Mobile-- William Dee (Willie) Paul, age 71, of Mobile, Alabama, died unexpectedly May 6, 2022.
A visitation will be held in Mobile on Thursday, May 12, 2022, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Mobile Memorial Gardens Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held Friday, May 13, 2022, at 12 p.m. in the Chapel of the funeral home with internment following in Mobile Memorial Gardens.
Willie is preceded in death by his parents, Lonnie Dee Paul and Lillian Louise Paul of Mobile. He is survived by his two children, daughter Katherine Louise Paul and son Ryan Christopher Paul (Brook) both of Mobile; his intended, Donna Abecrombie; sister Rebecca Louise Paul Florence (Michael) of Tuscaloosa; brother Kenneth Eugene Paul (Debby) of Satsuma; and granddaughter Tinsley Lynn Davis (Ryan and Brook). Survivors also include his former wife Cindy Minto Paul of Mobile; nieces and nephews Tucker Robert Wylie Paul, Dusty D. Smitherman, and Jennifer L. Smitherman (Kenny and Debby); and other relatives.
Willie was born February 18, 1951, in Mobile. He graduated from W.P. Davidson High School in 1969 and completed a program in mechanics at Southwest State Technical College. In the 1980s he worked with Truck Equipment Sales where he was named 1985 Mobile Employee of the Year. He had been employed as a regional salesman for Gulf City Body and Trailer for 34 years, where he was one of the company's leading salesmen and counted his many clients as dear friends. He regularly represented his company and industry with the Alabama Roadbuilders Association and Alabama General Contractors.
His children were Willie's greatest joy. He embraced fatherhood with delight and skill upon the birth of Katie, his first child, who held a special place in his heart. He was her wise counselor and protector, shared her accomplishments with great pride, and happily made time for their impromptu dinner dates where he offered thoughtful advice and loving support, which will be greatly missed.
Willie and son Ryan shared a passion for short track auto racing. They established Ryan Paul Motorsports where Willie was an inspiring mentor, steadfast partner, and vigilant and methodical crew chief. Willie was well known and respected in the Gulf Coast racing community, most especially for his aptitude for and innovations in developing high performing engines and in all things mechanical.
Willie never met a stranger and relished a good conversation. His energy and enthusiasm for life was contagious. He was a life-long learner, enjoyed sharing knowledge, and loved a challenge or a problem to be solved.
He was a devoted father, a caring brother, a stalwart friend, and a loving, best friend to Donna with whom he shared much happiness.
Willie is sorely missed by his family and friends that loved, respected, and admired him and holds his memory dear.
Pallbearers are J.D. Dyess, Mike Eubanks, Phillip Hensley, Ken Hirsch, Kyle Payne and Woody Wilson.
Honorary pallbearers are Larry Austin, Chris Griffith, Michael Griffith, Dave Madar, Bo Martin, and Robert Strong.