LeRoy W. Paulin, 93
Oct. 24, 1921 -- April 25, 2015
LeRoy Paulin, 93, of Grafton, died peacefully on April 25, 2015, in his home with his family at his side.
LeRoy was born on Oct. 24, 1921, in Grafton, the son of Frank and Esther (Kruetzer) Paulin.
He lived in Port Washington as a child, but when school was out for the summer he rode the streetcar to Grafton and spent his summer vacations with his Grandma and Grandpa Kreutzer. His family moved to Grafton when he was in the eighth grade and this is where he lived out his life.
He graduated from Grafton High School in 1939.
LeRoy proudly served his country in the United States Navy during World War II. He was a 71-year member of the Rose-Harms American Legion Post 355, and served as post commander from 1985 to 1986. He was very interested in Post history and did extensive research about the men killed with Roy Harms during World War II and contacted as many of their families as he could to share his findings regarding the raid on Ploesti. At that time, little was known by most of the families about the circumstances surrounding their loved ones’ deaths. He helped several of their widows apply for and receive death benefits, which they hadn’t known they were entitled to before that time. As a result of this research, he made many friends throughout the world. He was proud to be co-chair, with his good friend Artie Helm, of the Ozaukee County Veterans Memorial project. He also was a member of the committee to rename Mill Pond Park in Grafton to Veterans Memorial Park and to erect a memorial there. He worked tirelessly to raise funds for both projects and was very successful. One of his most treasured memories was when he and his wife, also a World War II veteran, were selected to be on the initial November 2008 Stars and Stripes Honor Flight to view the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.
LeRoy married Marceline “Lynn” Hilgart on Aug. 17, 1950. Their marriage was blessed with five children. He was employed by International Harvester for 19 years.
During this time he and his wife opened Paulin’s Market in 1956 and continued to operate their “mom and pop” grocery store until their retirement in April 1981. Paulin’s was one of the only grocery stores in Grafton to extend credit to their customers.
Groceries were delivered regularly to several elderly members of the community in addition to the school system lunch and home economics programs. There were customers who even came in up to three times a day just to visit. Often on holidays, when the store was closed, regular customers would call and LeRoy never hesitated to allow them to come by and pick up forgotten items needed for their holiday meals. By example, both passed on to their children the legacy of a strong work ethic, the importance of honesty and giving assistance to those who may need it.
When LeRoy wasn’t busy with his five children and operating the store, he enjoyed participating in events at RoseHarms Legion Post, bowling, hunting, fishing, playing cards with his friends at the post and spending time with family and friends. He had fond memories of fishing trips and attending Green Bay Packers games with his lifelong friends.
He took great pride in telling his doctor, and certainly his children, that he had “never smoked a cigarette in his life.” He and Lynn spent a great deal of time during retirement at their cottage in Pickerel, enjoying fishing and spending time with their children and grandchildren. They often took road trips to visit family and friends in different parts of the country, and accompanied his wife to many Women Marine Association conventions. In his 80s, LeRoy became an avid fan of the Internet and spent many hours researching his family’s heritage and other items of historical interest.
LeRoy had a heart of gold and was well-respected and loved by his family and friends. He lived a good long life. His sense of humor and the advice he gave will be greatly missed by his family.
Marceline preceded him in death in November 2014 after 64 years of marriage.
He was the loving father of Linda (John) Faas, Anne (Dennis) O’Connor, Katie (Rick) Barton, Barbara (Dean) Buesch and Frank (Debbie Maynard) Paulin; proud grandfather of Jason and Jennifer Faas, Jamie, Joseph, Christopher and William Barton and Carolyn and Caitlyn Buesch; dear great-grandfather of Joshua Barton; fond brother-in-law of Beatrice (the late Al) Blank, Jim (Lucy) Hilgart, Marilyn (the late Leonard) Clemins and Eugene (the late Beverly) Proefrock.
Further survived by nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. Preceded in death by his sister Betty (Orville) Dickmann, in-laws William and Dolores Hilgart, Marvelle and Robert Eernisse, Valeria Hilgart, Frances and Dorothy Hilgart and Robert Hilgart.
The family wishes to thank special caregiver and long-time family friend Colleen Torke for her wonderful care and compassion, assisting his children in allowing both of their parents to remain in their home as was their wish. The family also thanks Pastor Suelflow, Pastor Kruse and Ted and Kathy Salkowski for their regular visits and other family and friends who frequently called.
Memorials to St. Paul Lutheran Church or Rose-Harms Legion Post 355 are suggested.
Mueller Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the family.