Paul Donley passed away peacefully on June 27, 2017, with his wife Merry of 49 years at his side. Born Jan. 4, 1946 to Warren and Laura Donley, Paul grew up in Alexandria, MN, where he later retired. Paul and Merry enjoyed nine years on Lake Carlos and countless rounds of golf at the Alex Golf Club, where Paul served on the Board and as President for years. Paul loved sports, whether playing or watching, but he especially enjoyed his 40 consecutive years in the annual Resorters Golf Tournament.
Paul is survived by his loving wife Merry; two devoted sons Michael of Bloomington and Scott (Courtney Briden) of Minneapolis; three grandchildren, Jackson, Nicholaus, and Katelyn; sister Dorothy (DeWayne) Bisek of Nelson; brother William (Carol) of Williamsville, New York; sister Karen Donley of Coon Rapids, and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his two sisters, Barbara and Katherine.
Paul earned a football scholarship to Concordia College in Moorhead and graduated with a BA in Elementary Education. While there, he met Merry. He later returned to Concordia as Director of Development in 1973.
Paul was a natural leader. From his high school days as Minnesota President of the State Student Council to a 34-year career in education, Paul was known as a principled leader who met both personal and professional challenges with great energy and optimism.
Paul began his career in Burnsville teaching 6th graders before becoming a principal at William Byrne Elementary. He spent many years in the Moundsview School District as the Coordinator of the Community Resource Center, then Director of Community Education, and later Executive Director of Operations. He led several successful referendums during his tenure that generated significant funding for Moundsview.
Paul completed his career in the Wayzata School District as the Executive Director of Human Resources before retiring in 2004. While there he made significant contributions to the organizational structure and hiring practices. Paul will be remembered for his commitment to education, his unwavering devotion to his family, and his life-long friendships. He will be missed.
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