Mr. Paul K. Edrington, Lt. Col. USAF, Ret., 80, of Punta Gorda, Florida, went to be with his Lord and Savior the morning of Feb. 3, 2011 after a gallant fight against cancer.
He lived an amazing life of adventure and service. Born on Dec.21, 1930 in Spurgeon, Indiana, he grew up as a farm boy with far away dreams to see the world. After graduating from high school in 1948 at the age of 17 he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and started a life of service to his country. He served as a radio operator in the Berlin Air Lift, a cryptologist and communications specialist and instructor until 1957 when he went into the reserves. In 1954, he met the love of his life Velta Anne Manning who he married in 1955. While in the reserves he then went to college, got a degree in teaching and started a career alongside his wife as a teacher of History and English. In the fall of 1962 he was called back to active duty during the Cuban Missile Crisis as a first lieutenant. He worked in the Air Logistics Command rising to the rank of Lt. Col and retiring from active duty in June of 1985. He served all over the world including Pakistan, Thailand, Germany, and the deserts of Libya and was awarded many accommodations and awards during his combined 37 years of service. In his retired life he moved to Punta Gorda, a place he would come to love as his home. He joined the Rotary Club of Punta Gorda and continued his life of service. His favorite sight was as he crossed the Peace River looking across at Punta Gorda when he could often be heard saying, just another day in paradise. He never forgot his Hoosier roots but considered himself a Floridian at heart.
He is survived by his wife Anne, two sons Greg and Robert, a daughter-in-law Melissa, five grandchildren, two brothers Don and Carroll, and a sister Margaret.