– George Paul never met a person with whom he didn’t want to swap fishing stories. He never met anyone whose hand he didn’t want to shake or a person that he wasn’t eager to get to know. He was a Montana boy, through and through, loving fishing, hunting, sailing, boating and skiing. He died on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2016, after learning that his son had fully recovered from open-heart surgery, that his fifth great-grandchild had been born on Dec. 21 and after wishing everyone Merry Christmas. He battled cancer and heart disease with courage and his ever-present sense of humor.
Born in Dillon on April 8, 1932, George was the youngest child of Eileen and Frank Paul. He adored his older siblings, Robert Paul and Mary Jane Paul Shelledy. The Paul family grew up in Butte, America. George moved with his parents to Missoula in 1944.
At Missoula High, George excelled in football and went on to the University of Illinois on a football scholarship. Following an injury, he returned to the University of Montana where he received a B.A. in business administration. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army upon graduation.
George married the love of his life, Nancy Brodie, a Missoula native and fellow graduate of Missoula High School, in 1954. They moved to Fort Benning, Georgia, where their first daughter, Cynthia, was born. George was promoted to Captain while stationed at Fort Lewis in Tacoma, Washington. The family returned to Missoula so George could work in in his dad’s store, Paul’s Town and Country. George and Nancy’s son, Dan, and another daughter, Melissa, were born in Missoula.
George went on to a long career as an Allstate Insurance salesman where he loved his work with clients and he eventually brought his son, Dan, into the business. George was deeply immersed in Missoula: He was a member of the M Club, Odd Fellows, Eagles and the Elks. Throughout his life, George loved sports, ranging from Nascar to baseball to basketball and everything in between, but particularly Grizzly football.
George’s beloved wife, Nancy, predeceased him in 2003 as did his parents and siblings. Following Nancy’s death, George shared his time with Gay Ann Hainline.
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He is survived by his children, Cynthia Paul Szwajkowski (Les), Daniel Paul (Dorothy) and Melissa Paul Ottinger and daughter-in-law Marilyn Paul; grandchildren Matthew (Susannah) Szwajkowski, Mary (Szwajkowski) Miller, Angela Ottinger, Melanie Szwajkowski and Kara Paul; five great-grandchildren, Avery, Garrett and Taryn Szwajkowski, Finley and Selah Miller; nephew David Shelledy and niece Pat Shelledy.
There will be a Memorial Mass at St. Francis Xavier in Missoula on Friday, Dec. 30, at 10:30 a.m. Burial will take place at Sunset Memorial Gardens at a later date.
The family would like to thank the staff at The Springs for their warm support of George. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to St. Francis Church for the assistance of those in need. Condolences for George’s family may be left at sunsetfuneralhomecemetery.com.