MACKINAW CITY, Mich. – Paul Peppler Caswell, passed away on December 18, 2020, while reading in his chair in his family’s cottage looking out over the Straits of Mackinac in Mackinaw City, MI, where he had gone to do some deer hunting. Paul was born in Cheboygan, MI on August 26, 1949, the son of Merle and Catherine (Peppler) Caswell. He grew up in Mackinaw City, lived and worked in several places, and was a long-time resident of Escanaba, MI.
Paul graduated from Mackinaw City High School in 1967, attended Central Michigan University and Ohio State University, and graduated from Central Michigan in 1971 with his Political Science and History Degree. Paul earned his J.D. from Ohio Northern University Law School in 1974. He paid for school with summer jobs, including his favorite of captaining a Straits Transit ferry to Mackinac Island. Paul married the former Karen McConnachie on June 21, 1975 in South Holland, IL. The couple celebrated their 45th anniversary last summer. Paul joined the Marine Corps after law school and was a Judge Advocate General in the Navy, including a year stationed in Japan, an experience he loved. While serving in the military, within the first 5 years of Paul and Karen’s marriage, they moved 8 times. After being honorably discharged, they settled in Midland, MI and he went on to receive his Master’s Degree in Tax Law at DePaul University. In 1983, they relocated to Escanaba and have loved living here ever since. Paul practiced law with Butch Quinn Law Office for many years before pursuing a career with Prudential Insurance. Following retirement, Paul was involved with estate planning for local area residents.
Paul loved people and learning about them. He genuinely enjoyed conversing with total strangers and he often discovered they shared people they each knew. He could resist no baby and would soon have the child in his arms. His grandchildren note that going for a walk with him was a full day outing as he talked to all the folks along the way. He maintained friendships by always finding the time to stay in touch and let people know he cared about them. He championed his family and friends, as in his eyes they were all the best. Paul also loved community and politics. He very much loved football, from managing for The Ohio State University team, to coaching kickers on local high school teams in the Escanaba and Rapid River area, to doing color commentary for local games on the radio. He loved high school wrestling, golf, hunting, and bridge. He walked every day and ran several marathons. His knowledge of history, from his family to world events, was amazing. Rather than Google your question, you’d just call Paul. He maintained and enhanced his knowledge base by being an avid reader from the daily Wall Street Journal to being a frequent library patron with armloads of books to read. Paul was an active member of Bethany Lutheran Church, the Escanaba Country Club, volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters, was involved with the City of Escanaba Planning Commission and the Delta County Democratic Party, former member of the Escanaba Kiwanis Club, and a member of the Michigan Sports Sages.
Paul is survived by his wife, Karen Caswell of Escanaba; daughters, Kristen Caswell (Bradley Williams) of Okemos, MI, and Erin Palmreuter of Gig Harbor, WA; their much beloved grandchildren, Katherine, Benjamin, and Jillian Palmreuter and Piper Williams; his brother Roger (Carol) Caswell, of Marshall, MI; sister, Julie Caswell (Richard Rogers) of South Deerfield, MA; mother-in-law, Louise McConnachie; 1 niece; and 1 nephew.
In addition to his parents, Paul was preceded in death by his father-in-law, Robert McConnachie.
Memorial services celebrating the life of Paul will be held at Bethany Lutheran Church in Escanaba at a later date. Burial will take place in Mackinaw City, MI. The family requests memorials please be directed to Bethany Lutheran Church or Escanaba Friends of the Library.
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Bethany Lutheran Church
202 South 11th Street, Escanaba MI 49829
Escanaba Friends of the Library
400 Ludington Street, Escanaba MI 49829