Wm. H. Scott Funeral Home

1100 Greenleaf Ave, Wilmette, IL



November 2, 1931July 12, 2019

Paul G. NILSEN was born on November 2, 1931 and passed away on July 12, 2019.


  • Memorial Service Friday, July 19, 2019



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Barbara Phillips

July 18, 2019

Paul was a teacher and student advocate as he championed learning for all. In my former position as director of the School of Education at North Park University, Paul worked enthusiastically and cooperatively with our college and numerous other higher educational institutions to prepare teacher candidates for lives of service to children and the world.

He not only paired future teachers with excellent, mentor teachers from Central School, but he spoke extensively to many audiences about the role and duty of parents, schools, and communities to work cooperatively and directly address the problems that students confront including bullying, AIDS, and abuse. He was respected, admired, and loved.

The lessons he taught us, which we learned through interactions with him, are presently practiced by countless students and teachers who were fortunate enough to be supported and encouraged by him.

Rebecca Littmann

July 15, 2019

Paul was the principal of Central Elementary School for 21 years (1971-1992). He was known for fostering a culture of respect and empathy when he supported a student with AIDS at Central School. In fact, in 1987, Central became the first school in Illinois to open its arms to a young victim of the disease.

Paul also attended many teacher retirement celebrations showing his support to the careers of the staff he served. He reached out to me several times and I have personally appreciated his guidance and support as Central's newest principal. As a staff at Central, we will all take a moment to understand Paul's legacy, and pause to think about how we can continue his efforts of fostering a culture of respect and empathy this coming school year.