Paul McCreary

Obituary of Paul Matthew McCreary

Paul Matthew McCreary, 51, formerly of San Ramon, passed on December 13, 2021, at his home in Chico, with his family at his side after bravely battling cancer.

Son to Thomas and Fran McCreary, born in Livermore, CA, he was a member of the Foothill High School class of 1988 and went on to graduate from Chico State University in 1992 with a BS in Recreation and Parks Administration and Business Administration. There, he met his wife Suzy (McCarthy). The two married in 1994 and had two children, Joy and Matt. He earned his master’s degree from the University of San Francisco in 2008 and a certificate from the UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy in 2012.

Paul worked his way through the ranks of Parks and Community Services for the City of Dublin for 20 years, starting as Pool Manager and eventually serving as Parks and Community Services Director from 2011-2016. He expanded the Dublin St. Patrick’s Day Festival, helped Dublin earn the recognition of 2011 All American City, and promoted the Sister-city program with Bray, Ireland. He was instrumental in the programming and oversight of the Dublin Swim Center and the planning and design of The Wave at Emerald Glen Park.  Paul had a hand in the planning and design of many of Dublin's excellent parks and facilities. The Shannon Community Center was conceptualized during his tenure. His favorite project was the Dublin Heritage Park which preserves historic buildings and interprets the history of Dublin.

In 2016, Paul took the position of General Manager of the Hayward Area Recreation District until his retirement on September 30, 2020. There, he made significant contributions and impacts that prepared HARD for the future with responsible fiscal stewardship, and administrative oversight to meet the ongoing and changing needs of the 300,000 residents served by the District. One of his proudest accomplishments was the passing of Ballot Measure F1 in 2016, resulting in a 250 million dollar bond- an unprecedented achievement for the recreation district. He also held particular pride in the development of Mia’s Dream Come True: All Abilities Playground.

Paul’s 30 years of experience in recreational services, capital projects, land acquisition, park planning and development were inspired by his summer experiences.  From the age of 7 to 15, he attended Echo Mountain Ranch camp in the Santa Cruz Mountains. This is where his love for recreation and leadership blossomed. He will be remembered by his fellow campers for writing the camp newsletter and planning camper reunions in the off season.  Summers at the Pleasanton Aquatic Center and Dublin Swim Center from the age of 16-21 allowed him opportunities to lead and manage.  He made lifelong friends during his summers at the pools and laid the earliest foundation of his career. As an adult, Paul spent summers at Pine Grove Resort and Cobb Mountain in Lake County.  He was immediately embraced by the Pine Grove family and enjoyed many years at his cabin with friends and family.

Paul moved with Suzy to Chico in 2020. In his short time in Chico he gave back to the community by serving on the University Foundation Audit Committee and the Bidwell Park and Playground Commission.  In honor of his mother Fran, he established an annual scholarship for students in the College of Communication & Education at CSU, Chico. During this last year, Paul was proud to become a board trustee of the California Foundation for Parks and Recreation, which serves to champion parks, recreation, and related community services with the intent of promoting healthy communities.

The McCreary family is grateful for the support of so many friends during his fight against cancer, especially Laura and Dennis Miller.

Paul was preceded in death by his parents, Tom and Fran McCreary.

Paul is survived by his wife Suzy, children Joy and Matt, his parents-in-law Beth and Frank

McCarthy, brothers-in-law and their wives, Patrick McCarthy (Cathy) and Brian McCarthy (Felicia), McCreary cousins Lew, Janet, and Patti, Rich and Laura Trygar, Katie Salpas, his nieces Emily and Lauren, as well as his lately found and treasured family: Brandy Nelson (Carin), Casey Cowin (Lakisha), Cory Cowin, Ruth Poole, and the Lockwood Family

The McCreary family encourages donations to be made to the California Foundation for

Parks & Recreation.

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