McCarron, Paul Age 79, of Spring Lake Park, distinguished city, county and state public official and businessman who left a legacy for all of us, died on Sunday, August 11, 2013. With a tremendous heart for serving others no longer able to sustain him, God called him home to join his parents, brother, Lois' parents, Kathleen, Marie, Ruth, Emma, Tom, Al and many other family and friends. Paul was born in South Minneapolis to John William, County Monaghan, Ireland and Grace (Judd) McCarron from Morris, MN. As the son of an immigrant, Paul was proud of his Irish citizenship/passport and loved all things Irish. He attended Washburn High School and joined the Navy at age 16, where he attended the Navy Printers School, serving as a printer, journalist and photographer on the Admiral's staff of the USS Pocono. After 4 years in the Navy, he returned home and attended St. Thomas College (now University), as well as having attended various management and government training seminars throughout his career. A strong advocate for health, human services, veterans, library and environmental issues at the local, state and national levels during his (40+) years of public service, McCarron began his public service career in 1969 on the Spring Lake Park City Council. He later served on the Spring Lake Park City Sewer Commission and as Acting Mayor of Spring Lake Park. Other involvement included the Anoka County Joint Law Enforcement Council, the North Suburban Sanitary Sewer Board Commission, the North Suburban Sewer Service Area Joint Powers Board and the Sanitary Sewer District Advisory Committee. In 1972, McCarron was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives. During his 10 years with the Minnesota House, he chaired the House Claims Committee and was widely recognized as the architect of the landmark Omnibus Ways and Means Legislative Proposal for Social Services, including mental health. He also served as both vice chair and chair of the House Appropriation Division for Health, Welfare and Corrections, and as chair for both the House Subcommittee on Law Enforcement and the Minnesota House Elections Committee. In 1982, McCarron was elected to the Anoka County Board of Commissioners and, through that post, he chaired the Anoka County Intergovernmental Committee, the Anoka County Welfare Board, the Anoka County Solid Waste Abatement Advisory Task Force, and the Anoka County Regional Railroad Authority. He was an early and continuing advocate for light and commuter rail and with Commissioner Dan Erhart was instrumental in developing the North Star Commuter Rail. While working on a county level, McCarron continued his support of state affairs through his involvement with the Metropolitan Inter-County Association, the Metropolitan Waste Control Commission, the Minnesota Hazardous Waste Planning Council, the Governor's Advisory Council on State/Local Relations (ACSLR), the Association of Minnesota Counties Board, the Minnesota Advisory Committee on Mental Health, the Metropolitan Council Advisory Committee on Light Rail Transit, the Minnesota Association of Urban Counties, the Joint Light Rail Transportation Advisory Committee, and the Regional Solid Waste Management Task Force. Nationally, McCarron served on the National Association of Counties Board and was vice chair of their Steering Committee for Human Services. After retiring as Anoka County Commissioner in 2003, Paul continued as the Chair of the Anoka County Housing and Redevelopment Authority/Economic Development Commission, the only Chair for 30 years, chairing his last meeting on June 25th, two days before entering the hospital. Among his achievements as Chair, he was instrumental in coordinating between the cities and county to achieve the development of the National Sports Center Schwann's Super Rink in Blaine. In the private sector, Paul was President and General Manager of McGregor Agri-Corporation from 1976 until 2002. Each week he drove at least one day to the plant in McGregor, MN to oversee operations and visit his second home in Shamrock Township. After selling the business to his Office Manager and a partner, Paul continued making the sales trips to Iowa, Texas, Arkansas and Kansas until 2012. Paul loved music, especially Irish traditional, Bluegrass and Jazz, winters in Florida, annual trips to Europe (always including Ireland) and had a personal library of 5,000-8,000 books. In addition to his public service, Paul loved to participate in community service beginning with the Spring Lake Park Jaycees, as its President. He was currently a life member of Spring Lake Park Lions, receiving the highest Melvin Jones, Helen Keller, Lion of the Year and other awards, and the Fridley-Columbia Heights Rotary, with 6 Paul Harris Fellow awards. Paul was a life member of the Anoka Disabled American Veterans, DAV Auxiliary, Fridley American Legion, Spring Lake Park VFW, 40 and 8, Korean War Veterans and a member of the Anoka County Veterans Council. For many years he chaired the Minneapolis Navy Recruiting District Advisory Council, which supported the local Navy Recruiters. Paul was currently Vice Chair of the MN Legislative Society, an organization of former state legislators, and a member of the Clogher Historical Society (Ireland), Navy League, Florida Naval Sailors, USS Pocono, and the Navy Lithographers Associations. McCarron is survived by his beloved wife and soulmate, Lois; son, Shane (Alexis Lomen); daughter, Janet (Dennis) Jorgenson-Rathke; grandchildren, Dennis Taylor, Nicholas Paul, Mariahna, Jessica, Aiden, Madeira, and 10 honorary grandchildren in Ireland, 2 in England, and 2 in Peru. Paul is also survived by brothers-in-law, Walter (Bonnee) Buhl, Scott Johnson (Ruth Buhl deceased); many cousins, nieces and nephews; Lions exchange daughters, Mariko (Japan/England), Claudia (Peru), Marcela (Slovakia) and Amanda (Germany); his county, Navy, Florida, Ireland, Slovakia, England, Lion, Rotary, DAV and American Legion families; and many friends nationally and internationally. Mass of Christian Burial 1:00 pm Saturday, August 17, at the Church of St. Cecilia, 2357 Bayless Place, St. Paul. Visitation 1 hour prior to Mass at the church and 4:00-8:00 pm Friday, August 16 with 7 pm DAV/DAVA and American Legion Services at Washburn-McReavy, Coon Rapids Chapel, 1827 Coon Rapids Blvd., Coon Rapids, MN. A luncheon will be served at the Fridley American Legion Post 303 after the services. Following the funeral, Paul will be returned to the Anatomy Bequest Program at the University of Minnesota to support the education of health professionals. Inurnment will be at Fort Snelling National Cemetery at a later date. The University of Minnesota Foundation has created a Paul McCarron Sleep Medicine Fund for the purpose of optimizing patient care pathways in sleep medicine with a focus on heart failure and sleep-disordered breathing. The prevalence and morbidity of both sleep apnea and heart failure have been increasing and there is a need for improving continuity of care and collaboration between inpatient and outpatient services. Those interested in supporting this fund should address contributions to the Paul McCarron Sleep Medicine Fund of the University of Minnesota Foundation, PO Box 860266, Minneapolis, MN 55486-0266. Sunday I lost my Best Friend The one that I love Laugh, cry, dream with and live for Without end. Fair Winds & Following Seas, My Love
This obituary was originally published in the Star Tribune.