July 4, 1946
September 10, 2020
Paul Edward Hartsel, 74, of Vinton, Virginia, passed away on Thursday, September 10, 2020.
He was born in Roanoke, Va., on July 4, 1946, to Frank and Mary Elizabeth Hartsel. Paul grew up in Vinton and attended William Byrd High School where he was a star athlete in football, basketball and track. After high school, Paul continued his football career at Fort Scott Community College in Kansas.
After two years at Fort Scott, he finished his college football career as a defensive end with the University of Miami Hurricanes. During his football career Paul received many accolades and awards, including induction into the Fort Scott Community College Hall of Fame in 2005, and the NJCAA Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2009. He remained life-long friends with many of his Fort Scott teammates. The "Miami U" was celebrated proudly by his children and grandchildren in his honor.
Paul was also a naturally talented and passionate golfer, spending many days on the links with great friends. He mastered many courses, and often shared that "Time spent golfing is not deducted from one's lifespan."
Paul received a Bachelors in Education degree from the University of Miami and returned to Roanoke to be a Physical Education Teacher for Roanoke County Public Schools for 33 years. He educated and inspired thousands of children with his warm smile, high expectations, and calming encouragement. Everywhere Paul went he was recognized by a former student sharing stories of "Mr. Hartsel" as their favorite teacher and his influence on their life. Paul was equally loved by his many colleagues and life-long friends within Roanoke County Public Schools. During his career, Paul taught at Roland E. Cook Elementary, Cave Spring Elementary, Clearbrook Elementary, Back Creek Elementary, and W.E Cundiff Elementary.
Paul is survived by his wife of 34 years, Bonnie Hartsel. Upon their first meeting, arranged by close friend, Dan Hudson, they were smitten with each other. Their love and devotion to each other was admired and envied by all their family and friends. A true love story, and a marriage made in Heaven.
Paul is also survived by his brother, Cliff Hartsel; daughters, Karen Williams and Kim Poff; stepchildren, Linda Hodges, David Short, and Cathy Watson; 10 adoring grandchildren; and numerous other family members and life-long friends and neighbors.
Paul was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Bob, Norman, and Donnie Hartsel; and son, Mark Hartsel.
A Celebration of Paul's Life will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, September 15, 2020, at Grace Family Church, 2021 Hardy Road, Vinton, VA 24179, with Pastor Rodger Hogan officiating. Interment will follow at Mountain View Cemetery, Vinton, Va. His family will receive friends on Tuesday from 12 noon until 1:30 p.m. at Grace Family Church. Masks and social distancing will be required.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Paul's memory may be made to Midland Baptist Church, 460 Dale Avenue, Vinton, VA 24179, or to Grace Family Church, 2021 Hardy Road, Vinton, VA 24179. The family encourages people to go online and share memories of Paul and condolences at www.oakeys.com