I want to take this opportunity to express my deepest and most sincere appreciation for all the love, comfort, and concern extended to me during the prolonged illness and death of my lover of 20 years, Paul Marino.
I know that there are still some Times Squares members who do not know that Paul passed away on June 11, 1996, after a six-month battle with Burkitt’s lymphoma. It was Paul’s wish to not have visitors or to take phone calls during his illness, and I did everything in my power to respect his wishes. However, please know that the Times Squares and gay square dancing meant much to Paul, and we both valued all the wonderful friends we made during our two and a half years of dancing together. He especially enjoyed the fly-ins and conventions, and we were both so very much looking forward to celebrating our 20th anniversary at the San Francisco convention this year. He talked and asked about many of you during his illness, and encouraged me to attend as many functions as possible during that period.
I know that all too many in our community have lost a lover or very dear friend, and it is so encouraging and comforting to have your love and support as I now go through this most difficult period of my life. Paul was a very special, kind, and gentle man, and he is greatly missed by many. It was Paul’s idea for us to join Times Squares, and it very soon became a very important part of our lives. It is now a very important part of my life which provides me with much comfort.
Words cannot adequately express how much all the cards, phone calls, the great representation of Times Squares members at Paul’s Memorial Mass, and individual expressions of sympathy have meant to me. Please know that they have been appreciated, and that Paul would be very pleased to know how much he meant to you, and how you have all helped me.
With my sincerest appreciation and love,
- Larry Eppley
Paul Marino, Times Squares Member since 1994, died on June 11, 1996 after a six-month battle with lymphoma. Paul was an English teacher at Valley Stream North High School for 29 years.
I was very distressed when Paul informed me of his illness. Paul was a lovely man, a gentleman, fun to dance with and ever so nice to all of the students he “angeled.” Times Squares students would request Paul as a dancing partner because he was that good.
There were many of us from the Times Squares at Paul’s memorial service. Our club was mentioned by name during the course of the service. I was touched by that moment and I hope that Paul knows how important he was to all of us.Paul is survived by his longtime companion and Times Squares member, Larry Eppley. Larry has been wonderful to our club as well. Together, Paul and Larry angeled both Mainstream and Plus and, last year, did a wonderful job as 1995’s ‘Peel the Pumpkin’ food committee chairmen. It was much more than thoughtful of Larry to have our club mentioned at Paul’s memorial service.
- Times Squares newsletter, v.11 no.12 (Sep 1996), p.5
- Ibid., p.5