Paul Noel Turenne, 83, passed away from leukemia at Sterling Pointe Senior Living Community, Princeton, Minn., Monday, Aug. 26, 2019.
He was born May 10, 1936, in International Falls, Minn. His parents were Noel and Jewel (Macknicki) Turenne.
He attended St. Thomas School through eighth grade and graduated from Falls High School in 1954.
When they were both 14, Paul met his high school sweetheart, Marcia (Thiele) Turenne, who he later married Aug. 20, 1955. They recently celebrated 64 years of marriage. He and Marcia had seven children born throughout the United States and abroad.
Upon graduation from St. John’s University under the Army ROTC program, Paul was a commissioned officer. While on active duty, he was stationed in Connecticut, Nike Air Base in New Richmond, Wis., Okinawa, Japan, Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, and Fort Sill, Okla. Paul was a Vietnam veteran having served 13 months in Pleiku, Vietnam.
As captain of his unit, one of his duties included identifying mortally wounded men under his command and then writing condolences to family back home.
During the Christmas holiday, Paul dressed as Santa Claus and presented gifts to men in his unit.
Following his service in Vietnam he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Armed Forces Humanitarian Service Medal and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Service Medal among other honors and ribbons.
After 10 years, he left active duty service as a major. He would later retire from his military career after serving 10 more years at the Army Reserve Center in International Falls based out of Camp Ripley.
When his active duty was completed, Paul returned to his hometown of International Falls with his wife to continue raising their seven children as well as to live close to relatives.
He was personnel development manager at Boise Cascade Insulite until it permanently shut down. He spent his last months working there serving the employees that had lost their jobs with relocation assistance. In addition, he taught management training at Rainy River Community College, was a deejay at KICC Radio Station, and served on the library board as well as the public school board.
He was a life long member of St. Thomas Catholic Church.
When Boise Insulite shut down, Paul moved to New Richmond, Wis., and was employed by Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College as a management instructor.
After retirement at 67, Paul and his wife were able to travel to Hawaii, Florida, and Arizona. They were comfortable and happy in their home in International Falls. Then a few years ago, due to illness, they relocated to a senior living community in Princeton, to be close to family and specialized medical care.
Throughout his life, Paul enjoyed time on Rainy Lake. He was a devoted family man and, other than working hard to support his family, all of his time was spent with his wife and kids. He had a sense of humor and his comedy antics entertained his family and their friends.
A favorite past time of his grandkids was going with papa on “driving lessons” out on remote county roads.
He believed in service and duty. He was humble, kind, very likable and social, having many friends and acquaintances. When he greeted you, the conversation was always about you, never about him. People felt better upon leaving his presence. He had nothing but good to say about people in general.
His father and mother, Noel and Jewel Turenne, preceded Paul in death.
He is survived by his wife, Marcia (Thiele) Turenne; his children - Cathy Gordon (Tom Kupka), Judy Turenne, Tom Turenne, Susie Amidon (George), Paula Molnau (Keith), John Turenne and Mike Turenne (Nikki Braaten). Surviving grandchildren are Paul Amidon (Toriah), Charlie Gordon, Katie Molnau, Elizabeth Molnau, and John Molnau. His surviving great-grandchildren are Octavia and Sage Amidon. A sister, Diane Turenne, also survives him.
Funeral services will be conducted at 1 p.m. Monday, Sept. 16, at St. Thomas Catholic Church.
Flowers may be delivered to St. Thomas Catholic Church.
Family prefers in lieu of flowers, memorials to St. Thomas Catholic Church or Borderland Humane Society.
Condolences may be mailed to Paul Turenne Family, c/o 25624 12th St. W., Zimmerman, MN 55398.