Paul Schulz, March 9, 2016

Paul and Edna 3

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”—F. Scott Fitzgerald—

The main thing I can tell you about Paul is that he was full of love. He loved his wife, Edna with an intensity that few could know. Paul loved his family, his mother, Barbara, his niece Margot His brother, J.R., and J.R.’s wife, Christine, and his granny, Jane Schulz. Paul also loved Dekie, his step-mother. He loved his uncles, aunts, and cousins, and he loved to get hugs from just about everybody. I never had any doubts that he loved me, his “daddy-o.” –And everyone loved Paul.

Paul was full of humor and laughter. He could wring a laugh out of the saddest person. He loved to make people laugh just because he loved people and he wanted them to be happy.

Paul was helpful. If you ever needed help with anything, all you had to do was call Paul and he would be there with a smile on his face. He was independent, too. He rarely asked for much of anything.

Paul was kind. He hated seeing anybody or anything being mistreated. On the other hand, he loved children—and they loved him. He loved cats and dogs and they loved him. He knew just which spots needed petting. I guess you could say that about his treatment of people, too. He knew just which psychological spots needed stroking. He knew how to make you feel good.

When Paul wanted something he went after it wide open. When he figured out that he loved Edna, I watched as he bought a house, fixed it up, landscaped the yard, and then got married and moved in. One of my fondest Paul stories is of the time he was doing some intricate wiring on a sprinkler system. He got aggravated, looked at me and said, “Damn, Dad. Don’t give me something like this to do. Give me a sledge hammer and a brick wall to take out.” Paul would get frustrated at times, but he would work his way around it.

A few weeks ago, Paul and I drove up to see his granny—that is, Paul drove, I rode along and listened to his memories, thoughts, and philosophical ramblings. At one point, Paul started giggling. I asked why and he replied, “I was just thinking about when I was four or five and granny and I were playing baseball in the pasture and she slid and sat down on some cow dookie. That was funny. We laughed and laughed.”

He knew an amazing assortment of seemingly un-related facts. One of his rules was, “only bet on a sure thing,” and he stuck with it, too. If you ever made a bet with Paul you were sure to lose.

I’ll bet you one thing, Paul—I’m sure going to miss you.
Tell Billy say hi for me

Paul and the worm

35 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Danny Wade
    Mar 14, 2016 @ 16:52:00

    Dear Mr. John,
    I have just heard about Paul. I am so sorry to hear about it. Paul was a great guy and I really enjoyed getting to know you better when you used to come into the hardware store. Again, I am so sorry.
    Danny Wade


  2. Scott Kinsey
    Mar 14, 2016 @ 16:13:41

    I m very sorry for your loss, John. Joe Underwood introduced me to one hell of a tribe.


  3. Pollye Pruitt
    Mar 14, 2016 @ 09:57:22

    John, I am so sorry to learn of Paul’s passing. What a wonderful tribute you have written. May you, Dekie, Barbara, Edna, Jane, and the rest of your amazing family find peace in your memories. As my tears for all of you are flowing, I am also smiling as I think of Paul’s granny sitting in cow dookie. God Bless You.


  4. Anja Koster-de Wit
    Mar 13, 2016 @ 08:11:04

    Dear John, just on the day Jos and Mary arrived at our home, they heard of the sad news about Paul. Jan Hendrik and I have just read your writing about Paul. Such a fine person and so many beautiful memories you all must have of your lives with him. We are very sorry for your loss and our hearts go out to you and your family in these very difficult times.

    Also on behalf of our parents Theo and Truus de Wit,
    Gerda en Paul Spindelaar
    Anja en Jan Hendrik Koster


  5. Denise
    Mar 12, 2016 @ 23:09:42

    I am very sorry to hear if your loss. From your tribute I can tell you have had beauty in your life. And you will continue to do so each time your thoughts turn to your son.
    Keeping your family in our thoughts.


  6. Denise
    Mar 12, 2016 @ 23:06:34

    I am so very sorry for your loss. From your tribute I can tell that you have had beauty in your life. And you will continue to have it each time your thoughts turn to your son.
    Keeping your family in our thoughts.


  7. Diane warner
    Mar 12, 2016 @ 09:45:53

    John and Dekie,
    My heart hurts so badly for you and your family. I cannot imagine the heartache you feel. I wish I had met Paul. The tribute to Paul is beautiful and I expected nothing less coming from you John. Plesee know you all are in my thoughts and prayers.
    I love you both!


  8. Melinda Ryan
    Mar 12, 2016 @ 08:23:48

    My friend, I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with your family. May peace be with you!


  9. Sandy Lusk
    Mar 12, 2016 @ 02:55:30

    John & Dekie: It is with extreme sadness, sympathy and compassion that I extend my heartfelt condolences to you in the passing of your son. Such a shock to learn this devastating news. I never had the pleasure of meeting Paul but your eulogy to him was so very, very touching. Your writings always have a way of painting emotions that touches everyone in some way when they read them. I know words cannot possibly relieve your sorrow but a good friend of mine said very wise and inspirational words once upon a time: “Everything is going to be alright (…………in time). Prayers, comfort and healing to you and the family.


