Welter, Paul A. 72, passed away peacefully in his home on Friday, January 6, surrounded by his close family. Paul died of complications from colon cancer. He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Phyllis; sons. Eric (Kimberley) and Darren; grandson, Paul Thomas; sisters, Joanne and Norene; and brother David. Paul's last years reflect his extraordinary personal strength and love for life. Throughout four years of chemotherapy, Paul continued to engage himself as fully as possible in every aspect of his life, including his work, family and personal interests. Until November 2005, he continued to work part time at Merchant & Gould, the intellectual property law firm where he began his career over forty years ago. In recent years, Paul's family became used to hearing the doctors and nurses who treated him share their astonishment at the depth of his quiet fortitude. To his family, however, this personal strength came as no surprise. Paul grew up on a farm homesteaded by his grandparents and located outside of Bemidji, MN. From his educational start in a country schoolhouse, Paul went on to graduate cum laude from Bemidji State University with a degree in chemistry. He served as an officer in the U.S. Navy and later graduated cum laude from William Mitchell College of Law, which he attended at night. He joined Merchant & Gould in 1965, where he found a vocation that he loved and that would last him the rest of his life. In his years with Merchant & Gould, Paul served as Treasurer, Administrative Vice President, as President, as a Member of the Board of Directors, and as Managing Partner of the firm, all while handling a number of the firm's major clients. He was frequently listed in the publication Best Lawyers in America, and often dubbed a "Superlawyer" by the Minnesota Journal of Law & Politics. Above all, Paul was known by his colleagues, his clients and the legal community as a man of unwavering integrity. Paul was an active member in the Twin Cities community, both in and outside of legal circles. A member of the Minneapolis Rotary Club since 1973, Paul served on the Board of Directors of the Fund for the Legal Aid Society; as a member of the Board of Directors and President of the Minnesota Intellectual Property Law Association; on the Board of Directors of the William Mitchell College of Law Alumni Association; and generously donated time and financial contributions to political and social organizations, most notably The United Way. Paul enjoyed spending time with his family in a variety of settings. He never outgrew his appreciation for the north woods, and particularly enjoyed spending time with his wife and children at their family cabin, an unassuming cabin on a small, secluded lake, but surrounded by sixty acres of untouched woods where Paul cleared paths for walking in the summer and cross-country skiing in the winter. In later years, the family also spent time every winter at their condominium on Sanibel Island in Florida. Whether walking the woods in Minnesota or the beach in Florida, Paul took pleasure in pointing out the variety of wildlife around him and surprising the rest of his family with the extent of his knowledge about the natural world. At home, Paul and Phyllis were dedicated parishioners of St. Olaf Catholic Church in downtown Minneapolis. On April 24, 2005, they renewed their wedding vows at St. Olaf honor their fortieth anniversary. Mass of Christian Burial Wednesday, January 11, at 10:00AM at The Church of St. Olaf, 8th St. and 2nd Ave S. Minneapolis. The service will be followed by a reception in the St. Olaf Gathering Room. Private Interment Gethsemane Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to The Fund for the Legal Aid Society or The United Way. Washburn-McReavy Edina Chapel 952-920-3996

Published on January 8, 2006

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