Mr. J. Bonner Paul Sr.
Mr. J. Bonner Paul Sr., 91, President and co-owner of Paul Funeral Home in Washington and Belhaven, died Friday evening, November 23, 2007 at Beaufort County Hospital.
A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Monday at Paul Funeral Home in Washington officiated by the Rev. Dr. John Ledford, Pastor Philip Jethro and the Rev. Dr. Michael Price. Burial will follow in Oakdale Cemetery.
I.B. Paul, Josh Paul, Scott Clark, Billy Slade, Derik Davis and Bobby Hodges will serve as pallbearers. Members of the Beaufort County Grange, Bunyan Ruritan Club, the Improved Order of the Redmen and the staff of Paul Funeral Home will serve as honorary pallbearers.
Mr. Bonner, as he was fondly known by all, was born in the Pungo Community of Beaufort County on July 30, 1916, son of the late Lewis Bonner Paul and Evelyn Stokesbury Paul.
Mr. Bonner was a graduate of Washington High School and an outstanding athlete. His strength and huge frame made him a natural lineman for the Washington Pam Pack in the mid ’30s. Following high school, he attended the Gupton-Jones College of Mortuary Science in Nashville, Tenn. and graduated in 1937. He returned home, only to get called for duty in the Navy during World War II, where he served in the Pacific in the U.S. Navy Medical Corps. After the war, he returned to full-time funeral service work and over the years has been instrumental in helping many aspiring youth interested in the profession with his great knowledge and nationwide contacts in the field. Mr. Bonner served for five years on the N.C. State Board of Mortuary Science. The last year he served in the capacity of president and he served ten years on the N.C. Burial Association Commission. His virtually unlimited knowledge of Beaufort County geography and its people has been a great source of information for many family members. His counsel has been sought by many who needed information not located in a computer because of his keen mind and recall.
At anytime you walked by Mr. Bonner’s office door, there was someone that had dropped in to chat or seek information. Many plaques and awards, from various businesses, civic organizations and community involvement, adorn the walls of his office. He was the recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow award presented by the Rotary Club. On June 19, 2003, he was awarded the North Carolina Funeral Director Association Honorary Membership given in recognition and appreciation for his support and contributions to the advancement of the association and practice of funeral service. On July 30, 2006, his 90th birthday, he was presented the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, awarded by Governor Michael F. Easley and presented by Representative Arthur Williams. On October 16, 2007, Paul Funeral Home hosted the District 2 Funeral Directors Meeting. At that meeting, he was presented a certificate of appreciation on behalf of the members of District 2 for grateful appreciation for his professional service and dedication to the advance of funeral service.
Mr. Bonner was a life-long member of the First Christian Church in Washington where he served in virtually every office, including numerous terms as deacon. He was the longest-term member of the Bunyan Ruritan Club, a member of the Orr Lodge # 104 A.F. &A.M., the Beaufort Country Grange, Tau Tribe 19, I.O.R.M. and was one of the charter members of the Washington Jaycees. Mr. Bonner was a part of the group which brought Washington under the City Manager/City Council form of government. He served several terms as Beaufort County Coroner before the county came under the Medical Examiner System.
Mr. Bonner is survived by his wife, Lillian Vann Gaylord Paul. He is also survived by his son: Joseph (Joe) Paul Jr. and his companion, Gaye Stewart of Washington, his daughter: Ava E. Paul and her partner, Ed Everett of Bath; his grandsons: Scott Clark of Greenville, Josh Paul of Washington and Bryan Harris of Oriental; his sister: Dorothy Carawan of Williamston; and a number of nephews; his step-daughter: Carolyn Coordes and her husband, Don of Wake Forest; his two step grandchildren: Kristy Seaboch and her husband, Mark and Karen Guest; his four step great-grandchildren: Max Guest, Mitchell Seaboch, Haley Seaboch and Ashlyn Seaboch. In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his first wife, Margie Albritton, and five siblings, who he was instrumental in raising because of the early death of their father.
The family will receive friends from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. today at Paul Funeral Home in Washington and other times at the home.
Memorials may be made to the First Christian Church, 401 East 2nd Street, Washington, NC 27889 or CWF of the First Christian Church.
You may view the video or send your condolences to the family by visiting www.paulfuneralhome.com.
Mr. Bonner was successful in managing the family’s two funeral home locations in Belhaven and Washington. Today, both locations stand as a monument to his integrity and expertise as a compassionate funeral director and businessman. His desire to be remembered as “A Friend to All” was exemplified in his daily life both in and out of the office.
Today, we truly lost “A Friend to All” with the passing of Mr. J. Bonner Paul, Sr.
Paul Funeral Home of Washington is serving the Paul Family.