Paul A. Bierly: 1934-2013

My uncle Paul Ashton Bierly was laid to rest today after a humorous, heartfelt eulogy by his eldest daughter, Paula. (I don’t know how she did it. I couldn’t have gotten through it.)

He had a mighty grip, a quick wit, and compassion that never quit. He loved family, Florida, and golf. As my cousin Steven said before the service, “He could have hit a baseball a mile.” To which my cousin Greg replied, “But he would have chosen not to.” I don’t even know exactly what that means, but we all laughed at it, and Paul would have laughed at it, too.

Before his first wife, Jean, passed away from cancer when I was very young, I do remember going to their house a lot. One time he told me to go downstairs and see what was down there. Sure enough, STAR WARS was playing on his TV. I had no idea what cable television was. All I knew was that STAR WARS could only be seen at the movies, but somehow my uncle Paul was showing it in his living room. My little mind was blown.

He would later remarry, embracing his new wife Pat’s family as if they’d always been his own. All my love goes out to Pat, to his daughters Paula and Angie, to his son, Mark, and their families, to my father and his other brothers and sisters, and of course to my grandma, who turned 99 in June.

When my mom was ill, Paul called us constantly to check on her. So Paul, I’m counting on you to give her a huge hug for me. You’re going to be more missed than any of us has words for.


  1. Paula Gaddis says:

    Johnny, That was so sweet. I may have made it thru the eulogy but not this. I called Angie and she said the same thing. Thanks so much for your thoughts. We will surely miss him. I still miss your Mom’s smile. Love, hugs and kisses Paula
    PS HUG your dad!!!!

  2. Mary Lou Summers says:

    I loved reading this. I miss Paul so much, especially talking about everything on
    the phone. He was great brother. John writes so well. I never know what to say and
    he always does.

    Love Mary Lou

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