Campus Mourns Loss of Instructor and Friend

Olga Ramaz

Paul Dozois, an engineering, drafting, Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM/CAD) instructor for 30 years, and former Division Chair of the Aviation and Technology department, died on the evening of March 1 of pulmonary and cardiac failure. He leaves behind a son and daughter, family, friends, and his girlfriend Donna Serra.

“Paul was just that kind of person that you’re happy crossed your life,” said Nick Papaioanu, a close friend and engineering instructor on campus.

Dozois suffered from many ailments, including Parkinson’s disease, complications from which forced him to retire in June of 2006. Some colleagues, like Tom Ferguson, an Aviation and Technology instructor, said that he was “five years overdue” in his retirement.

“I think he would have been better off to retire five years before,” said Ferguson, detailing a hospital visit he made to Dozois last year. “It seemed like he was rebounding a little bit.he could have prolonged [his life] by taking care of himself. The Parkinson’s had lots to do with deteriorating him.”

According to Ferguson, Dozois spent the last couple of months prior to his passing, chair-bound because his swollen legs made it difficult for him to get around.
One of the last conversations Ferguson had with Dozois triggered an eerie and almost prophetic message.

Dozois had stressed to Ferguson: “retire early if you can.”
But there was much more to Dozois that just teaching and the unfortunate illnesses that eventually cost him his life. He was an artist, a collector of Southwest art, military paraphernalia and a lover of the desert.

“He loved the desert,” said chair of the Business Division and close friend, Linda Serra. “[He was,] as my sister [Donna] would call him, ‘a desert rat extraordinaire.'”
Dozois owned homes in Palmdale as well in Kingman, Ariz. It is in Kingman where Dozois’ love for military objects and his spirit remain.

A few months ago, Dozois donated some of his military vehicles to the Kingman Army Airfield Historical Society and Museum. Back in 1942, the site where the museum now sits was a training field for the United States Army Air Force during World War II. The museum was later established in order to preserve the field’s history with artifacts, photos and displays.

Norm Berge, president and curator of the museum not only established a professional relationship with Dozois, but a personal one as well.

“He was a prince,” said Berge. “His friendship will stay with me forever.”
Currently, a 1939 Army Scout donated by Dozois, sits on display at the museum.
According to Berge, Dozois had also planned on donating a Jeep, two trailers, military uniforms and other artifacts of
the time.

Papaioanu spent a great deal of time traveling with Dozois when the two took a class in Jefferson, Ind. through GCC. He recalled visiting several locations
throughout the state and going on paddle boat rides, among other things.
Papaioanu also heard from Dozois prior to his death. According to him, Dozois called him the day before his passing to ask Papaioanu how to install the ink cartridge into his new laser printer. Papaioanu believes that by the time he returned his call, which was at approximately 11 p.m. on March 1, Dozois had already passed away in his sleep.

“He was a really good person and I’m really going to miss him,” he said.
Dozois is considered by colleagues to have been generous, a workaholic, good with his students and possessing a great sense of humor, according to Linda Serra.
“He had a really interesting sense of humor,” she said. “I know, sitting next to him in division chair meetings, sometimes the comments that he’d make, not mean ones but just funny, I would have to try to keep my composure. But sometimes, I just couldn’t.”

Back in the ’90s, Dozois won the Distinguished Faculty Award, but most importantly, he is credited by his colleagues for being responsible for “building” the Aviation/Technology department when he sat as division chair.

“He hired the right people to keep this division going strong,” said Ferguson. “I think he really had a care about this division, especially the careers in engineering and administration of justice.”
Dozois would have been 64 on March 30. He had planned to go on a cruise to Alaska in the summer, a trip which Linda Serra said he was really looking forward to.
“It’s such a shame that he didn’t make it there,” she said. “But looking at him, it was doubtful that he was going to be able to unless there was some huge change in his health.”

Since his death, Dozois’ body has been cremated. Services for Dozois will be held on Friday, March 30 at the 20th Century Women’s Club located at 5105 Hermosa Ave., Eagle Rock. The service starts at 1 p.m. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Paul Dozois Scholarship fund at the Foundation office or to the Kingman Army Airfield Museum located at 4540 Flightline Drive, Kingman, AZ. 86401. For more information, call (928) 757-1892.

Faculty, staff, students and friends are welcomed to direct inquiries on Dozois and/or send condolences to [email protected]
Papaioanu said, “he should be remembered as a really good guy who really loved the students and made that job his number one priority.”