Paul Wenrick Sr.
Paul Wenrick, Sr. was born in Northumberland, Pennsylvania on the 7th month, 7th day of 1925. As the 7th child of Grover Cleveland and Agnes Clark Wenrich. Paul considered the number 7 to be his lucky number.
Paul was barely 17 when he entered Naval service, and served until January 1946. In 1942 he left the New York harbor on the USS Independence, which was later torpedoed. He then was assigned in HILO, HA, with CASU #31, a Carrier Aircraft Servicing Unit. From there he was assigned to a Salvage and Rescue ship from 1944 to 1945, which did a lot of salvage in Hawaii after Pearl Harbor, Marshall Islands, Guam, Mariana Islands and finally the Philippines before sailing to San Diego California where he disembarked. Along the way, he met his future wife Dorothy Brawner, when his ship was in the Portland shipyards for repair. His future wife was a welder doing repairs on the ships. He was discharged in Bainbridge, Maryland, and traveled back to Oregon to marry his sweetheart.
Paul came to Oregon, married Dorothy, and became an Oregonian. Of this marriage, his son Paul was born and his daughter Nancy. For 7 decades, he lived in Canby, Oregon.
Paul began his lifelong devotion to The American Legion in the latter 50's, serving 7 continuous decades or 61 plus years. Paul started some of the traditions that are still ongoing: the cemetery flag program in 9 different cemeteries for Veterans on Memorial Day, the Memorial Day chicken BBQ that drew crowds from Posts near and far. His most time worthy project was reclaiming (along with two other Legion members) the wood floors from the local skating rink which also housed the American Legion's meeting place. When the new building was purchased and remodeled (the old Canby movie theater), the wood was reinstalled on those floors and still is intact today. There were several distinguished WWII veterans along with Paul, who started projects that have continued through the decades; the Tom Gardner spaghetti feed each Veterans Day, Hamburger cook at the annual fair booth, the Initiation free crab dinner that his family worked all summer cooking hamburgers at the post on Friday nights to buy the crab. Friday hamburgers still exist with the Legion family providing the manpower now. You may have seen him carrying the flag for the annual Fair parade or the Honor Guard for service members.
Paul was also a dedicated Oregon City Elks member for 57 years, long time chicken barbequer for the Clackamas County Fair and Elk's summer picnic that he tried to never miss.
Paul loved to fish, bowl, and garden in his younger years. After retiring from Crown Zellerbach with 37 years of employment, he bought a boat and became a serious angler. Paul also planted an orchard of peaches and a field of raspberries, becoming known to many as their Peach or raspberry man. His yard was a sight to behold, with passerby's stopping and asking questions almost every day.
Paul was married three times and his three wives preceded him in death. Paul is survived by his son, Paul, Jr. (wife Linda), two granddaughters and 3 great grandchildren. His Daughter, Nancy also survives him, along with two grandsons and six great-grandchildren.
Paul chose not to have a funeral and his children have decided to honor him, by having a chicken BBQ fundraiser and Pie contest at the Canby American Legion on July 20th, at 4pm. The proceeds to benefit the Post building maintenance fund.
Memorials can be made to American Legion Post 122 at PO Box 121, Canby, Oregon, 97013 or the Oregon City Elks BPOE 1189, 610 McLaughlin Blvd., Oregon City, Oregon 97045