybody had a better day when they came into contact with Paul.

When with Paul you somehow forgot he had the disease that took him. I was hoping we could end up with another 25 years of friendship being two old men discussing how we would manage the Jets to the Stanley Cup, fix the world’s problems, and figure out women. The answers were always the next visit away. My condolences to his family which he loved so much. The loss cannot be measured.


Your friend George.

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