Paul Mark Sylla, age 88, of River Falls, died Wednesday, December 31, 2014 at his home following a short but courageous battle against cancer.
Paul was born on November 9, 1926 at home in Chimney Rock Township, Trempealeau County, Wisconsin the son of Peter and Theresa (Pietrek) Sylla. Paul graduated from Independence High School in 1944. He enlisted in the United States Navy and served in the SK3C-US NR as storekeeper 3rd class from 1944-1946. After his discharge, he worked on the family farm until he was accepted to the University of Wisconsin, River Falls in 1947. He graduated in 1950 with a Bachelor of Science degree, and then accepted a job as a loan officer for the Production Credit Association (PCA) in River Falls, Wisconsin in 1950.
Paul continued his work with the PCA as Branch Manager relocating to Mondovi, WI in 1952, and on May 12th, 1956 Paul married his fiancée Patricia Wozney at Saint Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Independence, Wisconsin.
In 1962 Paul opened a PCA branch office in Arcadia and moved to that town with his wife and children. While in Arcadia, he was on the City Council and was an active member of the Arcadia Lion’s Club holding various offices and serving as District Governor between the years 1969-1970.
In 1962, Paul became President of the PCA in River Falls. He moved with his wife and 5 children to a farm where in addition to his job he raised beef cattle. In 1975 he was hired as Regional Vice President of the Federal Intermediate Credit Bank in St. Paul. He intended to retire in 1984, but was hired to serve as President of the Blooming Prairie PCA. During that year he and his wife lived in Owatonna, MN. Between the years 1985-1988 Paul was hired by the Capital Corporation, working in Omaha, Kansas City, and Spokane.
During the years 1991-1994 he was involved in the program, Volunteers for Overseas Cooperative Assistance (VOCA), where he worked in Hungary, St. Petersburg, Poland, Estonia, and Krygyzstan. For his work, he received the Outstanding Volunteer Award in 1994.
Paul loved living in the country. He occupied his time, gardening, cutting wood, planting and harvesting spruce trees for landscaping. He was an avid woodworker, enjoyed building furniture and anything the family needed. He was a charter member of the Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association and he participated in a Forestry Program planting more than 50,000 conifers in Trempealeau, Buffalo and St Croix Counties.
He was a member of St Bridgets Church, Knights of Columbus and the American Legion.
Paul was preceded in death by his parents Peter and Theresa Sylla; brothers, Peter and John Sylla.
Paul was survived by his loving wife, Pat Sylla of River Falls, WI; three daughters, Ellen (Bruce) Johnson of River Falls, Carol (Charles) Medenciy of Olpe Kansas, Debra (Todd) Fitzgerald of Fairbanks Alaska; two sons, Mark (Val) Sylla, and Brian (Angie) Sylla of River Falls; 14 grandchildren, Stephanie (Lou) Krueger of River Falls, Sam Johnson of Honolulu HI, Rachel Johnson of St. Paul MN, Benjamin (Melissa) Medenciy of Coventry RI, Jason (Abbie) Medenciy of Seattle WA, Matthew Medenciy of Kansas City KS, Alex Medenciy of Garden City KA, Zachary Fitzgerald of Bellingham WA, Kade Fitzgerald of Fairbanks AK, Emily Sylla, Wesley Sylla, and Jenna Ball of River Falls, Kinsy Sylla of Duluth MN, Michael Sylla of River Falls; 3 great grandchildren, Ellie Krueger, Evan and Dean Medenciy; Sisters, Irene Crane of Del Rio CA, Grace Clark of Prior Lake MN; Brother, Prosper Sylla of New Berlin WI.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30am, Friday, January 9, 2015 at St. Bridget Catholic Church, River Falls, WI. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Visitation will be at St. Bridget’s Church on Thursday from 3-6pm and for one hour prior to the Mass on Friday.
Cashman-Hill Funeral Home & Cremation Services is serving the family.