By Karen Andrew
The Cincinnati Enquirer
SPRINGFIELD TWP. - Former Hamilton County Commissioner Allen E. Paul, known as the father of Homearama, died Tuesday at his residence. The Springfield Township resident was 84.
He was a Hamilton County commissioner from 1975-80 but vacated his seat so that Ohio's future governor, Bob Taft, could run and launch his political career. Mr. Paul was a Springfield Township trustee from 1972-75.
In 1962, he became the first chairman of the annual Homearama. According to his wife, Bonnie Jellison Paul, he was a hard worker and a mentor to many, often helping others start businesses.
"He was a man of great work ethics," Mrs. Paul said. "He was so generous of his time and knowledge."
Born in 1918 in Cincinnati, he graduated from Hartwell High School in 1935. At age 12, he bought his first car and when he was 13, he opened his own used car lot in his back yard. Part of his sales pitch was he'd teach customers to drive.
After school he went to work for his father's business, the Paul Furnace Co.
In 1939, he traveled to West Virginia to install a furnace and decided to stay overnight instead of driving back to Cincinnati. He was "fixed-up" with a blind date, Anne Hudanich, whom he married that same year.
His brother, Lawrence, who began building homes during the post-World War II building boom, asked Mr. Paul to join him in the business, and they formed Paul Brothers Construction Co.
At first, the company was known for starter homes in College Hill, but later branched into custom homes and apartments. As suburbia grew, so did the company, building shopping centers and apartment complexes and developing subdivisions.
Mr. Paul served as president of the Home Builders Association of Greater Cincinnati; was director of the Ohio Home Builders Association; director and area vice president of the National Association of Home Builders for Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia; served as president of Ohio Valley Development Council; and was Homearama chairman for 14 years.
At the time of his death, he was chairman of the Hamilton County Rural Zoning Commission and has been a member of the Hamilton County Board of Health and the boards of College of Mount St. Joseph and Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority.
He was a member of the Valley of Cincinnati Scottish Rite; the Cincinnati Royal Order of Jesters, Court No. 7; the Cincinnati-Lafayette Lodge 483, F&AM; and Syrian Shrine Temple. Mr. Paul was preceded in death by his first wife (of 53 years) Anne, and a daughter, Marilyn Walters.
Survivors include his second wife, of 10 years, Bonnie Jellison Paul; two daughters, Charlene Lausche and Sally Simonson, both of Springfield Township; sons Tom of Montgomery and C. Robert of Blue Ash; a stepdaughter, Lisa Elliott of Bexley, Ohio; two stepsons, Eric Paul of Atlanta and Ryan Paul of McLean, Va.; 12 grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.
Visitation will be 4 to 8 p.m. today at Northminster Presbyterian Church, 703 Compton Road, Finneytown. Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Friday in the church sanctuary. Interment will be at Oak Hill Cemetery, Glendale.
Memorials: Shriners Hospital for Children, 3229 Burnet Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45229-3095; or the Children's Heart Association, Children's Hospital Medical Center, 3333 Burnet Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45229-3039.
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