He was born on June 8, 1934, at home in rural Bartlett. Between these dates he lived a full and productive life.
Paul attended grade school in Bartlett. While growing up, he was a member of the Country Pals 4-H Club in Labette County. He was active in the livestock, leadership and citizenship projects and was president of a state 4-H organization.
He graduated from Labette County Community High School in Altamont in 1952. After graduation, he attended Coffeyville Community College and transferred to the University of Kansas to study engineering. While at KU, Paul joined several engineering organizations and was chairman of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers his senior year.
He married Evelyn Griffith of rural Lawrence on Aug. 7, 1955, at First United Methodist Church in Lawrence. She survives of the home.
Paul graduated from KU in January 1957 with a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering. Upon graduation, the couple moved to Wichita, where he was employed as an engineer for Boeing Aircraft Co. They returned to Lawrence in 1958 when Paul was hired to teach in the engineering manufacturing department at KU, a position he held until 1962. He later co-authored a chapter in the book “A History of the School of Engineering at the University of Kansas 1868-1988,” edited by James O. Maloney.
Although no longer working at the university, Paul remained an avid Jayhawk fan his entire life. After leaving the university, he was employed by Farmland Industries as an engineer at Cooperative Farm Chemical Association in east Lawrence from 1962 until he retired in 1996.
Paul was a member of Plymouth Congregational Church for 51 years. During that time, he served as church school superintendent for five years and was a member of the Board of Deacons and Board of Christian Education.
Paul enjoyed working with youth. For 15 years his summers were spent as a coach for various Little League baseball teams. He traveled as a sponsor with the Lawrence High School band and orchestra on trips to Portland, Ore., St. Louis and Washington, D.C. In addition, he was a 4-H leader for 20 years for the Four Leaf Clover 4-H Club in Douglas County. Paul served as a sponsor for the 4-H Citizenship Conference in Washington, D.C. He received the Douglas County 4-H Family Award, the Friend of 4-H Award and the Friend of the Fair Award. He served on the Douglas County Fair Board for six years as treasurer, vice president and president. His hobbies included leather tooling and woodworking projects.
Other survivors include his children, Paula Aiken and her husband, David, Mike Johnston and his wife, Julie, Merlin Johnston and his wife, Susan, Mark Johnston and his wife, Terra, and Penny Eschliman and her husband, Clark; 11 grandchildren, Josh and his wife, Jennifer, Molly and her husband, Seth, Jake and his wife, Meghan, Micah, Katie, Jared, David, Douglas, Luke, Evan and Carley; three stepgrandchildren, Ron, Larry and his wife, Susan, and Gale; three great-grandchildren, Caroline, Wyatt and Michaela; five stepgreat-grandchildren, David, Bry, Jacob, Kelly and Jackson; a brother, Dale Johnston and his wife, Marlyn Kay; and numerous nieces and nephews.
The service will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Plymouth Congregational Church, Lawrence. Burial will follow at Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Douglas County. The Rev. Peter Luckey will officiate.
Memorials are suggested to the Douglas County 4-H Foundation and can be left or sent to Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, 601 Indiana, Lawrence, 66044.
Online condolences may left at rumsey-yost.com.