He is actually my Great Uncle Paul, my grandpop’s brother. He lived in Knoxville, TN since 2008. This allowed me to visit him several times when driving past the Knoxville area. He was always welcoming and going out for a meal was always involved in the visit.
I was lucky enough to see Grandpop and Uncle Paul together last fall to celebrate their September birthdays and a combined 186 years! It was humbling to know the amazing lives of those two and to be in their presence.
Uncle Paul passed in his sleep March 19, 2017. His step-daughter, Barbara, presided over the grave-side service. Below is a transcript and wonderful summary of Uncle Paul:
Barbara: …Paul was a very, very private person. He had one of the sharpest minds I have ever known and he seemed to enjoy a challenge of any kind that he was involved in. He liked the challenge at work, on the golf course, and even solving the daily crossword puzzle and jumble in the newspaper. He and I did that every morning.
He was definitely a numbers man. He compared his figures out throughout the years for business and we found reams of paperwork where he had compared his figures.
He had a really dry sense of humor, or I thought that he did. He would throw out an unexpected remark that would make you laugh. His niece, Nancy, recalls a fond memory of the occasion, on the birthday while she was at UT, that Paul took her to Gatlinburg to eat, but on the way he had very little to say. Wilma encouraged her to continue talking and said eventually Paul would say something and he did – he asked “Are you ever quiet?”
Paul and I became closer friends after mom’s death and I am going to really miss him, especially our daily morning breakfasts at the Crystal, which was a big thing with us. Everyone we became acquainted with there enjoyed talking to Paul, that is if he had his hearing aide in. He got a big kick out of everybody thinking how much younger he looked than his age. They thought he and I looked the same age.
He enjoyed sports, but his great love was golf, at which he really excelled. He spent many happy hours on the golf course, but I feel he is even happier now being with God, Mom, his parents, and his golfing buddies. No more health problems, or worries for Paul, and his lonely times are gone. We are all really going to miss Paul.
Would anybody else like to say anything in memory for him?
Linda (niece): I am his other niece, Linda, and I remember the summer I was 16, my family had gone down to Oakridge for vacation. I stayed two weeks longer and Uncle Paul taught me how to water ski. My husband, who I had just started dating at the time, his family had a boat and they all water skied and I knew nothing about it, but I was determined that I had to learn to water ski. So I took those two weeks and you know Paul didn’t really say a lot and I also didn’t really say much, so I am sure it was pretty comical, a silent learning how to water ski. By the end of the two weeks, I had managed to accomplish that.
Shannon (step-granddaughter): Within the last few years, I got some bad news, I ended up with breast cancer and Paul came to the hospital and spent the whole time with me. It meant a lot to me. That is my fondest memory and probably the closest me and Paul have ever been. He was there for me when I needed him the most.
Linda (niece): I would also like to say, I was not very close to my uncle because of distance, but in the past 2 ½ years we have seen him more than I have since I was married and we really enjoyed it. I know my dad was really forming a special bond with Paul because my sister was bringing him here to visit when she would go to a UT game. I know they were forming a deep bond and he loved it. That was all dad wanted for his birthday was to come and spend it with Paul. Dad really wanted to be here.
Logan (step-great grandson): The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restores my soul: he leadeth me in the path of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou prepares a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23 KJV
To celebrate Uncle Paul, Mom, Dad, Peter, and I had breakfast at Crystal. I had the “Uncle Paul Special.”
The workers at Crystal all knew Uncle Paul. It was heartwarming to see how his daily breakfasts there impacted the workers. I am constantly amazed at how God locates friends and family and orchestrates work and trips as to spend time with those in our lives.