Paul Karl Adelhelm Jr., age 78, a resident of Bloomingdale, IL and West Palm Beach, FL passed away suddenly on Friday, April 27, 2012, into the loving arms of his Lord and Savior, just 10 weeks after losing his beloved wife of 53 years, Kathryn, in February.
Paul was an only child, born March 10, 1934, to Paul Karl Sr. and Anna (Enders) Adelhelm in Glen Cove, New York. He graduated from Palm Beach High School (1952), Palm Beach Junior College (1954), and the University of Florida (1958) with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering. At UF, he was a member of Alpha Omega chapter of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. In the summer of 1956, he met a young teacher while she was on vacation in West Palm Beach. They married on May 16, 1958, beginning a happy 53 year life together. On their honeymoon, Paul got a job with E.J. Brach Candy Co., making Melrose Park, IL their first home. They also resided in Bellwood and Berkley, IL before moving to Mt. Laurel, NJ in April, 1969. In the summer of 1977, Paul’s job brought them back to Illinois where they settled in Wheaton. They officially became snowbirds in the winter of 2003 making the annual trek between Illinois and West Palm Beach, FL.
Paul spent his entire professional career in the confectionary industry. After joining E.J. Brach & Sons in Chicago in 1958, he enjoyed a 30-year career that started in the industrial engineering department and then moved into manufacturing and operations management. He was the plant manager of their Philadelphia, PA operations from 1972 to 1977. He then served as Director, Branch Operations, overseeing Brach’s facilities outside of Chicago from 1977 to 1988. He went on to become Vice President of Operations at the Henry Heide Candy Company in Princeton, NJ (1988-1990), and helped to found Candyland Candy (which was later merged into affiliate Dae Julie) in 1990. He served in various senior manufacturing executive roles with Candyland/Dae Julie, Favorite Brands and Nabisco Corp. from 1990 until 2000. After “retiring” from Nabisco, he remained active as an independent industry consultant for several years, helping a number of other confectionary firms bring new manufacturing facilities on line around the world. Paul was a passionate candy maker and was quite active in several trade and industry organizations throughout his career.
Upon retirement, Kathryn and Paul traveled extensively both domestically and abroad. They went to Italy, France, Germany, the Ukraine, Mexico, and many parts of the United States. One of their favorite state trips was a visit to the Grand Canyon. Paul especially enjoyed trips to Germany where he had the opportunity to connect and get to know many family members there. He loved to tell family and friends about the opportunity they had to attend the Oberammergau Passion Play during one trip. Truly the highlight of his travels was a trip to Maui, HI, during the summer of 2008, which saw Kate and Paul celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary with their three children and their spouses, and all nine of their grandchildren.
Paul’s other passions included golf, a good card game (especially bridge or poker), service in his church, and family gatherings. He loved his Gators and all the Chicago pro sports teams. As a teen he had the opportunity to be a bat boy with the then Philadelphia Athletics, giving him a love of the sport that doomed him to a lifetime of suffering as a devoted Cubs fan. He especially loved any opportunity to coach or support youth sports, especially women’s softball. He devoted thousands of hours to coaching his daughters’ softball teams and then watching with pride as his granddaughters shared a love of the game and became accomplished players themselves.
Paul was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, son, and friend. Paul was preceded in his death by his wife Kathryn, parents Paul Sr. and Anna Adelhelm, his in-laws, Clarence and Flora Steinwedel, and his infant daughter, Barbara Sue. He is survived by his children, Mark (Sharon) Adelhelm of Orlando, FL, Beth (Robert) Campbell of Wheaton, and Nancy (Anthony) Habib of Davis, CA.; his grandchildren, Jennifer, Anthony III, Kimberly, Kristine, Daniel, Melanie, Andrew, Bryan and David; his sister-in-law, Margaret Pardieck and his brother-in-law, Robert (Donna) Steinwedel; many nieces and nephews; and many dear friends, neighbors and work colleagues.
A visitation will be held on Wednesday, May 9, 2012, from 4-8 p.m. at Hultgren Funeral Home, 304 N. Main St., in Wheaton, IL. A funeral service will be held on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. at St. John Lutheran Church, in their new location at 410 N. Cross Street, in Wheaton with Rev. Scott Bruzek officiating. Interment will follow at Wheaton Cemetery.
Memorial gifts may be directed to St. John Lutheran Church, 410 N. Cross Street, Wheaton, IL 60187; or to The First Tee (www.thefirsttee.org), The First Tee, World Golf Village, 425 South Legacy Trail, St. Augustine, FL 32092.
Family and friends may sign a guest book at hultgrenfh.com. For more information, please call Hultgren Funeral Home at 630-668-0027.