Full Name: Eugene Herbert Paul
Date of Death: Saturday, January 23, 2021
Eugene Herbert Paul, 85, passed away on Saturday, January 23, 2021 after a three-year battle with complications resulting from diabetes.
Born August 3, 1935, Gene, as he preferred to be called, grew up in North Bergen, NJ and was the elder of two sons born to Mildred and William Paul. Throughout his youth, he was a proud Boy Scout who achieved Life Scout status, and the many merit badges he earned remained among his prized possessions.
Following his graduation from Weehawken High School in 1952, Gene attended what was then known as the Missouri School of Mines, now Missouri University of Science and Technology, to pursue his passion in mineralogy. His final year of college and his dreams of mining for gems were thwarted by his inability to pass the required physical qualifications due to a benign heart murmur that had been present since birth. He transferred to Fairleigh Dickinson College in NJ for his senior year but left before graduating to join his father’s slipcover and drapery business, which he eventually took over with his brother, Dennis, building the business to include five retail stores spread across Northern New Jersey.
During his years in home decorating, Gene pursued mineralogy as an active hobby and fulfilled his dream by making annual pilgrimages to the amethyst mines of Brazil. He regularly attended weekend “rock swaps” and found a true community among his fellow “rock hounds.” Spending more and more time pursuing this passion, he eventually closed the slipcover business and evolved his hobby into a wholesale business known as TransAmerican Gems & Minerals, once again joined by his brother. He became a staple on the gem and mineral trade show circuit of which he was a founding member with a group affectionately known as The Dirty Dozen. After TransAmerican, his last business venture was By the Redhead/Gene Paul Minerals.
In his younger days, Gene enjoyed skiing, playing volleyball, basketball and poker and was a life-long lover of nature, wildlife and travel with a deep appreciation of the diversity of landscapes across the United States and around the world. He was known by all who knew him for his intelligence and his sharp wit. He remained a Boy Scout at heart until the end.
Gene is survived by his wife Helen (Willow Street, PA) of 42 years, his daughters Janice Paul (Wayne, NJ) and Linda Paul (NYC) from his first marriage, son-in-law Robert Kowal, grandson Andrew Paul, brother Dennis Paul, sister-in-law Judy Paul, nephew Evan Paul, and his beloved dog Beau.
Donations in Gene’s memory can be made to the World Wildlife Fund, The Nature Conservancy, Missouri University of Science and Technology, or to the nature or wildlife organization of your choice.