Paul J. Unruh, 88, passed away October 4, 2021 in Lakewood, California. Born June 3, 1933 in Swenson, Texas. He was the oldest of 5 siblings, Jack, Jim, Coy, Joyce and Cindy. Father of two sons Rich and Les Unruh. Grandfather of four grandchildren, Holly, Thomas, Talon and Michelle and had 7 great grandchildren. Survived by his wife Melinda of 35 years.
My dad was a great man and father.
Paul Unruh made a life out of nothing. Being very poor, supporting his family before he got out of high school and making his own way at a very young age, getting married and starting a family of his own at 21 years old. He never complained about it. It was what it was. We had a good life. He was a great provider. We always had a nice place to live, nice clothes, etc. We were middle class but we never suffered or needed anything.
When you're young you don't understand why your parents are doing what they're doing. You think they are just wrong or mean and don't care about you. My father tried to make it clear why he was tough on us but we still didn't understand. It took years of experience of myself being a father, a husband, a person, to realize why he was who he was.
We had great times, my brother and I. We had dinner every night together and talked about school and our friends. How we had done with our chores of the day, and what they looked liked for the next day. No TV or distractions, just us as a family.
My parents took us on lots of vacations. Traveling around the western United States seeing lots of the National Parks, visiting relatives in far away places and lots of camping and fishing trips. You learn a lot about life on those journeys about people, places and yourself. You can never replace those great times nor would you ever want to.
We talked about those a lot over the last couple of years as his health started to fade. About places and people I hadn't thought about in a long time. We relived a lot of those moments. You don't think about it much until closer to the end. Those memories have become crystal clear now he's gone.
I've been very fortunate in my life and would also be considered successful. I wouldn't have had a chance without him having influencing me in those early years. He's the reason I'm who I've been over the years and who I am today. He did good for all of us.
He was a great man and father and I miss him. - Rich Unruh
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