Paul Poulos

1938 - 2016

HARTWICK - Paul Poulos, a union activist and staunch champion of the working class, died unexpectedly due to a cardiac-related condition Sunday morning, April 3, 2016, at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown. He was 77.

Born September 28, 1938, in Long Island City, Paul was a son of Steven and Sophia (Marchavich) Poulos, who were of Greek and Polish ancestry. After graduating from high school, he studied in college to be a draftsman. 

For most of his working life, Paul was a truck driver for several companies including Sears. His career in transportation led to his active involvement with the Industrial Workers of the World, an international labor union whose members are referred to as "Wobblies". 

Currently serving as the chief financial officer for the Upstate New York General Membership Branch of the IWW, he was passionate in his fight for the rights of workers. Through the years he led and was part of many events to bring awareness of workplace-related problems, including one he organized in Cooperstown. In August 2004, Paul - along with other members of the IWW - walked the streets of the village in an attempt to raise the public's awareness of international sweatshops and how they affect the United States. Willing participants were asked to examine the inside of their baseball hats to see where the hat was made. Out of 100 hats examined, none were manufactured in the US. At the time, Paul was quoted as saying, "…by supporting international sweatshops we're lowering the standards of our own country…" and expressed his belief that awareness of this situation can begin at home and in the schools. 

For the past 36 years, Paul shared his life with Rochelle Semel. Since 1984, they have made their home in a house he built in the Town of Otsego. 

He will be remembered foremost as a loving partner, stepfather, uncle and brother-in-law, and by a host of friends and fellow workers. 

At his request, there will be no services.

Arrangements are under the care and guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.

If you would like to send condolences to the family, send an email to Connell, Dow & Deysenroth. We will forward your comments to the family. If you would like to send flowers in memory of the deceased, contact Mohican Flowers at (607) 547-8822, or A Rose is a Rose at (607) 264-3100.