Obit: Bill Paulsen


Bill Paulsen, age 91, of Durant, passed peacefully on Monday, Dec. 31, 2018, at the Wilton Retirement Community surrounded by family.

Visitation was held on Saturday, Jan. 5 from 9 a.m. until noon at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Wilton. Mass immediately followed. Interment took place at the Durant Cemetery in Durant, where the Durant American Legion Post #430 conducted military graveside honors.

A memorial has been established in his memory.

Online condolences may be left for the family at

Bill was born on his family’s farm north of Walcott on Jan. 25, 1927, the son of William and Anna (Griebel) Paulsen. He proudly served his country as First Sergeant of Canon Troop in the 1st Calvary for the United States Army in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater during WWII.

Bill married Margie Budelier on May 20, 1950 in Wilton. She preceded him in death on Dec. 11, 2014.

Bill graduated from Central High School in Davenport and attended the University of Missouri at Columbia and the University of Wyoming at Laramie. Beginning in 1947 he worked at Liberty Trust and Savings Bank, eventually he was promoted to president and chairman of the board of directors; he served as Chairman Emeritus until his death.

Bill was proud of his community and enjoyed serving consistently in many capacities including the Durant City Council, Durant School Board, Durant Municipal Electric Board, the American Legion Post #430 (70 years), the Sigourney Quail Hunters Club and he commanded the American Legion Color Guard with pride. Bill was instrumental in the development of “Living Limbs” park and walking path, restoration of the Doran Cemetery and the creation and implementation of the Leland Smith Assisted Living Facility. He maintained his interest in farming and agriculture his entire life, owning farmland, a purebred Angus herd, Arabian horses and POAs. He volunteered extensively at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in various capacities, such as board member and lector.

Above all, Bill was a committed husband, father, grandpa, uncle, brother and friend. He enjoyed good humor and had an absolute love for family and other social gatherings such as participation in volksmarches, dancing, playing cards, playing softball, fishing, horseback-riding with family and friends and Cubs baseball.

Bill is survived by his children: Mike Paulsen and Laurey Easland of Iowa City, Tom Wittman of Johnston, Jim and Cindy Paulsen of Medina, Minnesota, Jane Paulsen of Solon, Lynne Paulsen and Bob Culbert of Johnston and Heidi Paulsen and Ja Strating of Coralville; his grandchildren: Emily and Kevin Ray, Joel Wittman and Lucas and Caroline Wittman, Katie and Nick Klitzke, Matt Paulsen and Megan Paulsen, Jordan and Maren Clemsen, Evan, Max and Annie Culbert and Justice and Theadora Lesperance; and his great-grandchildren: Heidi, Liam and Aimee Ray, Maddie Klitzke and Reuben Wittman.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Margie, his daughter Julie, his sisters Mabel Nolte and Irene Paulsen and his brothers Wilbert and Eldon Paulsen.

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