Norman (Norm) Paolini Jr., co-founder of St Luke's Mission of Mercy, passed away on April 30, 2018, in his Buffalo home, after a lengthy illness.
Norm was born on April 19, 1947, the oldest of ten children born to Norman and Violet Paolini of Buffalo, NY. He attended Canisius High School, and in 1969 graduated from Canisius College. Two weeks after graduation, Norm married his high school sweetheart Linda Decot. In October of that year he was drafted into the U.S. Army and served as a medic in Alabama. After returning to Buffalo, Norm received his master's degree in Biology from the University of Buffalo and began a career in cancer research at Roswell Park Memorial Institute. During his twenty years there, Norm regularly visited dying patients, praying with them, playing his guitar and singing to comfort them.
Norm and his wife raised four children and were active members of St. Margaret's Parish in North Buffalo where he played the guitar at Mass and started a charismatic prayer group. Norm and his wife were also leaders in the Charismatic Renewal for many years and members of the Marriage Encounter Community.
On a pilgrimage to Fatima, Portugal in 1994, Norm met Amy Betros. Together God called them to purchase St. Luke's Mission on Buffalo's East Side and serve the needs of the poor, homeless and addicted. Over the last 25 years there, he was fondly called "Uncle Norm" and was godfather to more than 60 adults and children. Norm was an active member of the Voices of Mercy, the music ministry of St. Luke's Mission, and ministered at many churches in the diocese of Buffalo and elsewhere. He has been a familiar spiritual voice on Catholic radio for over two decades. Norm composed and recorded many songs of faith that have touched the hearts of many. Two of these songs summarize his life's mission: "I'm Following Jesus," and "Love Never Fails". Norm will long be remembered for his love and mercy, treating all God's people as true brothers and sisters.
Over the years, and because of his lifelong work to demonstrate the teachings of Christ, Norm received numerous awards and recognition from the Diocese of Buffalo and many civic organizations, including an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Canisius College in 2009. Norm is survived by Linda, his wife of 49 years, four children, Jennifer Warrington (Kenneth), Stephanie Waters (Jonathan), Matthew Paolini (Angeleigh), and Teresa Shannon (Ryan) and ten wonderful grandchildren. brother of Richard (Robin), Nelson (Deborah), Paul, Marianne (Salvatore) Pappalardo, Elvira (Robert) Emblidge, Alan (Sharron Spear), Christopher (Elyse) and the late Robert (Helena) Paolini and Annette Malin; son-in-law of Teresa M. Decot; also survived by many nieces, nephews and godchildren.
The family will receive friends on May 7 and May 8 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at (Tonawanda Chapel) Amigone Funeral Home, 2600 Sheridan Drive, Tonawanda, and Wednesday May 9, 2018, 9:30-11 a.m. at St. Luke's Mission of Mercy, 325 Walden Ave., Buffalo, NY where a concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 11 a.m. Donations in memory of Norm's can be made to St. Luke's Mission of Mercy, P.O. Box 448, Buffalo, NY 14215.