He grew up outside Brainard, Nebraska. He graduated from East Butler High School in 1979. On June 15, 1985 he married his high school sweetheart, Lori Tesina.
Paul is preceded in death by his parents and one niece, Jennifer Grant.
He is survived by his wife, Lori Witzel of the home; two daughters, Courtney Ruscetti and husband Steve of Ft. Worth, Texas, and Nichole Short and husband Allen of Anchorage, Alaska; one granddaughter, Hailee Ruscetti of Ft. Worth, Texas; three brothers, John of Pleasant Dale, Nebraska, and Leo and Ed of Brainard, Nebraska; two sisters, Ramona Grant of Glendale, Arizona, and Mary Alice Witzel of Phoenix, Arizona; and many nieces and nephews.
Paul was a welder for many years before becoming an electrician. He started his new career over 20 years ago and has been working as a master electrician for the past ten years. He had worked at McNew Electric since moving to Missouri in 2008.
While living in Colorado, he competed in horseshoe tournaments every year at the county fair. He also enjoyed spending time outdoors, on rivers, hiking mountains, and fishing. Paul started competing in kayak races after moving to Missouri. He challenged himself to compete and finish the Missouri 340, a 340-mile kayak race on the Missouri River from Kansas City to St. Louis.
Working on the farm was another of his favorite activities. He was proud of the growing cattle herd he and Lori worked hard to maintain.
Paul loved his family and was a devoted husband and loving father to his two daughters. He looked forward to summer visits with his granddaughter Hailee. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
The family hosted a memorial service Saturday November 4, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Mark’s Catholic Church in Houston, Missouri, with Father Matt Rehrauer officiating. Cremation was under the direction of Evans Funeral Home.