NAPERVILLE — Paul Joseph Doebel Jr. of Naperville passed away peacefully at home with his wife at his side at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020.
The Funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, at St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Urbana. Attendance is limited to 125, with masks and social distancing required. The service will be live-streamed. Burial will be in St. Mary's Cemetery in Champaign immediately following the funeral Mass. There is no visitation or social luncheon.
Paul was born Aug. 30, 1928, in Chicago, to Paul Doebel Sr. and Margaret (Ritt) Doebel. He was the younger of two children and is survived by his sister, Louise Doebel (Holm). Paul grew up in Chicago’s near-north side a few blocks from Wrigley Field and was blessed (or cursed until the 2016 World Series) to be a lifelong Cubbies fan.
He graduated from the University of Illinois in 1950 as a Bronze Tablet honoree, graduating in the top 3% of his class with a degree in finance and economics. After graduation, Paul continued graduate studies in finance and economics, then began his long-term employment with the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign and Chicago campuses) culminating as Associate Vice Chancellor for Administration and retiring in 1993. Throughout these years, Paul served in the United States Army Reserve Quartermaster Corps for 30 years, retiring in the rank of Colonel.
The University of Illinois is also where he established a budding relationship in the late 1940s with his future wife, Patricia Green. Paul's persistence paid off; ultimately winning Pat’s heart and they were married May 1, 1954. They settled into the Urbana-Champaign community and set about raising a family.
Paul expertly, and from outward appearances effortlessly, balanced a challenging and demanding (recall campus unrest in the late 1960s) work environment with the joys of raising a brood of eight children. While he was not renowned for his culinary contributions, his "copyrighted" Mother’s Day “Dad’s Breakfast” beat the One-Pot fad by decades.
In contrast to his urban upbringing, Paul enjoyed tree farming and forestry management, splitting time between acreages outside Urbana and Akeley, Minn. His one consistent hobby was putting his finance degree to use dabbling in and enduring the ups and downs of Wall Street and other financial markets.
Throughout his life, Paul was deeply interwoven in his faith community, supporting social services, and finding constructive, collaborative ways to get to “Yes.” While residing in Urbana, he was an active parishioner at St. Patrick’s Church and a member of the Peoria Diocesan Pastoral Council; in Minnesota at Our Lady of the Pines, and in Naperville, at Saint Thomas the Apostle.
In his final years, he was blessed to share life with his second wife, Carol Dapogny, who kept him intellectually and culturally engaged and graciously helped shepherd him peacefully into God’s loving arms.
Paul is preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Patricia Ann (Green), and daughters Karen Ann (Tillmann), and Ann Marie. He is survived by his second wife, Carol; his daughters, Lynn and Mary; his sons, Martin, James, Steven and William; grandchildren, Hans, Patricia, Teresa, Ross, Cristine, Michael and Rachel; and great-grandchildren, Elizabeth, Augustine, Coralee and Adalynne.
In December, 2019, the Paul Doebel Distinguished Mental Health Service Award was established in recognition of Paul’s 41 years of service to GROW, where he served as Chairman of the Board and Treasurer of its organizations in America, and community mental health. Paul requested memorial contributions be sent to Grow in America at P.O. BOX 3667, Champaign, IL, 61826-0667. Additional information about GROW’s important world community mental health movement can be found at growinamerica.org.
Friedrich-Jones Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Naperville, was entrusted with arrangements. For information please call 630-355-0213 or visit www.friedrich-jones.com.