MADISON, WI. If you are reading this, it’s because I, Paul E. Storley, born July 31, 1950, have “assumed room temperature" on March 10, 2023 from having “416,783 too many cigarettes.” I gave my last (rough COPD) breath at home, surrounded by my loving children, Dawn, Jon and Valarie, grandson, Breyden and Dawn’s partner, Shawn.
Dad was a life-time resident of Madison, WI. He graduated from Madison East High School in 1969 and never looked back! He married our mother, Cheryl, in 1971. Thankfully, for the both of them and us, they divorced in 1985. We are ever so grateful that they could amiably (mostly!) exist in the same room at family events and holiday gatherings after we (their children) became adults. Dad worked in the “family business” as a Custodian for the Madison Metropolitan School district for over 30 years - back in the days when they could get away with smoking in the boiler room! He broke the record for the number of Extinguished Services Awards received by anyone. He proudly retired, as planned, at the age of 55.
Dad had such a zest for life and he enthusiastically participated in activities with us kids. Dad would take us fishing, swimming, camping, and hiking to places like Devil’s Lake and Stewart Park or to his (boy-hood) stomping grounds, Governor’s Island. For as long as we can remember, we would go on our annual trip driving all over the U.S. and into Canada, visiting national parks and monuments. He bought a family season pass to a local ski-hill and dad would get right in line with us and our cousin, Mark, to carve out the moguls on the ski-run! And don’t forget the annual trip to Great America to ride the roller-coasters!
Maybe dad did all those things, because being a single dad, he had to keep his three rambunctious children occupied! However, dad had his own hobbies as well. He would go on motorcycle trips out west with Tom and other buddies. He regularly played poker for money with his good ole guy friends (Dennis, Ed, Jimmy, Don, Bud, Motier). And he was always on a bowling league (until his breathing got the best of him)! There were also simple things in life that Paul enjoyed, like: coffee, morning buns, going to various supper clubs, his bunnies running around in his yard, having family over for a grill-out, going to eat donuts with Breyden. Dad also loved his cats! In particular, Étoile, our child-hood fully clawed cat whom would sit on dads’ bare shoulders and not leave a single scratch.
Dad didn’t give a sh*t, what others thought. He was his own unique person, not playing the social-construct game. He just did what he felt was right and held us accountable to his expectations as well. He had an innate ability to teach us life lessons incorporating his own brand of sense-of-humor. “You can’t get high breathing the air and you can’t get drunk drinking fresh water.” In winters, he would always tell us to, “drive fast on the ice so that you get off of it quicker!” Further, he taught us how to fish, play euchre (while we were all in elementary school!), manage finances, run a saw, laugh, the list goes on. “Paulie” let us be who we were. There were very few things in life that if we didn’t want to do it, we didn’t have to. We grew into strong-willed, independent, adults because of it.
Dad is survived by his children: Dawn Storley (Shawn Wardall), Jon Storley (Megan), Valarie Northrop (Steve); grandchildren: Storm Chetwood, Breyden King, Berlyn Lord; ex-wife Cheryl Gursoy; siblings: David Storley (Luanne), Geraldine Sprague, and Charlene Fleck; many nieces and nephews: Chad, Connie, Danny, David, Jay, Jill, Linda, Lisa, Lori, Mark, and Randy; and other extended family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents: Arthur and Marion Storley; twin siblings: Donna and Donald Storley; brother-in-law: Willard "Bud" Sprague; and his twin sister's partner of 30 years: Mason North.
Dad has been sick for the past decade more so than we ever knew. It turned him into a “grumpy old man” and lost friends and family because of it. We ask for your grace to remember him in the good times and show up for the positive relationship that you once had with him.
Even though it was the hardest thing that we have ever had to do, it was a gift to spend the last couple of months with dad as we cared for him 24x7 at his home. We got to see his “old self” again and he even came up with some new one-liners!! “It’s not a good idea to get old and half dead.”
We would like to send a heartfelt thank you to dad’s grandson, Breyden King, for living with him for the past year. Along with dad’s end of life care team: Kathi, Terri, ProMedica Hospice, Amy Eckles, Aunt Gerry, and Cousin Chad Fleck. And all those behind the scenes; whether it was checking in on us, making meals, keeping our households going, providing emotional support, letting us take time off from work, lending us chuck pads, bringing dad donuts.
Feel free to make a donation in Paul’s honor to the COPD Foundation or your charity of choice.
We love you dad / Grandpie Paul!
Visitation will be from 3-5:00 PM on Friday, March 24, 2023 at Cress Funeral Home EAST WASHINGTON with a Service at 5:00 PM. There will be a Celebration of Life from 6-9:00 pm at 33 Belmont Rd, Madison, WI.
Cress Funeral Home-- East Washington
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