Dr. William Wright Paul, a Christian philosopher and long-time college professor, died on June 18, 2012 at the Windsor Park Manor in Carol Stream, IL where he has lived since 2003. He lived a long and full life committed to his Christian faith, his family and a lifelong love for learning that extended both inside and outside the classroom.
William was born in Philadelphia on November 27, 1918, the son of William Harold and Mildred Church Paul. He graduated from Temple University, Faith Theological Seminary, the University of Pennsylvania and received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Columbia University. In 1945, he married Martha Sinclair whom he met while singing together in a Christian radio quartet. The couple enjoyed 65 years of marriage and family life before Martha died in 2010. William taught philosophy at Central College in Pella, IA, from 1960 to 1988, serving as chair of the Philosophy and Religion department and the Humanities division. He also served as a Danforth, NEH, Fulbright and Princeton scholar, and as president of the Iowa Philosophical Association. He was ordained into the Presbyterian Church in 1946, and became a member of the Reformed Church in America in 1960, serving as Stated Clerk of the Classis of Central Iowa. He and Martha were longtime members of Second Reformed Church in Pella, with Bill serving as an elder and also as the church’s Minister of Calling from 1989-1999. While completing his doctoral work at Columbia University, Bill taught Philosophy and Theology at Shelton College in NYC and then moved with the college to its new location in Ringwood, NJ, where the family lived until 1960. He also served as a professor at Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL, Iowa State University and as a Visiting Scholar at Trinity College (Wales) and Princeton University.
William is survived by his four daughters: Dr. Jean Orenstein of Greenwich, CT; Barbara Sadler of Chicago, IL; Margaret Guy of South Pasadena, CA; and Dorothy Presher of Fairport, NY, his brother Edward Paul of Asheville, NC and his sister Ruth Paul of The Villages, FL. His four grandchildren are Lisa Guy, Julie Guy, Katharine (Presher) Carlson and Brian Presher. He re-married in October 2011 to Barbara Melin Walker of Carol Stream, IL.
William had a life-long interest in World Presbyterian Missions, Wycliffe Bible Translators and Intervarsity Christian Fellowship (IVF). He and his wife Martha both started IVF chapters at their respective colleges, Temple and West Chester State University, during their college years and were involved with IVF at Central College. Bill also worked as the first Intervarsity staff representative for the southwest U.S.
During his retirement years at the Windsor Park Manor, Bill was happily involved in many activities, including serving as VP of the Resident Council and also participating on the Ethics Committee and singing with the Men of Melody. He maintained a plentiful garden of tomatoes and flowers that he always shared with many friends.
William’s personal interests included walking, swimming, singing, gardening, reading, and teaching. He continued to thrive throughout his life as an avid learner. He also loved traveling and saw many parts of the world but his favorite spot was always the yearly family vacations to the ocean in Cape May, NJ. A private burial service for the family was held on June 23 in Philadelphia. A memorial service will be held at the Windsor Park Manor on July 14 at 10:00 am.
Family and friends may sign a guest book at hultgrenfh.com. For more information, please call Hultgren Funeral Home at 630-668-0027.