Paul, Donald K. – Obituary

La Grande, Oregon

Donald K. Paul, 81, long-time resident of La Grande, died April 14 at his home. Daniels-Knopp funeral home is in charge of arrangements.

A memorial service will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at the United Methodist Church in La Grande with a reception to follow.

Don was born June 7, 1926, to John E. and Mary K. Paul in Glendale, Calif. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1945, one day before his 18th birthday.

After basic training, he served as a troop trainer until the end of World War II. He re-enlisted and served during both Korean and Vietnam wars, for a total of 22 years.

He loved the service and served in Japan, Korea and Germany, plus Alaska and several other states. During this time, he raised five sons.

After leaving the Army, Don worked at Cape Kennedy and attended night school, training to become a teacher. He traveled to Oregon with three of his five sons, and bought property in Palmer Junction. He and his friend, Wes Falor, built a house and he lived happily there for several years.

In 1981 he married Lanetta Carter of La Grande, and they began building a home near Morgan Lake with help from Wes Falor. The house took 10 years to build as they did nearly all the work themselves.

Don taught science at La Grande Middle School for 19 years. He loved teaching, especially seventh- and eighth-graders. Don was the favorite teacher of many students, giving each of them a nickname and treating everybody as though they were special.

After retiring, Don enjoyed sailing with Dr. Bryce Young. They traveled to Costa Rica, the Galapagos Islands, Easter Island, Pitcairn, the Gambier Islands and the Tahitian Islands. He loved his boat, and he and Lanetta sailed in the San Juan Islands and Desolation Sound. Those who knew him say he felt lucky to have had such a marvelous retirement.

Don loved singing and had a beautiful bass voice. He sang in both the Community Church and United Methodist Church choirs, often performing solos. He enjoyed performing in musical theater at EOU.

He was also active in the Union County Democrats, Great Decisions and served on the Citizens Review Board for several years, aiding children of dysfunctional families.

For the past five years Don battled emphysema, never losing his optimistic spirit and sense of humor. He was a voracious reader and maintained a vital interest in world politics.

He is survived by his wife, Lanetta; five sons, Mark and Jeff of Florida, Brad of West Virginia, Michael of Spokane and Brian of La Grande; nieces and nephews; nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Army Emergency Relief Fund, the Don & Lanetta Paul Music Scholarship at EOU, the United Methodist Church Memorial Fund, the GRH Home Health/Hospice or any other charity in care of Daniels-Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande 97850.

La Grande Observer, Obituaries for the week ending April 19, 2008

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