OBITUARY

Paul Gerard Kokx

August 19, 1958June 18, 2018

Paul Gerard Kokx, business executive, died suddenly, at 59 years of age, June 18th.

Survived by his wife Annmarie Gilliatt Kokx, his daughter Anastasia (Douglas) Szymul, his son Jason Kokx, brothers and sisters, Dayle (Gale) Kokx, Karel (John Verhagen) Rogers, Nick (Pat) Kokx, Daniel Kokx Sr., Mary Jo (Kent) Kattelman, Jean Kokx, and Tara (Bill) Fox, grandsons Damen James and Hendrix Paul Szymul. Paul was the much loved son of Wanda and Delbert Kokx, both deceased.

Mr. Kokx was the technical and development advisor for CITIC Dicastal, Qinhuangdoa, China, Hebei Province. He participated and contributed in all elements of forged wheel sales, development and production for worldwide customers for fifteen years, learning the culture, the language and making friends along the way. His wife would join him on occasion and he took great joy in this and in all of their travels and adventures, which were many. He was owner and operator of his company of seventeen years, ReStock Wheels, a wheel remanufacturing shop in Southfield, MI. Mr. Kokx was a Vice President of Reynolds International 1988-1999 in which he derived much of his expertise in the international aluminum wheel industry. He worked as a CAD consultant for GE years 1983-1985 and as a Senior Project Engineer with The Budd Company from 1980-1985 in the Greater Detroit area working as a Body Stamping Engineering Liaison.

An engineer, builder, artist, entrepreneur, machinist, troubleshooter, mentor, the list is endless. Both a maverick and a MacGyver. Above all, Paul was a thinker. He embraced critical thinking and understood the importance of different ideas and perspectives.

Paul was in the process of completing his handcrafted home, he affectionally named "Paulyanna", at the time of his sudden death.

A friend to many, Paul will be remembered with fondness and love.

"Please don't trivialize time with publicly expressing personal experience through inane videos etc. Compress YOUR life/thoughts to wisdom. write it.

LIFE IS SHORT"

Paul Kokx March|2018

Services

  • Visitation Monday, June 25, 2018
  • Funeral Mass Tuesday, June 26, 2018
REMEMBERING

Paul Gerard Kokx

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Ari Echt

July 1, 2018

When I got the call from my wife about Paul’s passing, I was in total disbelief.

About 10 days later, I still am. Part of why it’s not sinking in is probably due to distance as we live in California. But I think also because I always saw Paul as a super hero who could not be touched.

Being at his memorial helped me come to grips a little, but I still am having trouble believing he is gone.

He really was a hero/idol for me. Even though I usually felt like an incapable idiot around him, I loved being with Paul. He was so patient, so easy going, so supportive, and such a great teacher.

Paul taught me a great deal about boats, and life.

I was in constant awe of the projects he would take on. I remember the afternoon when he and AnnMarie first saw the cottage in Waterford. They stopped by afterwards and he drew on a napkin all these grand plans. He was so excited. When I saw the cottage in person, I of course thought he was nuts. But I should have known better, because the masterpiece I saw while visiting this past week was very similar to what he drew on that napkin 10 years earlier. So amazing.

There were many times over the past 6 months where I thought about giving Paul a call to just to chat. But for whatever reason, I never did. Oh how I wish I had.

It was a treat to be around Paul’s family around the service, as I had know idea about his roots. What an amazing group of people.

Paul, I will forever remember you as one of the great minds, and doers in life. Thank you for sharing your gifts, kindness, and brilliance with us all.

Love always,
Ari

Todd Larson

June 26, 2018

Mr. Kokx was such an awesome guy. I Wakeboarded with Jason almost every day the summer of 2001&2002. Mr. Kokx always had a smile on his face and was so fun to hang out with on the boat. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Kokx family in this time of mourning. He will always be remembered for his kindness, generosity, and positive outlook on life.

Jean Kokx

June 24, 2018

Rest, well, Paul., wherever you are. Better than heaven, I’ll bet.

Ina Laura James

June 23, 2018

I met Paul when he was the best man for my husband, Tom James. And Paul truly was the BEST man! He flew into Portland Oregon from Michigan and enthusiastically greeted Tom, gave me a big hug as we were introduced, then clapped his hands together and said, "OK, I'm here for your special day, what can I do?" And he ran around with us doing some errands, seeing some sights, and, mostly, having a BLAST!! He and my mother, who was there by herself all the way from Tennessee, stayed with Tom and me. My mother, Dotti, and Paul hit it off immediately! She was a funny, ready to jump into anything person too so they easily connected. After our beautiful wedding day, Paul and my mother went back to our house and discovered we had locked them out! No problem for Paul! He got them inside and they had a great evening together chatting and laughing. Until she died, my mother spoke highly of Paul - so impressed with him from just one brief visit - and as recently as last month, Paul spoke highly of my mother. I know Paul was such a great support for Tom when they were in college together and he was certainly a great support for us during our wedding. Energetic with a big warm smile - ready and willing to roll with whatever was going on . . . a TRUE friend . . . something rare and someone who will be dearly missed.

