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1931 Dr. James 2024

Dr. James E. Paul

July 21, 1931 — March 10, 2024

Monmouth, Illinois

Dr. James Eugene Paul, 92, of Monmouth Illinois, passed away at 9:38 AM Sunday, March 10, 2024 surrounded by loving family.


Jim was born on July 21, 1931, in Des Moines, Iowa to Frederick Stephen and Anna Belle (Dressen) Paul.  He was raised in Gilman, Iowa.  He attended Gilman schools until moving with his family to the south side of Chicago.   He attended Parkman elementary school followed by Tilden Tech High School through the ninth grade. While in Chicago he shined shoes downtown, delivered buckets of beer for a corner tavern as a preteen, harvested pigeons from high-rises and was recruited by the mafia to make additional deliveries which allowed them to buy groceries and coal to keep the home heated. He then returned to Gilman, Iowa and graduated early from SEMCO high school. While young he spent much of his time working on farms around Gilman for room and board and helping his mother run her diner in Gilman. He milked 27 cows twice a day and planted, harvested crops and ran the threshing machines. He was proud of several of the work horses he grew up with. He also played semi-professional baseball on a travel team and earned a tryout for the Chicago Cubs until sidelined by an injury.  He came from a long line of proud US veterans and after high school he enlisted in the US Navy from 1950-1954.  He served in the Korean War for 4 years winning awards for his teletype prowess and attaining the rank of Radioman- 3 class.  He served on the USS Piedmont, USS Prairie and USS Dixie.   He spent time in San Diego, Japan, the Hawaiian territories, and in Korea. In Hawaii he often made some extra money working as a bouncer and was familiar with the trumpet player Louis Armstrong who played inside the bar.  He played semi-professional basketball and boxed while in Hawaii also.   He then graduated railroad school in Minneapolis and worked on the CB & Q railroad for many years starting out first in Crawfordsville, Iowa.  This included work in Mt. Pleasant and at the Monmouth, Illinois depot.  He worked as a telegraph operator and a station agent in the depot.  He was pleasantly surprised he could utilize the GI bill to help with his enrollment in Monmouth College.  He graduated from Monmouth College in 1958 after 4 years of school while working on a local farm as well as working for the railroad simultaneously while going to college.  He worked on the farm of Robert Francis, his future father-in-law.


He met the love of his life Helen (Francis) Paul while they attended Monmouth College.

He was married to Helen L. Francis Paul on June 9, 1958, at the Kirkwood United Methodist Church. They were happily married and best friends for 64 years until her passing in March 2023.


He then attended the University of Iowa College of Dentistry graduating with his DDS in 1963. He moved back to Monmouth to practice general dentistry until his retirement in 1993 proudly serving thousands in his community over the years.

He was an active member in community service clubs including Rotary as well as Exchange Club.  He served as past president of Exchange Club.  He was also a long-term member of the Monmouth school board and was president of the school board for several years including guiding the renovation of the historic Monmouth High School during the early 1980s. He was especially proud to bestow diplomas to his children at graduation from Monmouth High School while school board president as he was the first in his family to attend and graduate from college.  He was a member of the Prairie Valley Dental Society for many years and served as president from 1971-1972.  He was a lifetime member of the Illinois State Dental Society. He was a longtime member of the Monmouth Country Club and enjoyed not only golfing but assisting with landscaping and gardening with his wife Helen for many years. His adult children could not beat him at golf on a good day even in his twilight years.  He managed the Paul- Francis farm most of his adult life and was a proud steward of the farm and the fishing lakes located there. It was there he taught his family to enjoy the outdoors and the importance of family time together. Many seasons of growing farm to table produce was a staple of the family experience.  He greatly enjoyed his years of playing cards with his friends in Monmouth and in Oquawka on the Mississippi river.

Jim was a voracious reader and with Helen set the unofficial record for books checked out and read from the Warren County Library. He always stressed the importance of reading and education to his family seeing it as a vehicle of opportunity for him coming from humble beginnings during the Depression.

He was the glue who kept alive the tradition of an annual family fishing trip to the boundary waters of Lake of the Woods in Minnesota. For over 55 years he held court over a large group of extended family on vacation, fishing and presiding over legendary fish fries. The entire time he knew it was a front for enjoying dedicated family time together and cementing his reign as one of the best fish fryers in the country.

Jim and Helen were blessed with great neighbors on East Second Avenue in Monmouth who were like a second family for decades. He and Helen treasured their friendships.


He is survived by his daughter, Lori (Curtis) Schrock, Kirkwood, IL; sons, Dr. Robert F. (Beth) Paul of Liberty, MO, Dr. James F. (Amy) Paul of Bettendorf, IA and Dr. David D. (Melissa) Paul of Kearney, MO; his grandchildren: Gretchen Schrock and Grant (Stephanie) Schrock, Jeff M. (Breckin) Paul and Dr. Katie E. Paul, Kari Ann Paul, Dr. Brian J. Paul, Emily F. Paul, Matthew D. Paul, Allison C. (Calvin) Jacobson, Dr. Meagan E. (Eric) Farley, and Nathan D. Paul;  his great-grandchildren, Ava June Jacobson Wren Avery Jacobson, Mia Elizabeth Farley, Rhettland Robert Schrock and Dorothy Wynn Paul.


He was preceded in death by his parents, wife: 2 brothers, Frederick Paul and David Paul; 2 sisters, Betty Ann Knochel and Wanda Cook.


Memorial services will be 10:00 am, Saturday, March 16, 2024, at McGuire & Davies Funeral Home and Crematory, Monmouth, Il. A private family interment will take place at Center Grove Cemetery, Kirkwood at a later date.  Visitation will be from 5:00-7:00 pm, Friday, March 15, 2024, at the funeral home. Memorials may be given to the Monmouth American Legion or the Warren County Library and sent to the funeral home.  For more information or to leave an online condolence please visit,   

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dr. James E. Paul, please visit our flower store.


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