Paul Seaver, a dedicated and decorated coach, and longtime advocate for Milford's youth, died Tuesday following a two-year battle with ALS.
He was the chairman of the Milford Youth Center Commission, and had served for years as president of the town's Amateur Basketball Association.
Mr. Seaver grew up in Milford and graduated from Milford High School in 1977. He initially worked at a family-owned business, Seaver's Express Co. Prior to his diagnosis, he worked at EMC Corp. in Hopkinton. He was a varsity or junior varsity coach in several towns, including Milford, Franklin, and Wellesley.
Following his disclosure of his ALS diagnosis, the Milford community rallied around him, holding benefit basketball tournaments and games that drew several hundred to Milford High School.
An obituary published by Edwards Memorial Funeral Home described some of his career achievements: the Emilio Diotalevi Memorial Award in 2012; the Massachusetts Basketball Coaches Award as the South Boys Assistant Coach of the Year in 2011; the United Way Recognition Award in 2011; and the Hockomock League Boys Basketball Champions for the 1997-1998 season.
In October, the gymnasium of the Milford Youth Center was named in his honor.
Michael Walsh, a Milford Youth Center commissioner, and a 20-year friend, described Mr. Seaver as "larger than life," a giant, but gentle, man who was known for contributing his time and services to his hometown.
He said Mr. Seaver asked him to serve on the Youth Commission, after the town took over the operations of the center on Pearl Street. Mr. Seaver served as the chairman until his death.
"What this man single-handedly gave to the town he grew up in, and that he loved so much, you cannot replace," Walsh said.
Brian Murray, chairman of the Milford Board of Selectmen, said Mr. Seaver's leadership was responsible for many of the changes and additions to the Youth Center's programs and features over the past decade. Mr. Seaver expanded the programs beyond youth services, and opened the building to community groups and events.
"He really was the key force that opened that building up to the community," Murray said.
Survivors include his wife of 27 years, Deborah, and two sons, Paul and Daniel Seaver.
Mr. Seaver's funeral will be held at 9 a.m. Friday from the Edwards Memorial Funeral Home, 44 Congress St., followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. in the Upper Church of Sacred Heart of Jesus Church. Burial will follow in Sacred Heart Cemetery. Visiting hours will be 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday.
In lieu of flowers. memorial donations may be made to The Paul F. Seaver Family Fund, c/o Milford Federal Savings & Loan Association, 246 Main St.