Paul Allan Blakeslee
August 30, 1938 – June 13, 2020
Paul Allan Blakeslee was born on August 30, 1938, in St. Johns, Michigan. He was the second child of Levi and Ruby (French) Blakeslee.
Paul grew up on the family farm west of St. Johns with his three siblings, sisters Myrna and Iyla and his brother Dennis. Following his high school graduation, he went on a camping trip West with two friends.
Upon returning home, he enlisted in the United States Navy, becoming a Seabee, and seeing a bit of the world. He was stationed in Puerto Rico, Grand Turks Island, and made a memorable trip to the Antarctic where he spent the summer stationed at McMurdo Beach. The trip was made on an ice breaker and included a stop in New Zealand where the residents took all the sailors into their homes while the ship was being restocked.
Following his honorable discharge from the Navy Paul returned home to attend Michigan State University.
On September 12, 1959, Paul married his high school sweetheart Joyce Harris, and they moved into Spartan Village while he completed his Bachelor’s and his Master’s degrees in Engineering at MSU.
Springfield, Illinois, was their next home where he worked in environmental engineering. While there he earned his Professional Engineer certification. He took an opportunity to return to Michigan when he was offered a position working in environmental protection with the Department of Natural Resources, Water Quality Division. He enjoyed working with his colleagues and working to protect our Michigan waters.
Paul loved golf and especially enjoyed playing in his golf league. He was active in the Michigan Water Pollution Association, serving as secretary of that organization. He was always active in his church, serving as Youth leader, Sunday school teacher, and head usher through the years.
He was kind and ready to help anyone who needed help. He loved his family and especially looked forward to hosting all of his and Joyce’s siblings, along with their families in their home at Thanksgiving. Most of all, he cherished their three daughters and their families.
Paul is survived by his wife Joyce and by three daughters: Kathryn (Bob) Tucker, Kristine (Matt) Blakeslee/Grandstaff, and Karyn (Jeff) Smith; by eight grandchildren: Alyssia (Lindsay), Paul (Sonia), Aubrey (Dustin), Daniel, Myles, Levi, Jacob (Liz), and Justin; and by one great-grandchild, Amelia.
The family would like to thank the staff at Robinwood Landing for the wonderful care they gave Paul.
Visitation for Paul will take place Thursday June 18 from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm at Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes, 205 E. Washington, DeWitt followed by a Graveside Service at Gunnisonville Cemetery, Lansing.
- Jeff Smith
- Justin Smith
- Matt Grandstafff
- Levi Grandstaff
- Bob Tucker
Thursday, June 18, 2020
Paul Allan Blakeslee
July 12, 2020
Paul was such a good man and a fine engineer. I had the opportunity to work with Paul for nearly 20 years as he served as Section Chief of the Field Operations of Surface Water Quality Division of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (later the Department of Environmental Quality). Paul was a vital part of our division’s management team as the division worked to protect the quality of Michigan's rivers, lakes, and streams. His staff, and colleagues, and the division management team always thought very highly of Paul and relied on his leadership. After Paul and I retired, our close friendship continued. My condolences to Paul’s family.
June 16, 2020
Paul was a mentor to me. He helped me return to Michigan after a short time working in Minnesota. He was willing to share his wisdom and helped guide me through my career. He was a true gentleman and a kind soul. Hugs and prayers to his family.
June 15, 2020
I would like you to know that I enjoyed and appreciated working with Paul. He made my move to Cadillac possible long ago and provided me with the best direction and supervision I could hope for. I learned from him. I respected him. I trusted him. And I never beat him at golf but I always enjoyed watching him play. Please accept my condolences at this time.