Paul Wolfe Jr.

Paul E. Wolfe Jr.

1928 - 2024

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Obituary of Paul E. Wolfe Jr.

Paul Edwin Wolfe Jr. of Hills, Iowa died Saturday March 2, following a brief illness at the Lone Tree Nursing Home. A gathering for family and friends will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 6, 2024, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 209 Brady St, Hills, Iowa, 52235. Funeral services will take place at 10:30 a.m., Thursday, March 7, 2024, at St. Joseph Catholic Church. Burial will take place at St. Stanislaus Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be directed to the Hills Fire Association, PO Box 246, Hills, Iowa, 52235. 

Paul was born on April 9, 1928, in Mills County, Iowa, the middle child of Paul Wolfe Sr. and Louise Ranne. Later he and his older sister Marilyn, and parents moved to Kansas City where his younger brother Roger was born. Following a divorce from Paul Sr., Louise met and married Harry Gross in Kansas City in 1941. Harry's work would take the family to Waco, Texas for a few years where they lived near an industrial part of the town. He and his brother Roger entertained themselves by roaming the area with their BB guns, while occasionally being returned home by Waco police for picking the wrong targets. At night after appropriating a 20-foot ladder, they would climb to the rooftops and capture pigeons to add to the backyard pigeon pen. As his Hills neighbors could attest, his fascination with pigeons continued as their rooftops were sometimes perches for his flock. He had very good neighbors. Mom was embarrassed. He and Roger's Texas shenanigans culminated with the theft of an old mule that was destined for the glue factory that the pair rode back home. The getaway mule. Fortunately, or unfortunately for the mule it was returned to the rendering plant. The boy's leash was shortened.

Paul was never fond of schoolwork and struck a deal with mom that she would allow him to join the service when he turned seventeen, to which she reluctantly agreed. While Paul was serving in the Navy, in the Pacific, Harry, Louise and Roger relocated to Ft. Madison, Iowa where he would build a successful construction company on the banks of the Mississippi.  Upon returning from his four-year stint in the Navy in 1949, Paul joined Harry in the construction trade, becoming a block layer in the process.

It was shortly after his return in 1949 that he met Joann Peterschmidt at Bishop's Soda Fountain in Ft. Madison. They were married on November 4, 1950, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Ft. Madison. Joann would give birth to sons Jim in 1951 and Ron in 1955. During this time Paul left construction to pursue a career in the newspaper industry. He would work as a pressman at the Evening Democrat in Ft. Madison, then the Times-Republican in Marshalltown and finally at the Iowa City Press Citizen. He brought the family to Hills, Iowa in this final move to the ICPC.

In 1962 he purchased the first lot in a new subdivision in Hills and using his dormant block laying skills, laid the foundation for the home during his two-week vacation from his real job at the ICPC. He taught Joann how to mix the mortar. The words " more mud! " would be cursed by Joann for decades. He spent the next two years finishing the home's interior mostly by himself, under Joann's direction. He loved his home and would spend the next 60 years improving and redecorating at Joann's whim, first complaining, then acquiescing and finally acknowledging her foresight, giving her exactly what she envisioned.

After a decade at the ICPC a new company, the HP Smith corporation was building a factory in Iowa City where Paul applied for employment, and to his surprise and delight was offered a shift foreman position. Given the nature of the work the plant ran 24/7 and Paul often worked weekends on swing shifts. He was a tireless worker and never complained or missed a day. He appreciated the opportunity he'd been given. His well-earned retirement allowed him time to hone his woodworking skills by building furniture and craft items, guided by Joann's artistic touch. He and Joann displayed and sold their creations under the name of Wood n' Stuff at craft and art shows around the area. In addition to the woodworking hobby he took a part time job with the Hills Bank as a courier, running items between the various branch banks. He enjoyed this job immensely and all the friends he would make along the way. After losing Joann in 2013, he would later find companionship with Jo Shea, a former Hills Bank employee. They shared a love of gardening and yard work until her passing in 2023.

Paul was a member of St. Joseph's Church, a former town councilman, a past Boy Scout leader and member of the Hills Town and Country Club. He will be greatly missed by his sons, Jim (Dace) and Ron (Cindy). Grandchildren Stacey (Steve), Quinn (Kiley), Ben (Jess) and Lindsey (Anthony).  Great grandchildren Emmitt, Wesley, Willa, and Carly. He was preceded in death by parents, wife Joann and sister Marilyn. He is survived by his brother Roger and his wife Wanda and their son Wayne in San Diego, California. 






5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Wednesday, March 6, 2024
St. Joseph Catholic Church
209 Brady Street
Hills, Iowa, United States

Funeral Service

10:30 am
Thursday, March 7, 2024
St. Joseph Catholic Church
209 Brady Street
Hills, Iowa, United States