Jose Noriega-Paz, 80, formerly of Wauseon, went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2020, in Lady Lake, Fla. He was born Jan. 25, 1941, in Havana, Cuba, where his father served as the Spanish ambassador. He married Carol Dunbar Alipour-Paz, his wife of 17 years, and she survives.
Jose was educated in both Spain and Venezuela, became a journalist and sportswriter in Caracas, and the Spanish-speaking radio announcer for all major league baseball games in the United States for Coca Cola. As the face of Coca Cola he promoted Coke and Gillette products throughout Spain and the Caribbean.
After moving to the United States, Jose graduated from the Culinary Institute of Hyde Park, N.Y. He worked hard, saved his money, and eventually owned restaurants and hotels in New York, Virginia, California, and Nevada. He became know as the "Paella King" due to his mastery of the Spanish national dish.
Jose became an enormously proud naturalized citizen of the United States and served in the U.S. Justice Department. Jose and Carol owned and operated Perfumes and More in Wauseon. A creative entrepreneur, Jose began distributing Mama Inez Coffee, which soon became the official coffee of the Toledo Mud Hens.
He was a strong believer in supporting the community, becoming a top salesman for the Wauseon Rotary Club's annual auction and co-founding the Amigos' Club, which raised thousands of dollars for children with diabetes. He also inspired Wauseon's Chili Cook-Off, with early meetings held in Jose and Carol's store.
Jose also produced a local radio program, "Women to Women," hosted by Carol. This led to a local Fox Television program of the same name in Carson, Nev.
He is also survived by four sons residing in Spain, Venezuela, Holland, and Costa Rica.
Private services will be conducted at Wauseon Union Cemetery at a future date.
The Baldwin Brothers Funeral Home in Ocala, Fla., oversaw arrangements.