Father, Sailor, Dreamer & Doer
Merrimack, NH & Stockton Springs, ME
On 10/15/1947, the world welcomed one truly original individual: Irving Bernard Paton Jr. On 5/20/2022, 74 years later, Irv departed this Earth for his next grand adventure following a 5-month journey with brain cancer. Irv’s mind remained observant, passionate and determined until the very end.
In-between his birth and death, Irv “lived life on his own terms” as many people have described. His childhood was spent making mischief with his brothers on the Paton Family chicken farm in Lunenburg, MA. After graduating Lunenburg High School (class of ’65), Irv studied computer engineering and business at the Wentworth Institute and Worcester Polytechnic Institute, respectively. He worked internationally on football-field-sized computers at Digital for 15+ years before running away from the rat race for good. In 1985, Irv embraced his entrepreneurial spirit and Paton Data Co.—a medical billing software system and electronic claims clearinghouse—was born. This business sustained his livelihood for over 35 years. He adored and took great pride in providing his customers with a top-notch, bug-free program and personal, first-class service to accompany it.
When he wasn’t programming, Irv was likely on the open seas, captaining his beloved 30′ Pearson sailboat, “Courage & Hope,” often for weeks at a time, including a voyage to Nova Scotia. Family and friends were always welcomed aboard, sea legs or not. His greatest joy was not showing off the ship, but the ocean it sailed upon. In 2010, he purchased a property in Stockton Springs, Maine, and designed the modest seaside cottage of his dreams as a boating home base.
After countless seaward travels, Irv turned his attention to the sky, getting his hang-gliding (Hang II) certification. He wanted to know just what it was like to soar on the wind like the hawks… and he did.
Irv is predeceased by his mother and father, Jennie Wilcox and Irving Paton Sr., and brothers Joe Paton (St. Louis, MO), Lawrence Paton and Bernard Paton.
Irv leaves behind his daughter, Killeen McGowan, son-in-law, Patrick McGowan, and his three grandchildren: Sage, Acacia and Phoenix (Warner, NH), for whom he served as the ultimate dedicated father and grandpa.
He is also survived by his sister, Joan Conroy, brothers Alan Paton and Kenneth Paton, and numerous nieces and nephews, all of whom share Lunenburg, MA roots. Notably, Irv had a special bond with his great-nephew, Sam Lewis.
Irv’s final weeks included lots of coffee breaks and delicious meals by the pond in his backyard with brother Kenny, and niece, Linda Friedmann. During this time, he expressed continuous gratitude for a life well lived, and the opportunity to share these last good days with the people he loved most, all while remaining in the house he’d worked so hard to perfect.
Irv’s family will be gathering for a memorial celebration on June 18th in Henniker, NH. Those wishing to attend should reach out to [email protected]
In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made in Irv’s memory to the Maine Community Fund (designated to Waldo County) at:
View the online memorial for Irving B Paton
Published by Sentinel & Enterprise on May 29, 2022.