Paul Garifalon, 90, of Sumter, died on Thursday, July 23, 2020.

Paul was born in Newport, Rhode Island, to Arthur and Margarita Garifalon. In his youth, he was a talented athlete and played basketball and football for De La Salle Academy and extracurricular leagues around Newport. His childhood fascination with airplanes led him to a career in the U.S. Air Force. In July 1953, he married his high school sweetheart, Dorothy Ann Wilson, at St. Mary's Catholic Church, Newport. Her large family loved and supported him throughout his life. They lived in several states as well as England and Japan, before settling in Sumter. Paul also served two tours in Thailand during the Vietnam War. Master Sgt. Paul Garifalon was awarded the Bronze Star and was an outstanding mentor to young service members. Paul and Ann made volunteerism a family affair throughout his career and continued after his retirement. Paul's passion for coaching youth sports was passed on to both his sons.

After a decade of being a widower, Paul married Joy, with whom he traveled around the world. Her companionship allowed him to enjoy many years with his children and their families. "Poppa G" built many a model airplane with his grandsons and was able to share his love of sports and jazz with them. His children filled his visits with airshows, museum trips and ball games.

Paul was a gentle man of modest means who considered family his investment.

Paul was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Dorothy Ann Garifalon; and sister, Diana Garifalon.

He is survived by his wife, Joy Garifalon; daughter, Paula Kanner (Michael); son, Paul Garifalon (Linda Hook); son, Timothy Garifalon (Carol Ann); grandsons, Nicholas Kanner, Zachary Kanner, Daniel Garifalon and Jordan Garifalon.

Services were held earlier in the week.

You may go to and sign the family's guest book online.

The family has chosen Bullock Funeral Home of Sumter for the arrangements.