Donald Willis Paul, 90, long time resident of Atlantic, passed away to be with his Lord, on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013 at his home following an extended battle with cancer.
The second son of J.R. and Lorena Alice Whitaker Paul, he was born Oct. 30, 1922, on the family farm near Elgin, Neb. He learned early the value of hard work while assisting with the family farm, both clearing and farming this land for many years. He graduated from Brunswick High School in Brunswick, Neb. in 1940.
He continued to assist on the family farm, until they lost their farm and had to relocate. He then became an apprentice to a nationally renowned fur trapper, where he developed his tremendous love for the wilderness and wildlife. With further economic hardships, he was forced to make another major change. He attended numerous courses and became a bonded agent for Metropolitan Life Insurance, and relocated to the Cass County area to service the neighboring farming communities.
Don was a dedicated hard working member of this community. In addition to his 40 years servicing the insurance and estate planning needs of the farmers in this area, he devoted his talents to assist his community in multiple ways. He was moved by his relationship with God to minister Christ's love both through his testimony of being saved by grace and carrying the Christian message to others in the community. He was active in his church serving as Deacon, Trustee, and Sunday School Teacher at First Baptist Church of Atlantic and Brayton Baptist Church. He also was active it community government, helping to organize and register the voters in the area. As a self taught left-hander he learned to play many stringed instruments from the reverse side. He regularly shared his talents and deep love for music by performing with his wife, Mona Tompkin Paul, at various local extended-care facilities and homes. Don's request was that his remains be donated to the University of Iowa
Medical School so that others might benefit in their studies and research.
A granite memorial bench in Donald's honor has been placed at the Wilson Island Information Center at DeSoto Bend National Wildlife Refuge. This was donated by a friend who has marked it with his name plaque.
Don was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Jeanne Goff Paul; brother, Lee, who passed away at the age of three as the result of a drowning accident; brother, Jesse Paul; one sister that passed away at a young age; and a step-daughter, Judith Ann Goff.
Don is survived by his wife, Mona Tompkin Paul of Atlantic; his step-son, Richard and Charlene Goff and their son Bryan of California; step-daughter, Janet Elaine (Goff) Martin and children (Josh and Joy Martin) of Des Moines; step-sons Mark (Denise) Tompkin of Rochester, Minn. and Aaron (Keisha) Tompkin of Iowa City; step-daughter, Marcia Tompkin of Flagstaff, Ariz.; a step-grandson, David Starlin of Des Moines; a sister, Gladys Rouch of Denver, Colo.; and other siblings, grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
A memorial service for Donald Paul will be held Saturday, Nov. 9 at 10:30 a.m. at Roland Funeral Service in Atlantic with Pastor Dan Dark officiating. Following the service, friends and family are invited to enjoy a dessert reception at Roland's.
Roland Funeral Service of Atlantic is caring for Don's family and the arrangements. Condolences may be left in his guest book at www.rolandfuneralservice.com.