Paul O. Huch, of Columbia, IL, died October 7, 2023, at Mercy Hospital in Creve Coeur, MO. He was born January 3, 1947, in Belleville, IL. Our local German Band leader and ultimate optimist was called home at the age of 76.
He is survived by his wife Shirley Huch nee Brendel, son Mike (Tracy) Huch, daughter Jenna (Jeremy) Heinlein, sister Janet (Dennis) Ripplemeyer, granddaughters Avielina and Isabelle Huch and Macy and Addison Heinlein, and brother-in-law Rodney Brendel.
Mike and Jenna both attended SPPS and Gibault High School in Waterloo IL. Paul was the father only few are lucky enough to have. His glowing optimism and endless love always and still provided his children a place they knew they could go to when needed. On the side of the road, the stands at an event, a shoulder during a hard time, or a prediction of snow day for school, Paul gave his children an example of what parenting should be.
Mike and Tracy (LaRue) Huch blessed Paul with two granddaughters, Avielina (8) and Isabelle (5). As these girls grew up next door to Paul, in the home he grew up in as a child, it was a rare occurrence if Paul didn’t have a little blonde girl in his shadow as he worked outside.
Jenna and Jeremy Heinlein blessed Paul with two granddaughters as well, Macy (12) and Addison (10). As the first grandchildren in the family Paul was endlessly proud of his family tree expanding. Paul could always be found field-side or front-row at plays making friends and cheering on his girls no matter the circumstance.
As his granddaughters grew older Paul would turn his home into a playground. He built swing sets, zip-lines, trampolines, climbing walls, slip and slides, and took gator rides whenever it was requested. As he did with his own children, Paul would make his granddaughters all feel like princesses and left them knowing they were unconditionally loved.
It may come as a surprise, but Paul’s sister Janet is also thankful for Paul’s matchmaking capabilities. Janet and Dennis "Rip" Ripplemeyer of Waterloo, IL were first introduced by Paul. With a family heirloom tuba, a pair of lederhosen, and an opening in an up-and-coming Monroe County German Band, Rip agreed to a date with Janet and 41 years of marital bliss and friendship have followed.
Paul will be missed and remembered by so many. His golfing and breakfast old men’s club, family friends old and new, Lou Fusz coworkers and customers, soccer friends, the list could go on forever. His quick wittiness and bright smile were unmatched and will leave us all happier knowing we were lucky enough to experience it. He positively influenced so many that his memory will live on in the hearts of all those who met and loved him. He was a great man.
Paul is preceded in death by his parents Carl J. & Marie C. (nee Kraft) Huch.
He grew up with his parents and sister, Janet, on Huch Lane in Columbia IL. As a child, Paul would help his father on their family farm delivering eggs to St. Louis. He attended a small one room school near his home in Columbia. He graduated from Waterloo High School in 1965, then joined the National Guard. After returning from his service, he continued his career as a farmer and pork producer.
He retired from farming in the early 90’s; Paul then found his true calling, Sales. He would spend years selling farm equipment and other large items eventually landing as a successful truck fleet salesman. He spent his last 6 years working and retiring and working again with customers that enjoyed him as much as he enjoyed them.
Paul met the love of his life, Shirley (Brendel) in 1970. They were later married on Oct. 7th ,1972. Paul and Shirley were the best of friends, later in life never seeing one without the other. They enjoyed golfing, traveling locally listening to bands and across the country with family and friends. Last year, in celebration of their 50th Wedding Anniversary, Paul and Shirley spent a week with their entire family walking and riding their way around Disney World, a trip they had planned for years. If you’re wondering, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith, was Paul’s favorite ride with Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure a close second.
Donations to Crew Soccer or St. Vincent De Paul in remembrance of Paul would be appreciated.
4 PM - 8 PM Thursday, October 12, 2023 at Quernheim Funeral Home
9 AM until time of service Friday at St. Paul United Church of Christ
11 AM Friday, October 13, 2023 at St. Paul United Church of Christ in Columbia, IL
with a luncheon to follow.
Pastor Jonathan Bangera officiating