Paul Fredrick DeBauge, December 16, 1938 - November 12, 2021, was born at Emporia, Kansas, to Laurent and Marian Mott DeBauge. He is survived by his wife of 31 years, Janice. He was married to Lucia Harcum from 1972-1984. The children from that union are Christiane DeBauge and granddaughter, Evelyn; son, John-Paul DeBauge; Suzanne DeBauge and granddaughters Violet, Abigail, and Amelia Cressler. Shawn Moore and Colin Moore also survive.
Paul has one brother, Laurent DeBauge (Barbara) of Marco Island, Florida, with sons Jeff and Brad and daughter, Andree and their families.
Paul graduated from the University of Kansas with an AB degree in mathematics and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Kansas Law School in 1963. After graduation and admission to the Kansas Bar, Paul entered Officer Candidate School in the U. S. Navy and served as Lieutenant on the destroyers USS Weeks and the USS Glover, including tours of duty in the Mediterranean, Red Sea, and the Caribbean. After honorable discharge in 1967, he returned to Emporia and joined the family business, DeBauge Bros. Inc., which his father had started as a produce business in the 1930's. With his brother, Laurent, beginning with the Coors Franchise, they expanded products and territory, ultimately including 23 counties and Jayhawk Beverage and Coca-Cola Bottling. After 40 years in franchising, he retired in 2007 when Crown Distributors purchased DeBauge Bros. Inc. and Jayhawk Beverage.
Paul believed in serving the community, state and nation that had nurtured him, as evidenced by decades of active leadership. He was especially devoted to the Flint Hills and Kahola Creek Ranch, which he cared for with conscientious stewardship. He was so proud of the revival and growth of Camp Wood YMCA, with which he labored for many years. A lifelong love of the ocean began while in the Navy and he felt particularly blessed to have spent much time over 20 years at his beloved Estrella del Mar in San Jose del Cabo. His love for and dedication to his family was clearly evident to all. He had a specifically expressed loyalty to and appreciation for his many employees over his 40 years of business leadership. He believed that every person could do something well and he strove to help them find that something. He loved France and enjoyed many trips there. He was pleased to introduce his children to their relatives in France and spent many happy times there and also with family from France in Lyon County. He loved the arts-both visual and aural--- and enjoyed hundreds of performances and museums in many countries with Janice during their 31 years together. He was a lifelong member of the United Methodist Church, in Emporia and in Lawrence. After moving to Lawrence, he enjoyed the lively discussions with friends at J and S Coffee on many weekday mornings.
His community service endeavors include: President of the Kansas Beer Wholesaler's Association; President of the Emporia Chamber of Commerce; Chairman of the Board, Kansas Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Founder and Chairman of the Board, Kansas Business Hall of Fame; Deputy Commanding General, Kansas Cavalry; Charter Member of the Kansas University Medical Center Advancement Board; Chairman of the Board, Kansas Environmental Council; Camp Wood YMCA Board of Directors and Co-Chair of the Capital Fund Drive; Chairman of the Board, Emporia Venture, Inc.; and President of Emporia Enterprises, Inc.
Board of Directors service includes: St. Mary's Hospital, Emporia; Regional Development Association of East Central, KS; Western Financial Corporation; Columbia Savings Association; Emporia Presbyterian Manor; Emporia Public Library; Newman Regional Health Foundation; Emporia State University President's Council; Kansas Liquor Law Review Commission; and Emporia State University School of Business Council of Advisors.
Emporia State University honored him with the University Service Citation in 1992.
Memorials to Camp Wood YMCA may be sent in care of Roberts Blue Barnett Funeral Home.
Cremation has taken place, and a memorial service will be held on November 23, 2021 at 2 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, Emporia, Kansas. The service will be available virtually for those who cannot attend in person at www.fumchurch.org
. Online condolences may be left at www.robertsblue.com
Published by Lawrence Journal-World on Nov. 16, 2021.