Decatur, Illinois

Decatur, Illinois
Curve-In, Fairview Avenue

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Paul Cutlip, Mac '65, Dies

Sadly, the MacArthur High School Class of 1965 for Decatur, Illinois, has lost another one of our own.

Involved, popular classmate Paul Cutlip has passed away.

Here is Paul in the Senior Class Play, and below pictured in the Senior Yearbook.

The following message has been forwarded from Paul's wife:
It is with a very sad heart that I tell you that Paul lost his battle with cancer on April 9th [2013]. I came across a book with lovely cards from you all when Paul was unable to make the 2011 reunion. It is apparent you all thought much of my husband. Paul was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer back in November 2010 and put up a brave fight for well over 2 years. During that time he discovered that he was quite talented at painting and took up a brush ~ creating many wonderful paintings for friends and family. Thank you again, for taking the time back in 2011, to let Paul know you missed his presence at the reunion and to reminisce with him over your past connections.
Barb Cutlip and Family
As the compiler of the 2011 MacArthur HS Reunion Book, Paul sent the following to me to share with his classmates. I reproduce it here (along with his most recent Facebook profile photo), as a fitting tribute and celebration of a great life lived by Paul.
Pacific, MO ~ "Went to Illinois Wesleyan University where I got my BFA in Theater/Drama. I appeared in several plays and musicals and worked in summer stock for three years. In addition, I was shop foreman for three years plus Summer Stock, in charge of building all the sets as well as teaching the students which end of hammer hit the nail. I had planned on a theater career, being the next great song and dance man on Broadway, but blew out my voice singing in a college band.
"Got a job with Florsheim Shoe Company my senior year and started work there one week after graduation in the store design department. Spent 30 years there, ending my career as General Manager of Store Design and Construction. Over the years, I designed stores in every state, Canada, South and Central America, Australia, England, Italy, the Middle East and India. I had my own company from 1976-1981 in the middle of that 30 years, designing everything from doctors' offices to fur salons, advertising to corporate graphics, while continuing to do design work for Florsheim. My job at Florsheim was eliminated just prior to Florsheim going bankrupt in 2000 and I did consulting work for the next two years.
"I went to work for Famous Footwear, then located in Madison, WI, as Director of Store Design in 2002. The highlight, or low light, depending on your point of view, was being in Dubais on Business for Famous and scheduled to fly home the weekend of the terrorist arrests in London that shut down the airports. I was stranded in Dubais for an extra 24 hours and eventually flew home through Gatwick, working my way through customs six times and the hundreds of armed military covering every corridor of the airport. Seventy-two hours later I finally arrived back in Madison by way of Paris, London, Cleveland and Detroit. By the way, if you ever get a chance to go to Dubais, GO!; it is the most exciting place I have ever been (if you don't mind daytime temps in the 110s and higher).
"Famous offices in Madison were closed and relocated to Clayton, Mo in 2008. With the crash of the economy and the decision to not build anymore stores until it turned around, my position was once again eliminated and I was given the choice of looking for another job in a bad economy at my 'advanced age' or taking early retirement. I chose the latter.
"In the two years since, I have suffered a herniated disc and discovered I have stage four colon cancer which spread to my liver. I have been undergoing chemo for six months and will continue for the foreseeable future, which is why I will not/did not make the reunion. So far I am handling it well; to look at me you wouldn't know I was ill.
"For the last year I have taken up painting (pictures, not houses); something I have wanted to do since I was at Mac, and have found I'm actually pretty good at it. I have sold a few pieces and have several commissions I'm working on. I have also been doing wood carving and small furniture pieces for friends for the past several years so I keep as busy as my strength allows.
"I have been very happily married since 1977 to my wife Barbara, whom I met on a blind date in Sheboygan, WI; have two children, a daughter (27), who went to Wesleyan for two years and then transferred to and graduated Suma Cum Laude from UW Whitewater, who is now living with us until she finds her own place, having just moved here from Wisconsin, and a son (21), who will be starting his Senior year at UW Stevens Point, majoring in psychology."

First car: "My first car was a 1950 Chrysler Imperial straight eight, which I only had for a few weeks before totaling it in a head-on collision with a semi on the highway on the way to work at Larkdale swim club the summer before my senior year. (I was a lifeguard that summer, hence the very dark skin and almost no hair in my senior picture.) The car was built like a tank; allowing for my survival to write this; I walked away without a bruise."

It looks like Heaven just got a painter with a sense of humor who can also help design everything from lobbies and offices to showrooms and salons. We'll all miss you Paul.

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