Eugene Paul, 87, WWII vet, car enthusiast

Eugene Paul
Eugene Paul
Posted: March 29, 2014

Eugene Paul's wife was in labor and he didn't have the money for a cab. In a pinch, he offered to wax the driver's car later in exchange for a free ride to the hospital.

For the rest of his life, friends and family could always count on him for a professional-grade car wax.

"Even when he took us to the park to play, he'd be out in the street waxing his Oldsmobile," son Bill said.

Mr. Paul, 87 of Voorhees, died of pneumonia on March 20 at Virtua hospital in Voorhees. He was a World War II veteran, advocate for the elderly, and car enthusiast.

Born in Philadelphia in 1926, he grew up in Camden and enlisted in the Navy at age 17. He would serve as a gunner's mate on a 65-man landing craft in the war's Pacific theater. His job mainly entailed loading rounds of ammunition into the vessel's cannons.

"That's why he was always hard of hearing," son Bill said with a laugh.

Upon returning from the war in 1945, Mr. Paul met his wife, Betty, at a dance hall in Oaklyn. The pair married four years later.

He had a series of disparate jobs in his lifetime, including stints as a worker in the Campbell's Soup plant and as a fire and police dispatcher, both in Camden.

"He was a very good talker," his son said. "They set him up on the seventh floor of the police station in Camden."

Following his job as a dispatcher, he would spend time working as a truck driver, as well as working with his two sons in a family-operated carpeting business.

"He had his mitts in a lot of things," his son said. "He was never really a rich man. He wasn't particularly after money. But he was rich by himself. He was just rich in life."

Throughout his life, Mr. Paul took great pains to care for those in his community, from offering professional-quality car waxes - "He even made up business cards at one point," his son said - to volunteering as a foster grandparent and state advocate for nursing homes.

In addition to his eldest son Bill, he is survived by sons Michael and Roger, as well as daughter Joyce Howe. His wife, Betty, died in 1995.

A viewing will be held Friday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Mahaffey-Milano Funeral Home, 11 E. Kings Highway, Mount Ephraim. After the viewing, a service will be held at the funeral home, with interment at Calvary Cemetery, 2398 Route 70 West, Cherry Hill.

Contact Jerry Iannelli at 856-779-3882.

comments powered by Disqus