Saying Goodbye

My brother Paul's funeral will be held November 11, (a week from today) at the Evangelical Covenant Church in Attleboro, Massachusetts, with visitation on Friday night at the Dyer-Lake Funeral Home

A memorial fund has been set up to benefit the children of Quinaonayanan, Philippines, where Paul's wife Chitadelia's family lives. Memorial donations may be made to the Paul T. Smietana Memorial Fund, c/o Evangelical Covenant Church, 841 North Main Street – PO Box 208, Attleboro, MA 02703.

An obituary ran today in several newspapers.

Here's what I wrote for our magazine:

Paul Smietana, a longtime member of the Evangelical Covenant Church in Attleboro, Massachusetts and brother of Companion features editor Bob Smietana, died October 22. He was 39.

He was born Christmas Day, 1966, the fourth of five children born to Ted and Barbara Smietana of Attleboro. As a junior high student, he visited the Attleboro Covenant church at the invitation of schoolmate, and before long, the whole family was part of the congregation.

After graduating from Attleboro High School and New Hampshire Vocational Technical College, he began a career as an electrician. Then in the early 1990s, he accepted a job offer that changed his life—as a technician for GTE, installing telecommunications equipment in Egypt. He spent several years living near Cairo and traveling with the Egyptian military, helping set up a cell phone network, and learning Arabic. While there, he met Chitadelia Badoin, a young woman from the Philippines who worked for the US Embassy. They returned to the United States and were married in February 1994.

After leaving GTE, he set up his own successful communications business in New England. An avid fisherman, he competed in bass tournaments across the Eastern US and dreamt of becoming a professional bass fisherman. During a 2003 tournament to qualify for a national competition, he and his partner saved a stranded windsurfer that was suffering from hypothermia—an act that earned him a sportsman of the year award.

He and his wife traveled often to the Philippines, where Paul became godfather to many children among his wife’s family and friends. He was in Quinaonayanan, Philippines, at the time of his death.

A man of quiet and steady faith, he was known as a tireless volunteer and worker, always willing to lend a hand. By his bed, he kept a copy of the Bible, tattered by constant reading.

He was preceded in death by a brother, John Edward, who died in infancy. He is survived by his wife, Chitadelia; daughter Connie Marie; brothers Ted (Kathleen), Bob (Kathy), sister Kristen (Glenn) Rounseville; his wife’s parents: Efraim and Concepcion Badoin of the Philippines; sister-in-law: Charito (Edgar) Leaal of the Philippines; and many nieces and nephews.

A funeral will be held November 11 at the Evangelical Covenant Church of Attleboro, with Kent Palmquist officiating. Interment will be at North Purchase Cemetery.

Peace to his memory.


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