Paul J. Smith, age 63, of Prior Lake, sadly left his family's side on Sunday, September 6, 2020.
A time of gathering will be held on Saturday, September 19, starting at 10 a.m., with closing prayers at 11:45 a.m., at Ballard-Sunder Funeral and Cremation, 4565 Pleasant Street SE, Prior Lake, MN. Father Tom Walker will preside. A private family burial will follow, at Spring Lake Cemetery, Prior Lake. Masks are required and social distancing maintained.
Paul John was born on December 19, 1956, in Minneapolis, the fifth of six children, to Edward John and Esther Bernice (Berry) Smith. Growing up in northeast Minneapolis, he and his older brothers spent countless hours fishing and hunting with their father. Paul also took a strong interest in sports. He especially enjoyed playing hockey with family and friends. Paul graduated from Edison High School in 1975.
After graduation, Paul attended technical school for landscape design. Life's path eventually took him into a different direction and Paul went into tax assessment. He got his start working at the city of Fridley, then spent several years working for Carver County. Paul eventually became an independent real estate appraiser. Paul later took a different direction, creating and developing real estate appraisal software, which was a successful online business.
At the Mermaid Bar in 1980, Paul approached a young gal, Barbara Dwyer, to see if she would dance. The love story began and on October 23, 1981, at the Church of Epiphany in Coon Rapids, MN, they wedded. From this union, Paul and Barb welcomed two amazing sons, Alex, and Brian. The Smith family eventually moved to a home on Spring Lake, in Prior Lake. They enjoyed lake life, tubing, boating, swimming, and his favorite past time of fishing! Paul's favorite travel destination was the North Shore. He relished the annual trips of hiking, walking, and exploring, especially the Duluth and Two Harbors area. Paul and his family ventured out, on many occasions, on Lake Superior in hopes of the perfect catch. The Smiths also enjoyed trips to Mexico, Hawaii and many other attractions in the Midwest.
Paul lived for fishing and sports. He was an avid fan of the Minnesota Twins and Vikings and back in the day the North Stars. However, family was Pauls greatest passion. He relished times sitting around a bonfire and especially getting together at the holidays with his siblings, nieces, and nephews. In 2013, Paul opened their home caring for Barbs mom, until her passing. Family was always most important to him.
Paul lived a simple and full life, even the last eight years, as his health declined. Paul was strong willed and determined. He had a gift to gab and made friends easily. Paul loved having fun and brought life to every gathering. He also had a soft side. Paul was extremely generous and caring. He was truly concerned about everyone's well-being.
Forever loved, Paul will be sadly missed by wife, Barb; sons, Alex, Brian; brother, Richard; sister, Kimberly; numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.
Paul is preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Esther; siblings, Tom, Ron and Cindy.
Ballard-Sunder Funeral and Cremation
proudly served and cared for the Smith family.