Norman “Paul” Sales was born 80 years ago in the middle of World War II in London England, the eldest of two children.  Born to Norman and Esme Sales, his father worked in the law courts there before going into the diplomatic corps.  Paul spent the first years of his life, mostly with his grandmothers, as London was considered too dangerous for young children.  After the war his father was posted to India, the first of three postings to that country.  Paul went with his parents to the second posting but was sent away to boarding school at the age of seven for three years.  He fondly remembered his time in the foothills of the Himalayas and used to tell stories of spiders the size of small kittens dropping onto beds in the night.

With further postings, Bombay, Delhi, Ottawa and Delhi twice more, Paul spent most of his time in boarding schools either in India or England.  He attended Sir John Cass College at the University of London, graduating in pure Mathematics in 1964 and then working in the National Physical laboratories.

Paul met his bride to be, Judith Taylor, in London at a distant relative’s house in March of 1965.  Shortly after they met, Paul gave Judith a Turkish puzzle ring – four connected circles that intertwined to create a ring.  He jokingly told her that if she solved it, he’d marry her.  She did it while he was in the washroom.  They were married that Christmas.  A whirlwind romance of love at first sight which was a shock to his family as they had always thought he was a quiet retiring professorial young man and marrying so young, 24, to a colonial teaching in the slums of London was more than they could fathom.

Paul and Judith came to Victoria in 1966 to meet Judith’s parents who weren’t at the wedding because her sister was married here in Victoria the exact same day.  Paul started work at the University of Victoria the following January in the brand new ‘how does this work?’ computer centre where he was a systems analyst and programmer until 2003 when he retired after 35 years.

Paul was a quiet, loyal, gentle man.  He played soccer all his life travelling frequently with his senior rec teams to play teams in other countries and coaching youth teams.  His Victoria City Football Club team was full of characters, and they were popular additions to tournaments up and down the west coast of North America.  He was the registrar for Gorge youth soccer for years.  He just loved the game, was a rabid, long-suffering, Tottenham Hotspur fan. He never missed a game, either league or championship.  Indeed every four years he would put a big sign on his office door at the University saying “Don’t mention world cup games in this corridor!” He was taping them.

Paul and Judith had two children, Jeremy in 1971 and Rebecca in 1973.  Jeremy is now a Director General with the federal government and Rebecca is a researcher in the critical care unit of the Ottawa hospital. They, and their wonderful spouses and children have lived in Ottawa now for years but the grandchildren love coming out every summer to stay with their Granny and Poppa.

Paul was amazingly handy and when he and Judith bought a tiny house in 1969, for the princely sum of $22,000, he added and added to it.  A meticulous planner, draftsman, carpenter, he designed, built and rearranged it until it meanders through staircases, into what Judith and Paul have loved living in for over fifty years.  They lived in chaos and pink insulation for years, each renovation or build meant new changes and rooms added.  One year Paul hung a tire swing for the children in the living room when they ran out of money and couldn’t afford drywall.  The children rode their scooters and bikes and played there on rainy days. Paul brought 99% of Judith’s house wishes into fruition although he did draw the line at a crow’s nest gallery on the roof with a spiral staircase access.

Paul was a beautiful skier and for over ten years the family went every other weekend to Mount Washington where he would be up on triple black diamond runs with the children having a glorious time.  As a chaperone, he went with the Lambrick Park high school band on their annual band trip. Paul and Judith had lots of close family here in Victoria, and had family dinners every Sunday night for years. Paul worked hard all of his life, loved to coach his children, attended concerts, graduations, and helped Jeremy and Rebecca renovate their first houses, here in Victoria, weekend after weekend. He never lost his temper, swore, shouted or complained. Paul fell asleep every night reading the same page of his beloved Russian novels.  It took him years to complete them.

In retirement, Paul and Judith travelled the world through house exchanges, visiting Ireland, Germany, England, Wales, France, Belgium and Australia.  Paul was able to pursue his two big passions of photography and beer sampling, occasionally together.  They visited their children and grandchildren in Ontario, often staying for weeks at a time.  Paul learned that summer in Ottawa was better than winter, but happily shoveled driveways, watched numerous hockey and soccer games and walked the kids to their school buses.

