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Paul F. Pautler

Paul F. Pautler, 86, of Cape Girardeau died Friday, April 10, 2020 at Chateau Girardeau.

He was born Feb. 7, 1934 at the family home in Ste. Genevieve, Mo., the third child and only son of Herman L. and Edna A. (Petrequin) Pautler. He married Hallie B. McHenry on Dec. 14, 1962 in Hogan, MO. She preceded him in death on July 5, 2003. He married Ruth (Jones) McHenry on Sept. 18, 2004. She survives.

Following graduation from Ste. Genevieve High School in 1951, he attended the University of Missouri-Columbia and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in 1956. He then served as an officer (first lieutenant) in the U.S. Army Field Artillery from 1956-57, stationed in Ft. Sill, OK, Ft. Ord, CA and Schweinfurt, Germany. He returned to the University and received his Bachelor of Journalism degree in 1959.

His journalism career began as a young man working with his Uncle Alvin Petrequin in Ste. Genevieve, and his professional career started when he was employed as news editor of the Fredericktown Democrat-News from 1959-1963. He and Hallie moved to Perryville when he purchased The Monitor weekly newspaper on April 1, 1964. During the next 17 years he expanded the newspaper to a twice-weekly publication after acquiring the competing Perry County Republic. Other acquisitions included the Ste. Genevieve Herald, the St. Mary Review, and Mineral Area Publishers, a newspaper printing plant in Farmington, Mo. In January of 1981, he completed a business deal in which he sold all newspaper interests and retired. He was the former president (1975-76) and member of the Southeast Missouri Press Association, former member and associate with the Missouri Press Association, and former member of Sigma Delta Chi, a professional journalism fraternity.

Organizations to which he belonged include member of the Perryville Chamber of Commerce (1964-2000), serving as president in 1972; member of the Board of Directors of the Perryville Development Corp. (1960s – 1997), also serving at one time or another in all executive capacities of the organization; charter member of the Perry County Industrial Development Authority (1983-1998), serving two terms as president; member and president (1986) of the Missouri Health and Educational Facilities Authority; and member and former chairman of the regional Selective Service board (1981-2001). He was also a former director of Capital Bank of Perryville, a member of the Perryville and Cape Girardeau country clubs, former member and secretary of Perryville Elks Lodge 2701, former member and president of the Perryville Lions Club, secretary of Perco Hunting & Fishing Club, member, elder, and former clerk of the session of the First Presbyterian Church in Perryville, member of the First Presbyterian Church in Cape Girardeau, and served two terms on the resident council at the Chateau Girardeau.

In addition to his wife Ruth, he is survived by a son, Paul Pautler Jr. (Anne) of Kansas City; three daughters, Cheryl (Stephen) Rogers of Aurora, CO, Jo (Mike) Greife of Warrensburg, MO, and Jennifer (Tim) Coad of Cape Girardeau; 10 grandchildren, Katie, Ben, Joe, and Hallie Pautler of Kansas City, Matt (Karin) Rogers of Ft. Collins, CO, Sarah Weaver of Louisville, CO, Ryan Mueller of Sullivan, MO, Megan (Craig) Sager of Trenton, MO, and Hogan and Hattie Coad of Cape Girardeau; 7 great-grandchildren, Trista, Bradyn, Daniel, Graeme, Winona, Diana and Aidyn; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. He is also survived by Ruth’s daughters, Sara (Mike) Yates of Ironton, MO, and Amy Moyle of Rolla, MO; her grandchildren Mark (Kayleigh) Jackson of Ironton, MO, and Jeremy (Sara) Jackson of Cape Girardeau; and her great-grandchildren, Malachi, Kynnedy, Lyla, Nolan, and Elliana.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Hallie, and his sisters Yvonne Basler and Elaine McCammon.  

He loved to travel especially to Florida and Hawaii, and in recent years enjoyed spending winters in Puerto Vallarta.

He was a master storyteller and greatly enjoyed regaling his family with tales of his hardscrabble life growing up in Ste. Genevieve in the 1930s and 1940s. His accuracy of such stories was questioned, however, when his children discovered photos of him as a child seated under the family Christmas tree surrounded by toy trucks, airplanes, sporting equipment, and everything else a child could want. His older sisters often confirmed that as the only boy in the family, he managed to do just fine.

He liked to picture himself as the stern taskmaster of the family, but as many friends of his children can attest after experiencing his hospitality and warmth as teenagers, he was really an old softie.

He enjoyed watching the St. Louis Cardinals and was offered a minor league contract by the club as a teenaged left-handed pitcher, which he declined in order to attend college. He also was a loyal fan of all Missouri Tigers sports and any left-handed professional golfer. He loved to fish with numerous fishing buddies over the years, with his children, and with his grandchildren. Many life lessons were taught and learned during these excursions. He also loved following his children and grandchildren in sports, music, writing, theatre and dance, or whatever captured their passions.

One of his more famous qualities was his ability to judge a young person’s character, risk aversion, or perhaps just overall intelligence by offering payment for eating a hot pepper, a pickled herring or an onion. Some youngsters earned upward of several dollars in these challenges, others as little as 13 cents. It’s not known exactly where they ranked in the previously mentioned categories based on the amount of money earned.

He loved deeply, but quietly. Despite his God-given talent with the English language, it was known by most that his affection was not shown in words, but in subtle gestures and small gifts – a chocolate shake, a favorite doughnut from Hoeckele’s, a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit. The meaning was not in the gift itself, but in the affection behind it.

A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to First Presbyterian Church of Cape Girardeau, or charity of choice.

Ford and Sons Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be shared at

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