PAUL E. PFAHLER, 87
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LAKELAND - Paul E. Pfahler of Lakeland, passed away at home on Monday, May 20, 2013, due to natural causes.
Paul was born to Rita O'Brien and John Lloyd Pfahler in Mansfield, Ohio. He graduated from Mansfield Senior High School. After graduation, he joined the United States Marine Corps in 1944 and fought in the South Pacific during the invasion of Okinawa and several other South Pacific islands in World War II.
He married Dorothy Ziegler in June 12, 1948. He graduated from Bowling Green State University in 1952 with a B.S. in Education. Paul was a member of Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity.
Paul coached football for three years in Elkton, Michigan with a record of 21 wins and one loss. He belonged to the Masonic Lodge in Elkton, Michigan.
Paul and Dorothy then moved to Boyne City, Michigan. Paul was a dedicated football coach and high school teacher for thirty years, and Dorothy worked faithfully by his side as an elementary teacher during the same time.
Paul has coached several State Championship football teams, and was elected into the Michigan High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame.
After retiring from teaching, Paul and Dorothy worked in Yellowstone National Park for many years. Paul was a back country ranger. After the big fire of 1988 in Yellowstone National Park, he had open heart surgery and could not go back to work at that altitude. He then took up painting as a hobby and was a very good painter.
Paul loved fly fishing and has fished from Alaska to Newfoundland. He loved golf and continued painting pictures in oils as a hobby.
They moved to Cypress Lakes Retirement Park in 1990. He joined the Big Cypress Men's Golf League and served one year as the League's president. He and Dorothy belong to the Pioneer Club at Cypress Lakes because of their charter membership in the park.
He loved everyone he met, often entertained friends in his home, and greatly enjoyed going on cruises.
He is survived by his wife of sixty five years, Dorothy Pfahler, sisters Janice Creps of Sabina, Ohio, Elaine Hall of Fruitland, Florida, and Helen Bollinger of Tiffin, Ohio, and sisters-in-law, Marge Kinsley and Ann Payton, his aunt, Helen Cabral, and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Rita O'Brien; his father, John Lloyd Pfahler; his stepmother, Mary Davidson Pfahler; three brothers, David, John, and James Pfahler; and five sisters, Patricia Whatman, Mary Strong, Margaret Hudnell, Maxine Smith, and Joanne MeKee.
Memorial Services will be at the Cypress Lakes Park on Friday, May 24, 2013 at 12:30 pm with burial in the Florida National Cemetery, Bushnell FL, at a later date.
Published in Ledger from May 22 to May 23, 2013