When Paul was first diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment about 2012, he and Judith thought this would not make a difference in their lives, that they still could do house exchanges, travel, garden, see friends etc. and for the most part this was true.  When the diagnosis was changed to Alzheimer’s, it became increasingly difficult.  Gradually the disease took over, and he became more and more dependent on Judith and others.  He never complained about his fate, and remained unfailingly positive about what time he had left.

Paul found a fantastic and loving home at Luther Court – first as a member of their adult daycare program and later as a resident.  The amazing staff got him to sing, dance (two thing he never did before) and help with odd jobs like handing out napkins, moving chairs or emptying garbage bins.  Jenine and Vivienne were wonderful with him, and he lit up in their presence.

The pandemic was especially hard on Paul.  He couldn’t understand why he couldn’t visit his new friends, and eventually the increasing toll became too much and Paul was placed permanently in Luther Court.  It was an incredible challenge for him, as his constant companion for almost 55 years was unable to visit, reduced to conversations through a screened window.  The staff at Luther Court were amazing to Paul, and he happily wandered the halls for hours on end, talking to residents and staff and even sitting in on ‘staff huddles’.  Over the last year, Jeremy and Rebecca alternated coming out every month to see Paul and the grandchildren were able to visit as well.

Paul leaves behind his beloved wife Judith, his devoted children Jeremy (Bettina – Owen and Erika) and Rebecca (Alan – Gavin and Collin).  He valued his family above all else.  He lived a wonderful life and will be sorely missed.  A memorial service and celebration of life will be held in the spring.

Condolences may be offered to the family below.

McCall Gardens
http://www.mccallgardens.com

 

  • Julia Jones

    So many years have passed since I worked with Paul at the Uvic Computer Centre but I can still see his gentle smiling face. Its so sad to hear of his passing. My thoughts are with you, Judith.

    Julie Jones (Morgan)

  • brad Hlasny

    Paul was a kind sole. A gentle, clever man – with a mischievous wit and grin – that I had the pleasure of “working” with at Gorge Soccer (where he was the volunteer Registrar and I was the volunteer youth coordinator). I did not know him well and I feel I know him a bit better through his tribute above.

    My personal thoughts and condolences to his wife and family. And Gorge’s thanks and thoughts also!

    Brad Hlasny / Gorge Soccer Association

  • Anonymous

    I had the pleasure of getting to know Paul as a nursing student in 2021 at Luther Court. The first time we met, he came and stood over my shoulder as I was working on an assignment. When I joked that he should do my homework for me, he replied “Do it yourself!” with a cheeky grin on his face. Every day, I made sure to find the time to sit with him and enjoy a cup of tea and a chat. He loved being read to, and I made sure he was always up-to-date on the latest footie scores. He had no qualms about letting me know what he thought of my support for Chelsea FC- “rubbish!”. He often spoke of his wife Judith whom he clearly loved so very much. He was gentle and funny and only slightly mischievous! While I only knew Paul at Luther Court, I am so delighted to learn of the wonderful, full life he led. He has made a lasting impression on me both as a person and a future nurse, and I will never forget the time I spent with him. I will remember Paul as the true gentleman he was, and am thinking of his wife, family and friends who miss him so greatly. Rest easy Paul.

  • Mary Anne Ladner

    Judy and all your family,
    Wayne and I were sad to hear of Paul’s passing. We did not meet Paul very often. We learned so much reading the obituary about his life which we assume you wrote. He did so much. Wayne and I will always remember the tour of your beautiful garden in 2019 with Paul and you after my stay with you.
    I know the time since then has been extremely difficult for you and your family. COVID did not help and it must have been so difficult for you and your supportive family.
    Our condolences to you and all your wonderful family, Wayne and Mary Anne

  • Maureen Ramsay

    What a wonderful thoughtful tribute to a man I wish I had met. So sadden by the loss of your beloved husband. Please know that we are thinking of you.
    Maureen, Bree and Rori

  • Carole Poy

    Dear Judith, Rebecca, Jeremy and families,
    Condolences to a very special family.
    I am so sorry to hear of Paul’s passing.
    I remember so fondly that Paul and Judith were very caring and supportive parents when I had their children in kindergarten.
    Paul had donated many boxes of old computer punch cards and tractor-fed computer paper to my class. For many, many years (about 10 years plus)my classes happily did art projects on that paper and Paul would come to my mind as I watched my students eagerly work.
    I send many blessings and warm wishes.
    Carole Poy

  • Chris

    Beautifully written. Beautiful tribute. I don’t think I ever had the chance to meet him, possibly at a hockey game where I may have been loudly voicing to Owen or another to get the puck out. I wish I had. He sounds like he was a wonderful human. Our deepest condolences to all of you. Chris, Max and Cohen.

