Thursday, November 3, 2016
10:00 AM EDT
St. Monica Catholic Church
4408 S Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
For a college fund for his grandchildren
Make checks payable to Josephine Bartz
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
A man of honor, integrity, and unending generosity, Paul F. Bartz was a blessing to everyone he met. By his many friends he was also known as (AKA): The Major, Old Man, Buckey, Bubba and Big Daddy (on the CB). Paul was admired for his strong work ethic as well as his attention to detail, and he was always planning something. A loving husband and father, it was easy to see that Paul’s children, grandchildren, and great-granddaughter were his greatest source of pride and joy. A stickler for grammar, he also had a dry sense of humor and loved sharing his zest for life with all who were near. Never one to let life get the best of him, Paul faced whatever came his way with both strength and courage that were to be admired. Deeply loved, he will be forever missed.
As the 1940s dawned in America, the future was a bit unsettled. We were doing our best to pull ourselves out from the Great Depression while at the same time we were growing more concerned as WWII continued to escalate overseas. It was just as the calendar turned to welcome the year 1940 that Almor and Doris (Brunner) were pleased to announce the birth of the baby boy they named Paul F. on February 17th, 1940. Born in Gary, Indiana, he was the oldest of four Bartz children to be raised in the family home in nearby Hobart. Paul’s father was stern with Paul and his siblings, Jack, Dale, and Rose, but his father also taught Paul a strong work ethic and discipline. These were two traits that served him well throughout his life. Paul’s father worked around the local steel mills while his mother was a homemaker. Paul started working at a young age as he had a paper route and various summer jobs such as working at a truck stop on the toll road. When he was 14 he helped his father build the family home. A student at local schools, he attended Hobart High where he played basketball and developed a love for photography.
After graduating from high school, Paul was eager for all that life had in store. He went to Purdue University where he studied horticulture and was also a member of the Air Force ROTC. After college, Paul joined the Air Force and rose to the rank of Major. He spent 12 years serving in active military, and he later served with the Reserves and Air National Guard, putting in more than 20 years of military service in all.
Not to be forgotten during his years as a young man was Paul’s introduction to the woman of his dreams. Her name was Josephine Kras, and they met in 1959. At the time she was working as a cashier at one of the local A&P stores where Paul came to see his buddy. Paul got in her line to purchase a candy bar, and since she thought he was cute the rest is history. She was happy to learn that he was a Catholic as well. Paul and Josephine went out on a blind date on New Years’s Eve, and they have been a couple ever since. Their relationship was a long distance one when he went back to school, but their love only deepened during this time. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together the sweethearts were married on June 16 1962, at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church in East Chicago, Indiana.
Throughout his life Paul was always deeply devoted to his family. As young newlyweds they lived at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina, and over the years they moved around a bit as the Air Force necessitated. In 1975, Paul and his family came to the Kalamazoo area to work as the base engineer at the Air National Guard in Battle Creek. Together he and his wife welcomed four children including Paul, Matt, Kim, and Ed into their hearts and home. As a father Paul instilled discipline, character, and morals in his children, and although his commitment to the Air Force regularly kept him away from home he made the most of the time he was with them. He always made dinner and vacations a priority. Hard work was something Paul taught his children, and with his own love for building things and working on cars he taught his kids these things as well. He loved both plants and photography, and he even developed his own film.
As his family and friends can attest, Paul was always busy. He liked working on cars and was meticulous in having clean vehicles including his various sports cars. Paul enjoyed car magazines, military magazines, and books of genealogy as well as listening to instrumentals and jazz. He loved technology and always wanted to have the first and best versions of all the new stuff that came out. At the same time, Paul was an informed consumer who did his homework before buying anything. Within his community he served on the Oshtemo fire board for 17 years, and when his children were younger he liked to speak and give presentations to his children’s classes as he loved showing off his photos and adventures in the Air Force. He spent several years working at the Federal Center in Battle Creek, retiring in 2000.
Later on in life, Paul continued to treasure his family. He was thrilled to become a grandfather, and he loved being with his grandchildren. They affectionately called him Dziadziu, which is Polish for grandpa, and he was an active part of their lives. They all especially loved eating ice cream cones from McDonald’s together. During their retirement years Paul and Josephine traveled throughout the United States in their GMC motorhome. Their motorhome was one of his remodeling projects, and in typical Paul fashion things were precise. In everything he did, he always did it to the best of his ability.
All who knew Paul Bartz would agree that he was one of the best people around. He was social and able to strike up a conversation with anyone, especially if it came to things he was passionate about. Although tough, hardworking, and diligent, Paul also had a soft side with a spirit of generosity that was unmatched. Intelligent, fun-loving, and strong, he will be forever missed.
Paul F Bartz, of Kalamazoo, died on Saturday, October 29, 2016. Paul’s family includes his wife, Josephine; 4 children, Paul (Kathleen) Bartz, Matt ( Laurie) Bartz, Kim (Dan) Koutny, Ed (Denise) Bartz; 7 grandchildren, Alysha (Michael) McCabe, Seth Bartz, Matthew Bartz Jr., Sam Bartz, Audrey Koutny, Kate Bartz, and Joanna Bartz; great-granddaughter, Ellie McCabe; brother, Jack (Cheryl) Bartz; sisters, Dale(Frederick) Buhler and Rose (Ralph) Jones; and many in laws, nieces and nephews Learn more about Paul and visit with family and friends on Wednesday from 4-7 p.m. at the Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive; Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. on Thursday at St. Monica Catholic Church, 4408 S Westnedge Ave. Burial will be immediately following at Ft. Custer National Cemetery. Please visit Paul’s personal web page at www.BetzlerFuneralHome.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his online guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial donations may be made to a college fund for his grandchildren.