Larry Paul(1940-2012)

(NEWS ARTICLE) FREMONT - Larry Paul, a longtime Fremont junior high history teacher, a retired colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, and a hunter who was honored as a waterfowl conservationist, died Sept. 5 in his home near Onaway, Mich. He was 71.

He had pancreatic cancer, which was not detected until late May when he had an unrelated procedure, his wife, Linda, said.

He and his wife moved seven years ago to their hunting cabin on the Black River in northeastern lower Michigan's Presque Isle County.

In 2006, Ohio Ducks Unlimited named him its first Ohio Volunteer Conservationist of the Year. He was a former co-chairman of the group's Fremont chapter.

His father introduced him to hunting, and Mr. Paul became a supporter of habitat conservation.

"He was real instrumental in trying to preserve what we have and give back," said Todd Williams, former co-chairman of the Fremont chapter. The chapter's annual dinner, scheduled for Sept. 19, has been named in his honor.

Mr. Paul retired in 1992 from the Fremont City Schools, which hired him to teach in the 1960s. He was a student of American history and a historic re-enactor.

During a section on the U.S. Civil War, he might come to class in uniform with relics of the era "to give kids actual first-hand information," said Art Bucci, retired director of athletics in the Fremont schools, who was a friend and protege. "He was a gentleman. You don't hear people use that term any more," Mr. Bucci said. "He was very well mannered, very soft spoken."

Early in his teaching career, Mr. Paul worked in the Hilliard and Lakota school systems.

In retirement, he presented programs to schools and groups in which he portrayed enlisted soldiers from the Civil War through the Vietnam War. He also taught in Terra Community College's ElderCollege.

A graduate of Gibsonburg High School, he was in ROTC at Ohio State University and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army when he graduated. His military career included 12 years in active duty and 18 years in the reserve. He was injured during a tour of duty in the Vietnam War and received a Purple Heart, his wife said. He was an alumnus of the Army War College.

One Army assignment was in connection with the rifle and pistol matches at Camp Perry. Off duty, he took party in muzzle-loading rifle championships. His last Army assignment was as commander of the 2nd Battalion, 11th Special Forces Group. He retired in 1992.

His first wife, Judith, preceded him in death.

Surviving are his wife, Linda, whom he married June 23, 1995; stepdaughter Laura Ward; stepson Mark Gargus; sister Ann Flegle, and six step-grandsons.

Memorial services and a military honor guard ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday in Fremont VFW Post 2947, of which he was a past commander. Arrangements are by the Chagnon Funeral Home, Onaway, Mich. The family suggests tributes to St. Paul Church, Onaway; Ducks Unlimited; the Society of the 1st Division, or a .

Contact Mark Zaborney at: or 419-724-6182.

Published in Toledo Blade on Sept. 12, 2012