Paul Stevenson

Celebration of Life

1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Wednesday, November 9, 2022
O'Connell Family Funeral Home
520 11th Street South
Hudson WI, 54016

Memorial Service

1:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Wednesday, November 9, 2022
O'Connell Family Funeral Home
520 11th Street South
Hudson WI, 54016

Paul was born at University Hospital in Minneapolis, the son of Verna Mae (Jones) Stevenson and Alton Stevenson of Hudson, Wisconsin. His parents were lifelong Hudson residents, his father a WWII veteran and self-employed businessman, and his mother the daughter of a downtown Hudson merchant and owner of Jones’ Gift Shop. Hudson was a great place for youth in the 1950’s and 60’s. With only a few activities organized by adults, he and his friends did not lack for fun and games. Non-school hours were spent fishing, swimming, biking, hiking, sledding, skiing, playing baseball, basketball, and football. Paul would look back on those early days and remark, “We had the run of the town. As long as we were home in time for supper, everything was good.”

Paul worked his way through the Hudson school system, describing his experience as “pretty normal.” He had a strong interest in sports and a moderate interest in class participation. He graduated Hudson High School in 1966 and then attended the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The college lifestyle was very much to his liking. He loved the freedoms it offered, the self-accountability, and the social activities. Joining a fraternity provided him the opportunity to continue to participate in competitive athletics. It also gave him the opportunity to participate in numerous keg parties. Paul graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1970 with majors in Psychology and Business Administration. He was a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon social fraternity and Phi Kappa Phi honor society.

Following graduation from UW-Eau Claire, Paul packing his Plymouth Duster and headed for California in search of new environs and experiences. He embraced California’s diversity, its people, culture, and geography. He enjoyed skiing, distance running, beach bumming, exploring the state’s many state and national parks, and supporting Bay Area sports teams – the Giants, Warriors, and 49ers. He settled first in San Jose where he got a job as a Pharmaceutical Representative for Parke-Davis & Co. He attended night school while working in the pharmaceutical business and completed his M.B.A. Program at Santa Clara University.

He left the pharmaceutical business when he was accepted into the Management Program at The Southland Corporation. There he began his long career in retail management. He held several management and executive positions over the course of his career, including Division Manager and Human Resources Director – Retail Operations at Southland Corporation, the owner/operator of the 7-Eleven Store chain, Vice President – Operations at Chief Auto Parts, a 500 store auto parts company, President at Laundry Mart, Inc., a Los Angeles based startup, and Senior Vice President for Western Store Operations at Blockbuster Entertainment, the video rental giant where he was responsible for the 2,000 stores in the western region. During his corporate career he was involved in managing fundraising events for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Throughout his career, Paul regularly returned home to spend time with family and friends including sister Beth Benoy, her family, Jim, Brian, Megan, Nick, Christian, and Roman as well as his childhood friends especially the Locust Street gang. Following retirement and after being reunited with his life partner, Paul permanently returned to the St. Croix Valley and settled into a townhome at the Bayport Marina. There he and Ginny (Jensen) Zuercher began a life of retirement where they both were able to spend more time with family, renew old friendships, and establish new ones. Trips to Florida, Arizona, and Hawaii allowed for short breaks during the winter months. Their favorite trips were to Indiana to hang out with Ginny’s daughters, son-in-law, and grandkids, Liz, Lauren, Ryan, Kendall and Drew. The annual tradition of hosting Kendall and Drew for summer camp at Camp Minnesota-Bayport was something that both Paul and Gin enjoyed as much or more than anything else.

A Celebration of Life will be held from 1-3 p.m. on Wednesday, November 9, 2022 at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home, 520 S. 11th St., Hudson with a service starting at 1:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the American Lung Association

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8 Responses

  1. Just heard the sad news about Paul. Such a shock, and so sad. He was a classmate and friend, and will be missed. My sympathies to his loved ones.

  2. Paul will be sorely missed. He was always so interested in what you were doing in your life and wanted to know what sports your kids were in, even coming to watch some games. Such a kind and funny man. Our prayers are with Gin, Liz, Lauren and family.
    Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

  3. We are so sorry to hear about Paul. We both always remember him as a friend. Our sympathies to his loved ones. He will be missed.

  4. Paul was one of the original “3 Musketeers” of the Locust/5th Street gang. In the early “50’s we were inseparable on the block. It was always Paul, Mike and Les. Then our horizons were expanded. Paul moved across the street, Mike one block over to Vine, and the next thing you knew, we were the “Magnificent 7.” Paul, Mike, Les, Brent, Cliff, Art, Dave. But Paul and his house was always the central gathering spot. Many a whiffle ball games, street football, and who could not forget those basketball games against the barn on Locust, or night time “Kick the Can games!” It was a great time and place to grow up and Paul and his house always seemed to be the central hub of the activity.
    We were good friends and you were groomsman at my wedding. Unfortunately the war and careers took us on separate paths over the years, but getting together this past summer was as if we stepped back in time. “YA!” We were the “5th Street/Locust Gang again! How fortunate we were when our mothers decided to get together for coffee on the block and the three of us met to start that relationship journey. I loved ya man, and will really miss you.
    Sweep the street, cut the grass, and put your glove on the handlebars, cause the rest of the gang will be coming, “O” and say hello to Art OK?
    Love ya man………..Les

  5. A great leader and a kind and great human being.
    Thanks for our time together at Chief Auto Parts, Lucy, Blockbusters and yes Paul worked with me at Four Star Home entertainment. RIP my friend.

  6. Paul was one of my 1st two friends on the block. Our mothers had coffee and the three of us became the “3 Musketeers!” We ruled the block and were inseparable in our youth. It was Paul, Mike and Les. Then Paul moved across the street, and Mike moved a block over to Vine street expanding our horizons. The 3 Musketeers now became the “Magnificent 7!” Paul, Mike, Les, Brent, Cliff, Art and Dave. What a great time to be a kid growing up in the “50’s in Hudson. Paul and Paul’s house always seemed to be the gathering point. Whiffleball games in the yard, basketball games at the old barn, street football, and night time games of kick the can. It was “Our Gang/Beaver Time/Wonder Years” all rolled into one. Go karts, sleds, and crazy ideas. It was our world, it was the “Locust/5th Street Gang!”
    Paul was groomsman at my wedding. He was a good friend. Unfortunately the war and career paths took us all on separate journeys, but when we reunited, “We were the gang again!” But now the “7” is “the 5” telling our stories of our youth. Paul, I loved you Man! Cut the grass up there, sweep up the street, and put a new net on the rim cause we’re coming up to play. And by the way, let Art know OK?
    We love you and miss you buddy………Les

  7. Paul was a great friend for 55 years plus and
    we had many a good time together while in college
    and our working years. I was blessed to have him as an old old friend as we were roommates and fraternity brothers at UW Eau Claire. I will miss his intelligence, wit
    and love of life. RIP Paul.

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