Thomas James

June 23, 2018

Part II:

After college, I got a job with an airline and moved to the beautiful state of Oregon. Paul completed his degree in Civil Engineering a year later. We both had our careers going so we didn't talk a whole lot each year but we would check in with each other to see how the jobs were going and how Paul's children, Staci and Jason, were doing, etc. He was very proud of his kids!!!! I would visit him a few times the next few years, and one time he took us out on his boat, with my nephew Will and Jason on an inner tube Paul was pulling. All of a sudden he yells "HOLD ON!", and I"m thinking what??? and he spins the boat 3/4 way around on a dime and I about fly out of the boat, and I look over at him and he's looking at me with that Paul grin and smirk and then a little laugh to follow. The guy just loved to have FUN!! Then, I finally found the girl, Ina Laura, to marry, and he was my best man!! He had a very busy schedule as usual, but he made time to be a part of my special day, even if it meant coming in late one night and basically leaving 24 hours later flying almost coast to coast in time for our morning wedding in Oregon. He was truly a BEST MAN at my wedding!! Thank You Paul!! Then along came my son, Austin. When we visited Paul he would let Austin (at a young age) play with a remote car running up and down his driveway for the longest time. Austin had the biggest grin on his face! Then more years passed where we didn't talk much until these past 6 months. I touched base with him and Annmarie, that I would be coming to Michigan and they insisted I stay with them in the cottage and in turn showed me all the work done to the Paulyanna. All I can say about that project, UNBELIEVABLE!! The things that guy could do!!! Amazing!!

Paul was always such a great friend to me at important times of my life. I will miss you, my dear Friend!!

Thomas James

June 23, 2018

I met Paul at Michigan State in 1977 because my roommate moved down the hall and I needed a new roommate. The first time I saw Paul he walked into the dorm room with a guitar in one hand and a motorcycle helmet in the other hand. I was thinking is this guy in the right place?? After getting to know Paul a bit and hanging around him more it seemed like there was nothing he couldn't do because he would back it up with what I"m about to mention . He played the guitar, the piano, he would buy old Mercedes and fix them up to run again and sell them to make money. He was in Civil Engineering so he would go to bed early and get up at 5 am every morning to study during the week. We hung out all the time when we weren't in class! We went to dorm parties and discos together. We even like and dated the same girl at different times. Our Motto was to WORK HARD/ PLAY HARD! After our first school year together ended he was going to live in Sylvan for an internship close to where I lived for the summer. So again, we would spend time together and I would go to parties in his neighborhood at the lake. Then he mentioned going back to his hometown in Hart, Michigan where they had a Rocky Mountain Oyster Party every year. Paul introduced me to that! Yum Yum!! My senior year at MSU, Paul, two other guys, and I rented an apartment together. One of the funniest moments that year was when Paul got up at 5 am like always and was out in the living and I heard some loud rustling and he was running around the place with a brown shopping bag trying to catch or remove a bat that was flying around the apartment. Someone had left the screen door to our apartment open!! Truly, Paul's support, encouragement, and humor enabled me to graduate from Michigan State .

Gail Pawlusiak

June 22, 2018

Our family was devastated to hear of Paul’s untimely passing. He was an amazing brother-in-law and uncle to our kids. We all loved seeing Paul at family functions and enjoyed having dinners with him and Annie and golfing and always loved listening to his stories and knowing how much he loved Annie and their life together. I was always so impressed with how much he helped my mom and dad. He was ready and willing to lend a hand and you could always count on Paul. He was very smart and built a beautiful one-of-a-kind home for him and Annie. We will forever mourn over this loss.

Sharon (Slocum) Hallack

June 22, 2018

Growing up I remember thinking "how cool" all my Kokx cousins were. They were older and lived such interesting lives. Every family gathering doubled when they showed up! Even though it's been years since I've seen some of you, every time we do gather, it's like we've never been apart. Whether it was Thanksgiving at Grandma's, our many family reunions, weddings or even funerals you could bet there would be lots of stimulating conversation and boistrous laughter. In fact that is the first thing I thought about when I heard of Paul's passing, was what a great laugh he had! I can almost hear him "cackling" now! I am so proud to call him one of my cousins and to be part of this beautiful family tree. Praying peace and comfort now and in the days ahead. Sending love and hugs too.

Betsy Ayers

June 22, 2018

I only met Paul one time, while visiting China with Mary Jo and Kent Kattelman last November, 2017 - but what a dynamo! I could have listened to his insights on that remarkable culture and the world all night. Mostly, I stand in admiration of the Kokx kids - so diverse, talented and capable - may you be united in love of life as you grieve Paul's passing. Let the mystery be.

Mary Jo Kattelman

June 21, 2018

Adult life gets full of careers, of raising kids, and of the day to day living. We lose connections with those that are not immediately present in our lives. I live in Missouri but I feel very fortunate to get to know my younger brother again through various family functions, at his and Annmarie’s home, in China, in Colorado and on the phone. He was a man well worth knowing and I am a better person for having known him. He was generous, hardworking, loved his family, and spoke of unconventional ideas that enlarged my world view. I will miss him.