Paul "Knuckleball"'s Story
Paul “Knuckleball” Brophy passed away quietly from complications resulting from a combination of acute renal failure and heart failure. He was 71 years old.
Born in Salem, Mr. Brophy attended Salem Schools, but graduated from Malden High School in 1963. Shortly after graduation, traipsing through Marblehead in his “hot-rod,” Paul met the love of his life, Sharon MacArthur. Several months after they met, (against their respective family’s wishes), Paul and Sharon made a fateful decision to elope and run away to the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City. There began a wonderful, life-long love affair that produced a daughter, Tina, a son, Michael, and numerous incredible memories and experiences that a family holds dear.
A passionate soul, Mr. Brophy shared a love for a great many things -- sports, the taste of sweet and savory food, great music of all varieties especially classic rock and roll, and roving the great spaces of North America.
A renaissance man by nature, opinionated, and well-read, Mr. Brophy enjoyed passionate discussions on myriad topics as much as he did a good laugh. Paul held firmly to core principles that remained ingrained within his character throughout his life. Filled with a competitive drive, a lock trap memory, and physical abilities that belied his robust 5-foot, 9-inch frame, Mr. Brophy would challenge or accept a challenge in feats of chance, trivia, and sport. A legendary modified fast-pitch softball career in Salem Softball, his pitching career spanned five decades from the late 1960s until the early 2000s, with his favorite memories pitching for John and Ray’s, the Shams, and Essex Office Supply, “under the lights, at the Salem Willows."
An ardent Boston sports fan, and a New England Patriot season ticket holder since 1986, Mr. Brophy, with his son by his side, was fortunate to have witnessed the rise of the Patriot Nation first hand, as well as his beloved Red Sox, a topic upon which he could chat for hours. He also experienced well over 150 concerts throughout the last two generations; his favorites being The Eagles, Bruce Springsteen, Pink Floyd, Steely Dan, and The Rolling Stones.
Paul was a traveler and a rover. Give him a full tank of gas and he would be in Nova Scotia by sunset. A spanner of numerous road-trips across this great continent of North America, and a several time visitor of a majority of America’s National Parks, the open road truly was his muse. Paul was fortunate to be born with an internal compass rose, which over the years, he developed into a masterful sense of knowing, and maneuvering into, the perfect spot to view and photograph a plethora of God’s beautiful little creatures such as snowy owls, moose, and bear. In later years, he and his love partner Linda worked expertly together as a team filming and documenting countless wildlife, and resplendent vistas across North America.
Paul joins his wife, Sharon, and his daughter, Tina, in heaven, but leaves behind his son, Michael; his sister, Susan Voigt; his daughter-in-law, Theresa; his son-in-law, Joe Bettencourt; his granddaughters, Alisha Pascucci, Nicole Moberg; grandsons, Nolan Brophy, Luke Brophy, and Kalani Brophy; as well as great-grandchildren, Madison, Mason, and Sadie. He also leaves behind his loving partner, Linda Lamore; his aunt, Mabel Latoszek; his cousin, John Latoszek; several nieces and nephews, and many friends.
There will be a private graveside service in Bennington, N.H. Although he enjoyed the color and majesty of flowers, a donation to the Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem in lieu of flowers, align closest with Mr. Brophy’s wishes. Paul deeply appreciated wildlife, and would encourage you to get out and find yourself in nature. Perhaps breathe deeply, be aware of the beauty that surrounds you, appreciate the greatness that resides in this world, in this life, and in you.
Published on  September 7, 2017