Hampton, N.H. — Paul I. Surprenant, 82, a resident of Hampton since 1964 and formerly of Haverhill, died Thursday, October 4 at Merrimack Valley Hospice House in Haverhill.
Born in Haverhill, son of the late Joseph H. and Eva (LaFreniere) Surprenant, he attended Saint Joseph Grammar School and was a member of the Haverhill Trade School Class of 1947. He attended Chauncey Prep School in Boston and later received his bachelor of science degree in Engineering from Northeastern University. Mr. Surprenant served in the U.S. Navy as a Seaman First Class during the Korean Conflict and was stationed aboard the USS Wrangell.
Employed first as an engineer at AVCO in Wilmington, he later worked at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard until his retirement. During his lengthy professional career, Mr. Surprenant was involved with the development and building of the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile System as well as the designing and building of the USS Nautilus. He was also involved with the Apollo Space Program in the development of the spacecraft’s heat shield, which is on display at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C.
Mr. Surprenant and his wife, Claire, were the longtime former owners and operators of the Beach View Motor Inn of Hampton Beach and the Hampton Beach Supermarket from 1964 until 1998. They also owned and operated the Sea Castle Motel for several years.
An avid reader for all of his life, Mr. Surprenant was a member of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Parish of Hampton, The Cardinal Spellman Council of the Knights of Columbus and a Fourth Degree member of Fr. O’Doherty Assembly.
He is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Claire (Plante) Surprenant; a son, Stephen P. Surprenant of Hampton; a daughter, Marie Gould of Brewster; a brother, Edward Surprenant of Londonderry, N.H.; three grandchildren, Christyn Surprenant, Alex Surprenant, and Stephanie Gould, and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by a brother, Donald Surprenant.