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Paul Robert McGaunn

Obituary for Paul Robert McGaunn

February 1, 1934 - June 9, 2019
Manchester, New Hampshire | Age 85


Paul Robert McGaunn, long-time hotel executive, of Manchester, NH died peacefully in his home on June 9, 2019 after a period of declining health surrounded by family and loved ones. He was 85.
He was born in Lowell, MA on February 1, 1934, to the late Henry and Grace (Fay) McGaunn. He graduated from Lowell High in 1952 where he was coached on the football field by the legendary Ray Riddick. In 1948, at the age of 14, he was hired by the Dunfey Family as a short order cook. While working at Hampton Beach for the Dunfey's, Paul met his life-long partner, Lowell-native, Joan Sullivan. The two wed in 1956.
Paul remained a dedicated Dunfey Family employee for forty-nine years when he retired in 1997 as the most senior company executive. As the small company reinvented itself, changed hands, and grew into a large international hotel chain, Paul was fortunate to grow and change with it.
Known as the "go-to-guy" for new initiatives, he became the "first" of many positions: General Manager, Regional Director, Corporate Director of Food and Beverage, and Senior Vice President and director of business operations. He developed standards and employee training systems of the hospitality industry still in effect today.
He specialized in renovating, repositioning, and marketing older classic hotels, most notably The Parker House, The Shoreham Hotel, Berkshire Place, and The Ambassador East. Similarly, he developed restaurants that became the signature statement for these hotels in their respective communities: the Last Hurrah, Parker's, Dunfey's Tavern, and Tingles.
In retirement, Paul was pleased to share his years of experience with the Score Group, counseling over 200 small business owners.
In life, Paul loved to cook, watch football, and tend to his yard. "Papa", however, was most passionate about his family. He loved to host family gatherings and took great satisfaction offering support, advice, and praise to his five children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He once said that he never had to make a bucket list because, "I was blessed with more love and happiness than most."
In addition to his wife Joan, of 63 years, Paul is survived by his children Lisa Day of Manchester, N.H., Julie Chani, and her husband Christopher of Hillsborough, N.H., Paul R. McGaunn, Jr., of Manchester, N.H., Susan Nakos, and her husband Mark of Manchester, N.H., and Jon McGaunn , and his wife Tamara of Naples, Florida; grandchildren, Ryan Day, and his wife Nina, of Delaware, Ohio, Christopher Day, and his wife Bria of Hampton, N.H., Timothy Day, and his wife Monique of Andover, MA., Scott Partan of Avon, Colorado; Dr. Matt Partan of Long Island, NY, Kellie Partan of Manchester, NH, J.P and Hannah McGaunn of Naples, Florida, and Peter and Maxwell Nakos of Manchester, NH , Garret Chani of Waltham, MA, and Alyssa McAndrews and her husband Mike of Hillsborough, NH; and great-great grandchildren, Ryan Jr., Grace, and Ourania Day of Delaware, Ohio, Lussie, Lincoln, Layla, and Leo Day of Andover, MA, and Jackson and Kennedy Day of Hampton, N.H., Mike McAndrews Jr. of Hillsboro, NH, and several nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was predeceased by brothers Harry and John McGaunn, and his son-in-law, Raymond J. Day.

Services: A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Thursday , June 13, 2019 at 12:00 p.m. at St. Catherine's Church, Webster Street, Manchester, NH.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Paul's memory to: Veterans' Expeditions ( or CHaD ( In addition, The Paul McGaunn Memorial Fund is being developed for future use and more information will be shared once completed.
Lambert Funeral Home & Crematory, Manchester, assisted with arrangements. To send an online message of condolence, please go to

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Lambert Funeral Home & Crematory

1799 Elm St
Manchester, NH 03104
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