Paul Dussere – Oswego County Today
OSWEGO- Paul Dussere died in his sleep in the early morning of July 27 at the age of 86.
Paul was born in 1936 and grew up in Moorhead, Minnesota. He graduated from Concordia College, then from the University of Nebraska for his graduate studies in mathematics.
He received a National Science Foundation scholarship to study at the University of Wisconsin from 1960 to 1962. Madison was a booming sixties cultural center at the time, and Paul learned to make his own Sake– who was, by all accounts, rotgut – and spent his time listening to folk music, attending film screenings and admiring the stage.
He and his future wife, Sally Dussere (née Dougherty), met in Madison. They married in 1965 and Paul received his doctorate the following year. In 1967, they drove 17,000 miles across the United States in a VW buggy with their dog, Mica, before settling in Oswego, NY.
Paul taught at SUNY-Oswego for 36 years. He was a dedicated teacher and his students were enthusiastic about him and his signature teacher uniform of an Icelandic sweater, jeans and sandals. Although mathematics was his favorite subject, he was always interested in history, literature, art and music, and when he was not working he was likely to read a novel. , a massive biography or tome about World War II.
After retiring in 2003, he had much more time to pursue those interests and spend time with his three grandchildren. But above all, he returned with vigor to a lifelong interest in photography. He spent much of his time taking photos of flowers and other nature scenes, such as sunsets over Lake Ontario, then editing the photos on his computer and emailing them in small prizes to his friends and family.
Paul grew up in a large extended family of Minnesota Norwegians and was quietly proud of that heritage; after his retirement, he joined the Sons of Norway. His father was the child of French immigrants, and true to his French surname, Paul liked to seek out good things to eat and drink. He never encountered a cheese he didn’t want to try, or a pint of ice cream he didn’t want to eat. Visiting a new place first and foremost meant there were new bakeries and patisseries to explore, and he always kept the basement stocked with good wine and beer.
Another lifelong passion was music. Paul had eclectic tastes and never stopped exploring new genres and seeking out new singers and bands. In his youth, he haunted record stores looking for classical and folk albums. In the 70s and 80s, he compiled dozens of CDs mixing rock and roll, bluegrass, jazz, country and music from Bali, France or Cape Verde. But above all, he loved the blues, in all its forms. If this obituary had a soundtrack, it would be Jimmy Yancey’s soulful and silent “Mournful Blues”.
He and Sally lived together in Oswego for decades, in a house they filled with books and records, pottery and art. Paul enlarged the garden beds so that there were always flowers to photograph, and in the evenings they watched funny films and British quizzes. Often they would drive down to the lake so Paul could photograph the sunset.
Paul is survived by his wife, Sally; his two sons, Erik and Michael; three grandchildren, Jacob, Nicholas and Liv; and a brother, David.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Nelson Funeral Home. Calling hours will be Monday, August 1, from 3 to 6 p.m. at Nelson’s Funeral Home located at 11 Albany Street West. in Oswego.
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