Paul Theriault

Obituary of Paul Theriault

It is with profound sadness that the family announce the death of Paul J. Theriault at Mauno Kaihla Koti on Wednesday, January 3, 2024 in his 73rd year. Beloved husband and best friend of Janice (Peake).  Loving father of John-Paul. Devoted brother of Roberta Miller, Jack (Gerry), Pat Nanne (Michael), Peter (Kim), Ken, Leonard (Pat), Hyla O’Boyle (late Peter), Nancy Doan, Lori Griggs (Joe), and Lynne Miller (Kip). Adored Uncle of Erin, Jodie, and Becky Miller, Fergie and Monique Theriault, Karla, Michael, and Kevin Nanne, Katie and Michelle Theriault, Michael and Lisa Theriault, John, Kevin, and Maggie O’Boyle, Eli, late Michael, and Vanessa Doan, Matthew and Stephen Griggs, Hannah and Jeffrey Miller, and many great-nieces and nephews. Predeceased by his parents Anna (McDonald) and John Theriault, and baby brother Michael.


A large and loving family of faith helped Paul in becoming a man of integrity, loyalty, and empathy. He was a friend to all and to many. His zest for living and laughter drew people from all walks of life. As he was taught at home, there was room at the table for all.


After Paul suffered a traumatic brain injury while playing hockey at Lake Superior State University, his life path changed from player to Coach. He will be remembered by his successful teams but more so for the impact he had in developing young men’s character. His passion for hockey and teaching the game was unequaled. 


In the off season, Paul spent his time at his home on the south shore of Lake Superior. Reading, walking, saunas, and bonfires were part of his daily life. He loved fishing and could often be found in the Rapids, Garden River, or another favorite spot. His neighbors were often the recipients of the catch. The love of people made for many memorable dinner parties at his beloved home, often serving his homemade sauce or a recipe learned in Italy along with a bottle of red.


His proudest and most precious moment was the birth of his son, John-Paul. The two formed a beautifully intense bond that set the stage for a father and son relationship of unparalleled love, fun, and mutual respect. 


The family is most grateful to the staff at MKK for their exceptional care of Paul over this long journey. Their compassion and commitment shone through brightly each and every day. 


Friends and family are invited to visit at Northwood Funeral Home Cremation and Reception Centre (942 Great Northern Road, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, 705-945-7758) on Wednesday, January 10, 2024 from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. For those not able to attend the visitation, a Memorial Mass will be held at Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church (320 East Portage Avenue, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan) on Thursday, January 11, 2024 at 12:00 p.m.


To honor Paul, do or be something that you valued or respected in him. Donations may be made to the Ontario Finnish Resthome Association MKK (, Paul’s home for nearly seven years, or to Boston University for continued research on CTE/ concussions (