Cover photo for Paul Paulsen's Obituary
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1952 Paul 2015

Paul Paulsen

April 11, 1952 — December 16, 2015

My Life’s Story as told by Paul R. Paulsen

Life is what you make of it. I of all people know this best. I have been told my whole life there is “no cure.” No cure for the MS I was diagnosed with in 1996. No cure for the stage 4 colorectal cancer I had developed over the past year. But “no cure” never meant no life for me. I have had a good life, actually a great life, because life is and always will be what you make of it.
I was born to Emmert and Beulah (Schwab) Paulsen on April 11, 1952 in Carroll, IA. My childhood was spent in the small town of Exira and I was baptized and confirmed at the Exira Lutheran Church. I attended Exira High School and graduated with the class of 1970. My fondest memory of high school was the 1969-70 basketball season. After high school I went off to Clarinda Junior College and played one year of basketball. However, my mother became ill so I returned home to be with her and to farm with my father and brothers.
In my early years I farmed in Exira. During the farm crisis in the 80’s, I had to pick up an additional job laying fiber optic line from Chicago to Iowa. Later, an opportunity arrived that I completely enjoyed. I was able to custom feed 1000 head of cattle for a rancher in Montana. Due to circumstances out my control, farming and cattle feeding days were over and ended with a machinery sale at the Home Place in 1993. My family and I then moved to Audubon, Iowa where I worked at Rural Water and Nelson Bulldozing. I ended my working career at the Larkspur hog confinement where I am proud to say I had a 90+% breeding rate for sows. Larkspur closed in March 2004 and this was unfortunately the last time I was able to work as my MS had progressed to the point that walking was no longer possible. My last residence ended me closer to my family in West Des Moines, Iowa, where I have been the last four years.
Through all my financial hardships and illnesses my wonderful wife of 40 years and my beautiful children were my blessing and support. We built a life together filled with love and joy. I loved watching my children play sports and watching them turn into the people they are today. My grandchildren have brought me happiness and laughter that cannot be truly measured or even really described.
Some of the simple pleasures in life I’ve enjoyed the most have been playing cards, family get togethers, and watching my ISU Cyclones.
I spent my final days in hospice care in Des Moines, Iowa. During this time, I reminisced about all the good o’l days with many family and friends and was able to share my final wishes. I am truly blessed with love and support from all. I died peacefully with my family beside me.
Paul was preceded in death by his son Jarrod P. Paulsen; his mom Beulah Paulsen; his sister Alice (Jean) and her husband Roland Nelson.
Survivors include his wife Donna Paulsen of West Des Moines, Iowa and his children Jessica Fincel of Atlantic, Iowa. Jackie and husband Nick Cockrum; and Josh Paulsen all of West Des Moines, Iowa; his grandchildren: Heather Fincel and Harley Fincel both of Atlantic, Iowa; MacKenzi Cockrum and Dakota Cockrum both of West Des Moines, Iowa; his father Emmert Paulsen of Exira, Iowa; his brothers Charles and wife Marjorie Paulsen of Exira, Iowa; and Howard and wife Cindy Paulsen of Brayton, Iowa; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Funeral services will be conducted by Pastor Doug Opp on Saturday, December 19, 2015, at 11:00 A.M.at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Audubon, Iowa. Burial will be in the Exira Cemetery in Exira. The honorary casket bearers will be Terry Lauridsen and Roger Nelson. The casket bearers will be Clark Nelson, Brian Nelson, Matt Jorgensen, Jim Bintner, Greg Jensen, and Dennis Ballou. The family will meet with friends Saturday morning December 19, 2015, from 9:00 A.M until 10:30 A.M. at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Audubon.

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, December 19, 2015

9:00 - 10:30 am (Central time)

Our Saviour's Lutheran Church

326 Leroy Street, Audubon, IA 50025

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Service

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Our Saviour's Lutheran Church

326 Leroy Street, Audubon, IA 50025

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Burial

Exira Cemetery

, Exira, IA 50076

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