  10. Mysticalwriter
    Mar 11, 2016 @ 21:01:42

    Am so sorry to read about your loss, my thoughts & prayers go out to all of you

    God Bless


  11. Jimmye Grimes
    Mar 11, 2016 @ 19:14:49

    Oh, John. I am so sorry for your loss. I didn’t know that Paul was sick. The things you shared about him are so special. I know it is difficult to lose a fine and fun young man like Paul. Your thoughts about Paul are the finest I have ever heard. God bless and much love.


  12. Nancy & John
    Mar 11, 2016 @ 17:20:08

    John & Dekie, John & I send it ur condolences on your lose of your son Paul. Hat beautiful words. Hard to lose a child, even when they’re grown. Bless you both and your family at this this.


  13. Shirl Willis
    Mar 11, 2016 @ 17:02:13

    John and Dekie, I know you not, other than from the words we share here on social media but I know your heart is hurting from this loss. I’m so sorry and I’m praying that God will ease the pain and give you peace.


  14. Mary L Kuster
    Mar 11, 2016 @ 16:23:02

    Sincere condolences


  15. Yolanda Magee
    Mar 11, 2016 @ 14:51:36

    Dear John,
    I wish I had the power of writing or speaking, for then I would describe to you how much sadness Nelson and I feel for you and family. We understand death for the first time when it puts its hand upon one whom we love.
    Please accept our deep condolences


  16. Dot Fletcher
    Mar 11, 2016 @ 14:47:28

    Dear John and Dekie,
    Norman and I are so sorry to hear about Paul. We are shocked and saddened and want you to know we share your grief. Your eulogy is a beautiful tribute to him and I know the love you have had for each other is precious to you.
    Please remember that we love you and when you are hurting, we are hurting, too. We will keep Edna, you and all of your family in our prayers as our hearts go out to you all in this very difficult time.
    Dot Fletcher


  17. Sandra Johnson
    Mar 11, 2016 @ 13:34:39

    John, My heart is aching for you and your family! I am so sorry for your loss!


  18. Darlene Kichler
    Mar 11, 2016 @ 12:52:58

    Very special…we all should only hope someone could say these words about us when we leave this ole world. RIP John….I will look for you when I get to Heaven…


  19. Lisa Rubenson
    Mar 11, 2016 @ 11:36:31

    John, I’m sorry to hear of the loss of your son. He sounds like everything I would expect from a Schulz — kind, funny, smart, filled with empathy and important thoughts, a maker of beautiful spaces, and much much loved by all. My family will be thinking of yours, and I hope you will keep finding ways to tell us more about this special son of yours through your writing and your reflections.


  20. Hilda Atkins Moore
    Mar 11, 2016 @ 11:25:42

    Dear John and Dekie,
    Old sayings become old hat until one lands on your head and penetrates your heart. Knowing well of your pain and sorrow, I truly feel your pain of loss and your joy of the past. At times we hear it said that “things do get better”, and they do, but in my experience I found it went from unbearable to bearable and I am at peace with that. Why? Because if it went beyond bearable I am afraid I might forget one of the most important and loved parts of my life.
    Please feel my love and the extent of my sympathy.


  21. Janice Dean
    Mar 11, 2016 @ 10:38:02

    John, I am so sorry for your loss. I will keep you, Dekie, and your family in my prayers. Always in my thoughts.


  22. David Chastain
    Mar 11, 2016 @ 10:01:43

    One of my favorite memories of Paul was us being convinced that the police were going to run checkpoints between your house on Alabama Hwy and the state line just before July 4th. We were so convinced that we grabbed a Floyd County map, jumped in his Mustang, and figured out how to drive to the firework stands on the most remote GA and AL county roads we could find. Of course, we blasted the worst heavy metal and rap music available in those days and never held a serious thought in our heads the whole way. I have some pictures of ONE of those trips… because we were so “successful” that we did it on more than July Fourth. I’ll find and post them on Fb.


    • John P.Schulz
      Mar 11, 2016 @ 21:31:21

      What about the time I had the truck from the Harrison Ford movie and y’all went out and moved the warning cones around so that it would run people into a ditch?


      • David Chastain
        Mar 11, 2016 @ 21:46:27

        We felt as though that between the choices of the road and the ditch, the ditch was the safer option for others by far. I’m afraid it was a judgement call. To date, we’ve received no feedback to the contrary.

  23. ambernagle
    Mar 11, 2016 @ 09:37:17

    John, I am so sorry for your loss.


  24. Tara @ I Might Need a Nap
    Mar 11, 2016 @ 09:26:42

    Oh, Mr. John. I am weeping for you, with you. I have no words. Just know I am wrapping you, Miss Dekie, Edna, and all who knew and who love Paul up in my heart and holding you all in the Light. I love you, Mr. John, and I am so sorry.


  25. Bill Barker
    Mar 11, 2016 @ 09:23:13

    John Wonderful eulogy, I’ll be praying for yo as you deal with your grief.


  26. wanda Tillman
    Mar 11, 2016 @ 09:08:09

    John, wish i knew what to say…My heart is with you in the coming days. Love you and Dekie……


  27. Anne Hair
    Mar 11, 2016 @ 08:35:39

    Dearest John and Dekie,

    I’m deeply saddened to learn of the loss of your fine son, Paul. Please accept my sincere condolences and I hope the many happy memories you have of Paul, some of which you have just shared, will be of comfort to you and help you come to terms with your loss. God bless you for the very dignified way you have shared your news.


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