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(February 3, 1942 - October 1, 2013)

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Stephen M. Paun, resident of Douglas since 1963, peacefully left us on October 1, 2013. He was born on February 3, 1942 to Stephen and Anne (Stanisich) Paun in Eveleth, Minnesota. Growing up in Gilbert, MN, he thrived in small-town life with his mom, sister (Bonnie), numerous cousins and extended family. The love and guidance of his family helped him cope with the loss of his father at the age of ten. Steve was extremely active, with exceptional talent as a trumpet player and athlete. He began playing with the high school band when he was only in the fifth grade. Recognized in northern Minnesota for his achievements in track, his 9.9 second, 100-yard dash remained a school record until the school closed in the mid-90’s. As a running back in football, he set a personal record of scoring 5 touchdowns in one game earning him the recognition of “High School Football Player of the Week” in Minnesota. Steve was also an accomplished student and leader, serving as a class officer and student council president. As a junior, he convinced the school board to support a varsity hockey program. Steve acted in lead roles in several school plays and was also selected to represent Gilbert High School at Minnesota’s Boys State in 1958. After graduating high school in 1959, he accepted an offer to play football for the University of Minnesota in Duluth where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in English. Shortly after graduation, he attended a Teacher Job Fair where he was offered a position in Douglas, Arizona. Sight unseen, he anticipated a new life and then began his four-year career in education at Douglas High School. Steve met the “love of his life,” Victoria de la Torre, soon after arriving in Douglas. They dated and then were married in June of 1964. He continued teaching and was actively involved in extra-curricular activities as a coach, as well as a sponsor for several clubs. He loved telling stories of his friends and students and relished those relationships from his time at DHS. In 1967, Steve had an opportunity to become an agent for Allstate Insurance where he remained for over 30 years. Steve was an avid outdoorsman, and loved camping in Cave Creek in the Chiricahua Mountains with his family. He also cherished hunting in the Peloncillos and other nearby mountain ranges, sharing his passion for the outdoors with his family and friends. Annual fishing trips to Big Lake in the White Mountains were a special tradition that he kept for many years. A dedicated husband and loving father, Steve had an amazing sense of humor and made all those around him feel appreciated. He will be deeply missed. The family thanks all those who exhibited loving care and concern for him and the family over the years. Steve is survived by his wife of 49 years, Vicky, sons Stephen, David and Richard, daughters-in-law Clarissa (David), Martha (Richard), four grandchildren (Jake and Lauren, Luke and Caleb), sister Bonnie (Bob) Forte, niece Diana (Michael) McCarroll, and a host of supportive extended family members and friends. A memorial mass, officiated by Father Charlie Knapp, will be held on Friday, October 25, 2013 at Immaculate Conception Church at 3:30 pm. Burial service at City Cemetery and reception at the Lion’s Club will follow. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation, the Douglas Association for Retarded Citizens or the charity of your choice. Funeral arrangements are provided by Brown Page Mortuary in Douglas.


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