|By Chuck Williams, Columbus Ledger-Enquirer|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
But it was
"This is the end of an era," he said. "The first generation of
John died in 1990 and Bill died in 1997.
Loudermilk said Paul's life was grounded in love and used portions of 1 Corinthians: Chapter 13 to illustrate his point.
"Love is kind, long suffering, does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not behave rudely," Loudermilk said.
"Love bears all things, hopes all things and endures all things. Love never fails."
He then explained his reference.
"These words provide the brush strokes, which paint a picture of our
Around 600 people attended the funeral, but an estimated 1,500 were at a family visitation an hour prior to the service at the church's Ministry Center.
Paul's wife of 65 years, Jean, their son and current
In contrast to
Paul's pallbearers were members of
Loudermilk and the Rev.
Loudermilk and his grandson visited Paul in his 19th-floor office inside the
Paul ended the visit by singing "Amazing Grace," one of the three hymns sang Saturday during the memorial service.
"He sang it in this beautiful, soaring voice. It sounded a little better than what we heard a while ago," Loudermilk said.
Beckham told a story of giving home communion to Paul and Jean when Paul's illness would not allow him to regularly attend church.
After communion, Paul, in a weakened state, started to sing after being urged to by his wife.
"In a clear voice, perfect pitch and with all his heart, he sang all three verses of 'He Lives,'" Beckham said. "That hymn outlines his personality, which emerged from his faith."
Beckham said if you had to use one word to describe Paul, it would be integrity.
"That is a message he passed on to his son, Dan," Beckham said. "And it was at the heart of everything he did."
(c)2014 the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (Columbus, Ga.)
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