Eldon Edward Pauls was born to Ed and Louise (Edigar) Pauls March 10, 1932 in Moundridge KS in McPherson County. Religion played an important part in the Pauls family and he attended church and Sunday Shcool at Hoffnungsau Mennonite Church all his early years. He attended school in McPherson County starting at Peaceful elementary and graduated from Moundridge High School in 1951. He enjoyed sports and agricultural classes in school and in 1952, traveled to Denver Colorado to do voluntary service at General Rose Hospital for 2 years. While there, Eldon discovered snow skiing and ice skating, spending a great deal of time among friends.
After coming home from Denver, he worked for Ediger Brother’s as well as Clinton Schmidt in construction. He also worked for Bell Telephone in Hutchinson. In 1955 when the offer came to farm with his brother Irv in Western Kansas, he did not hesitate. He and his brother worked together in Kalvesta and them formed a partnership and moved their operation to Ulysses, Kansas. While there they had their first experience farming with irrigation. They raised several crops that were new to them, including sugar beets and castor beans. They also raised a herd of sheep and fed cattle.
Eldon met Allene Ivy Day in Wichita, a friend and co-worker of this brother Herb’s wife, Joleen. Thus began a long distance romance that culminated in a marriage September 17th of 1961, after a year of dating. Starting their new life together in an old army barracks was an adventurer to be sure with lots of fun along the way with Irvin and his family living close by. They continued to farm and began a family with the adoption of Merrile Elaine in August of 1963. In 1964, a move to Garden City occurred due to a physician’s recommendation to leave farming related to a bad back. He worked there at St. Catherine’s Hospital in maintenance and also at Oswald’s Manufacturing and Ansel Cab doing welding. In February of 1966 they added to their family with the adoption of Luellen Joy.
In 1968, Eldon moved his family to Dodge City to begin work at BJ Manufacturing to continue to pursue a career in welding. There they purchased a ½ acre land plot and built a new home, which at that time was out of the city limits but was later annexed in to town. Soon after the cattle business dipped and BJ Manufacturing had a large lay off that included Eldon. He soon found work in the maintenance and grounds department at the Dodge City Community College. He continued his work there until he retired 23 years later in 1994. At the start of his employment the campus was brand new and Eldon participated in the building of dormitories, the Deiseal mechanics building, the addition to the Fine Arts building, the Horse Science building and mentoring young athletes every year, who were under his tutelage.
All the while, at home, Eldon maintained a yard and garden that was the envy of the neighborhood ( the local police were especially interested in the large poppy crop) and encouraged his daughters to work in and enjoy the outdoors and nature. Always, from the time of birth, Eldon encouraged his daughters in their spiritual lives by providing an exemplary example of Christian Life. The family attended church at the College Heights Nazarene Church. Eldon served there as usher and on the Board of Trustees Many good times were shared with piano recitals, band performances and musicals as music was always valued in the Pauls home. Education was also an avenue encouraged and provided to his kids through college. In is own words, when asked what spiritual legacy he would like to leave, he responded, “The strength from the Lord I drew when I started farming on my own with Irv and when I had cancer. The Lord’s love for me and the never ending strength. I would like this dependence on the Lord to be passed to my children so that one day we can have a glorious reunion in Heaven.” Later he would say this included his grandchildren as well. Lou and her husband traveled to Kazakhstan to adopt two boys, Alex and Grant, from an orphanage there. Eldon supported the boys by attending their sporting events and all the other extracurricular and church activities as well as their love of mechanics.
In 2004, after they they moved to Hutchinson KS, they began to attend the South Hutchinson Mennonite Church, now known as Journey Mennonite. They developed friendships there that have lasted nearly 20 years by being involved in grow groups along the way. In their years together as a family many happy times were spent in the Colorado Rockies and other Mountain ranges, their vacations in Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, North and South Dakota and Wyoming as well as the well deserved trip for Eldon and Allene to England to meet her family there. They did everything together and now, they are together again for part of the glorious reunion he looked forward to so much.