Paul Michael Wegner
October 21, 1960 - October 24, 2020
Meridian, Idaho - WE LIVED OUR LOVE STORY in the beauty of the extraordinary every day. Working hands, celebrating life and love and hard work; honoring the quiet strength between us.
Paul's parents were Donald E. Wegner and Janelle Juanita Jordon. Paul was ushered into this life on October 21, 1960 and became a part of "THE GOOD DIE YOUNG" club on October 24th, shockingly sudden, starting a planned time out playdate with me (his favorite person) and our 2 furry kids; Peanut and Penny. The lights went out of our hearts and world on that night. Paul was the most beautiful MAN that I have ever known and I thank God for putting stamps on our heads to be gifts delivered to each other and have a once in a lifetime love.
Paul was born in American Falls with siblings Jondrea, Kimmy, Keri and Dana. He decided to join the Army and that enabled him a scholastic opportunity that was dear to his heart. He graduated with a Batchelor of Science Degree in 1988 in Sociology. Paul was also a Certified Executive Chef, and he was self taught. He was a Giant Self Made Man, and in all areas of his life he gave to others, looking for nothing in return. He designed the culinary kitchen in the Jabil bldg and was a teacher and true mentor with students and staff alike. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone to have less than stellar feelings and comments about Paul…. what a gift he was! Paul's trust in people was so great that he would leave his keys visible on the floor board and I'd joke him by saying "why don't you make sure there's a full tank of gas and keep the motor running!"
Fun stuff to know about Paul….He worked at THE FLICKS for 10 years…and it was our favorite "date" place. He was a skateboard champion. He was a hard core concert fan, and we shared loving Neil Young and Styx…. Harvest Moon and Chrystal Ball were our favorites. He's got quite the collection of t-shirts and ticket stubs from the 70's through this year. He loved music so, so much! He had a saxophone and taken some lessons, but decided that was to be continued as a retirement idea, and also a beautiful guitar our friend Russ Martin helped surprise him with from me. Cooking seafood was his favorite and also the Kobe burgers…. he was a mama bear and wanted you to eat them at our place to have the optimum experience…but if they were to go, he gave special reheat instructions that often came with a low growl ! He loved Sunday naps ! He had a front row, center seat in solving things and had a Masters in jerryrigging and had more done each day by 9:30 than 3 people in 2 weeks. Paul was the most humble man ever. He never looked for nods in his direction and was so very masterful at his craft. You could come in our restaurant and point and go away happy, He made special occasion 5 course dinners that would knock your socks off and never once acted like… Look at me !He could make Peanut Butter and Jelly look like you were eating uptown! My pride for and about Paul is beyond measure. He MADE LOVE AN ACTION VERB! He spoiled me, as his favorite person, in so many ways everyday; He made me know I was the only woman in the room for him and we were really blessed to share our best features to create our little boutique restaurant by the Betty Washwoman…. Great Food, People and shared times ! After a death in our family I told Paul, if I drop dead tomorrow, YOU are the one person I want to be around….. what have we got between us? I got it… Your talent and my mouth…. You make it and I will tell them why they want it! Paulie Boy did all the grown up and heavy lifting and anything to do with numbers in it, because I didn't care. My passion was people and our restaurant, my playground. We were practical pig and frivolous pig and us together…. worked! So, that was the beginning of Cucina di Paolo… and we had 29 years because we decided quitting was not an option! The over the top sadness halted our plan to exit our business with a bang, doing 5 course reserved dinners. The picture on our puzzle box was to have playdates with each other and our puppies. … little did we know, God would hand us a different picture.
Paul's children, Francie, Robert, Richard, Ash and Peanut and Penny (last 2 have 4 feet) were a cherished part of his life….They have had the monumental gift all he's shown them by example and for their lives ,that will guide them for always. The biggest gift to them was witnessing him love their mother. Oh, my goodness, in dying he left such a huge footprint and all of us wishing we could rewind the tape! Paul gave me Paul! Maui became our "just for us" time and we worked for it all year. Paul loved golfing, watching football (Vikings!) boxing, wrestling, fishing and the "Voice" and "Price is Right" tv shows… He "won " cars all the time and even made an indoor PIR game of his invention to play with Ashton, our 5 yr old grandson! He loved my country cooking…I was his casserole queen ! I will always enjoy remembering him saying…"yummy yummy" no matter what I made.
I think Paul would think his most important legacy is what we made of our lives and family together. He was a giant among men and will remain our tough bar to reach, as it hangs just this side of the stars. Death is the loudest wake up call to the living. HEED IT. I am left as he took flight and i feel like a flight risk for being our "sequel" alone and so very lonesome for him. Loving Paul, was the best part of me. Paul, adoringly called me and Penny and Peanut his 3 girls….and now we have to know that God will have him be the shiniest star in the galaxy…being an action figure and not a myth. How many people can say "we live together - work together- sleep together and we still want to date each other!" "Paul, my sweet, sweet husband, best friend and love of my soul, I know you will whisper to me; save my place till we meet again sweetheart"..All my love, Jeanie!!! Remember kisses come in 3's!
Celebrating Paul's life will be an honor and at a date not yet determined.
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Published by Idaho Statesman from Nov. 22 to Nov. 25, 2020.