Last Friday a funeral mass was held to honor the life of former Lloyd Supervisor Paul Hansut, 57, who passed away on July 17th at his home with his family by his side.
The Mass was held at the Church of St. Augustine and was officiated by Rev. Thomas Lutz and Rev. Matthew Breslin. Arrangements were made by the Michael Torsone Memorial Funeral Home in Highland.
Members of local and area Law Enforcement attended and served as pallbearers while additional personal saluted their fallen brother. Bagpiper Matthew Clark played as Hansut’s casket was brought into the church.
Paul’s secretary during his tenure as Town Supervisor, Kate Jonietz, read the First Reading from the Book of Wisdom: “The souls of the righteous are in the hands of God, and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace.”
Rev. Breslin read the Gospel from John 11:21-21: Lord, Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”
Breslin reflected on the impact that Paul Hansut had on everyone in the Highland community.
“How lucky we all are to have known Paul Hansut. There are some people who come into your life and you don’t exactly know how but after awhile you know why,” he said. “God prefers to speak to us not through a crash of lightning, not with a parting of the clouds, not with a booming voice, but through other people. He loves to send the perfect person, perfectly timed and often without our knowledge. Based on the stories that I’ve been told these last few days it seems as if the Lord loved to send Paul into our lives...Just as the Lord sent Paul into so many of our lives to bring us joy, so now through Paul the Lord calls us to join him in the wedding feast of heaven.”
Town Justice Terry Elia delivered the eulogy.
“We are here today to pray and talk about someone we loved and will continue to love because Paul touched us. In so many ways he will continue to be in our hearts,” he said. “Paul is a representative of what it means to be family and what it means to work hard to provide for family and others.”
Elia summed up what Paul meant to him on a personal level.
“Paul was a loyal friend and family person. I never saw Paul disrespect his parents and Paul’s father, the Marine, demonstrated a love of family and country and without question helped Paul in his journey in life.”
Elia said sometimes the two of them agreed to disagree on a particular matter, “but the bottom line is no matter what his methods, he cared about his family and this community.”
Elia said it is not a secret that Paul battled some demons in his life, “but he beat them and he was a better person for it than many of us today.”
Elia said Paul, “certainly did not want to go out this way but he did have the time to do it his way...I thank you Paul for asking me here today [and] I hope I did you right. I hope we all hold a piece of Paul’s love and caring within our hearts; Paul will always be with us.”
Rev Lutz concluded the service, saying, “Before we go our separate ways let us take leave of our brother. May our farewell express our affection and our sadness so that one day we shall joyfully greet him again in the love of Christ, which conquers all things and destroys even death...In peace let us take our brother to his place of rest.”
Officer Michael Bennett sang the recessional, ‘The Battle Hymn of the Republic’.
Following the Funeral Mass, Paul Hansut was laid to rest at the Highland Cemetery.