Beloved Tukwila man's family share memories
By SARAH KEHOE
Tukwila Reporter Reporter
July 3, 2012 · 12:52 PM
Tukwila lost a beloved and long-time resident last month.
Paul Gully,84, passed away on June 23 due to various health issues, including inoperable lung cancer, high blood sugar and other complications. He is survived by his beloved wife of 55 years, Betty Jean Gully and his four children Craig Gully, Mark Gully, Cathy Gully Wahlstrom and Mark Wahlstrom. Paul has 10 grandchildren, and six great grandchildren. Paul was one of seven children born to Clarence and Esther Gully of Willow Lake, South Dakota and is survived by his sister Leona Wiley.
"I believe it was his hands that best described him as a person," said Mark Gully. "While cracked, wrinkled and rough to the touch they were the same hands that farmed the land to feed his family, fought for his country, participated in making the world’s best airplanes, build a cabin in the woods, spent his time fishing helping his kids with tangled lines and baiting hooks instead of tending his line, applauded his kids musical accomplishments and opened his home and heart to lost souls until they could find their way. His hands may have suffered but their warmth and loving touch always remained."
A pillar in the Tukwila community, Paul worked with Pre-Kindergarten children in the Head Start program in the 60s, was a Cub Scout Master and square dancer in the 70s. He was a community activist & volunteer for Tukwila Schools, the Rainier Symphony and the Tukwila Food Bank. Paul and Betty fostered numerous children and opened their home to anyone in need.
"Paul took me in when I was 16 years old and extremely lost," said Mark Wahlstrom. "Over the years he has been a constant in my life. Always a good man, he touched my life through his steady devotion to his family and especially his wife of 55 years Betty."
Paul was a 34-year employee of the Boeing Company as a tool and die maker, a Korean War Veteran and a active member of St. Thomas Parrish.
Paul and Betty operated Gully Gardens in their retirement and he was an avid bee keeper. He taught and mentored countless members of the community to become bee keepers and to the children in the Tukwila Schools he was affectionately called “The Bee Man” for his work demonstrating and educating young children about the benefit of bees.
"When I was little my Dad taught me to dance, first the waltz standing on his shoes just like many little girls learn and then later the jitterbug and square dancing," recalled Cathy. "We had such great time spinning around the floor. He would get his dancing shoes on, and be scooting across the floor holding out his hand for some lady to slide in for a swing around the floor with that infectious, mischievous smile."
Betty and Paul were featured in the Tukwila Reporter's Valentine's edition because of their happy 55-year marriage. Paul talked about how much he loved his wife.
"I'm grateful for her and am proud of her as a wife and a grandma," Paul said in February. "She is in charge of everyone's birthdays and get togethers. She makes everything fun."
Services for Paul will be held at 11 a.m. on July 5 at St. Thomas Parrish, located at 4415 S. 140th, Tukwila. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to: VanishingBees.com or the Puget Sound Bee Keepers Association (pugetsoundbees.org).
Reach Sarah Kehoe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 253-872-6600 ext. 5056.
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