  • Paul Molyski

    I worked with Paul during the 30 years I was at UVic. It was a great experience being in the same group with him. Paul was always coming up with creative ideas on how to get things done. He loved playing in the noon hour soccer games and was a skillful speedster on the field. He will always be remembered by everyone.

  • Peta Alexander

    Dear Judith,
    My sincere condolences on the loss of your beloved partner of so many years. You and the family supported Paul so well through very difficult times and should take great comfort in that. I’m sure your many happy memories of the good times will
    be of great comfort now.
    Take care,
    Peta

  • Virginia Lund

    To my darling sister,

    There is such a huge gap in our lives with Paul gone. Paul has been a prominent part of our lives starting in December 1965 when you and Paul were married on the same day as Wilf and me, but you two in England and us in Victoria. Each with a sister as a bridesmaid. Same hymns. Even the same hour.

    My quiet, gentle brother-in-law, was such a pivot in our family’s lives. Gracious and generous, he helped us out chopping firewood, building shelves, rescuing a toddler locked in an upstairs bathroom, or searching for lost dogs, he was my go-to person when Wilf was out at sea.

    The four of us did so many things together. We have recalled many hilarious memories of holidays together, especially the Christmas in Ottawa and a ski trip driving a rental van with no heater. Or Expo ‘86 when Paul woke a house full of relatives up at 2 am (in preparation for the 7 am ferry) thinking it was time to get up. Two sisters were in the showers washing their hair when he realized his mistake.

    Paul was always there for our children as well, even our grandchildren. Always doing kind things for them which they all recall. We have so much to thank him for.

    And Judy, thank you for marrying him. A very wise choice. And most of all thank you for sharing him.

    Love and blessings to my sister, Judith.

    Virginia

  • Helen Money

    I was so sorry to read of Paul’s death. What a wonderful obituary. I did not know Paul well but it seemed to me to really capture him. I was also sorry that the pandemic robbed you of more time with Paul; conversations through the window are not the same. My thoughts are with you Judith. Remember always the good times.
    Helen

  • Phill little

    Condolences Judy
    After reading about Paul’s life I am sorry that I did not have the chance to get to know him.

  • Sandra Lindberg

    My dear Judith and your family, I am so very sorry to hear of Paul’s passing.

    Please accept my sincere condolences and please phone me anytime if you’d like to chat.

    God bless you and your family with peace through these hard times.

    Much love from Sandra

  • Dorothy Liedtke

    Dearest Judith.
    Our sincere condolences to you and your family.
    We won’t ever forget Paul for many reasons. Good friend, one of the best.Good host at dinners in your home. He lives on in our hearts and his presence is here in the projects he did in our home. A meticulous craftsman.
    Hugs from us,
    Dorothy and Werner

  • Joe Sparrow

    I had the good fortune to work with Paul for more than 25 years. While working at UVic was always good, it was the “road trips” to Seattle, for workshops, that I remember the most. We always took his Volvo and stopped in Mt Vernon for the latest Sears sales flyer – for tools of course. I’d drive for a bit while Paul went through the latest bargains. We then went to the Sears in Seattle to tool shop (and save). Paul began his computing career about 10 years before I did and I learned a great deal from him. He was a pleasure to work with and know.

  • Wendy Gedney

    My sincere condolences to you, Judith and Rebecca & Jeremy and the family on your loss of Paul. Feeling for you all.

    Fondly…

  • Judy Harrison

    Very sorry to hear of Paul’s passing.

    Warm thoughts to you, Judith, and to your family.

    Judy Harrison

  • john scratchley

    Judy,
    We were saddened to hear of Paul’s passing. Our sincere condolences.
    John and Delphia

  • Barbara Latham

    This is a touching and very personal obituary marking all that was important and good in a life well lived by Paul with Judith and family. I love the opening, when suddenly the professorial boy fell in love with the vivacious colonial. Well done, Paul.
    Hugs in abundance to the family.
    Barb Latham

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