Donald H. Paddock, 88, died at 9:18 p.m. on January 7, at his Lafayette home surrounded by the love of his wife, Mariana (Uceta Franco), and family. Though he had been ill for six months, he treated cancer with the same ‘no-nonsense’ attitude as he had all things in life. He continued working hard, building retaining walls or raised garden beds, and balancing ledgers by hand, until he was recently unable. A Public Accountant of 63 years, he was a man who liked things to be clear, correct, and straightforward. He did his accounts by hand and then used accounting software – often calling companies to help point out errors. He did not need frills. And the surest sign of his respect was a solid handshake with eye contact, choosing to do business with you, or setting up annual fishing trips or weekly bowling, golf, or for the luckiest a weekly game of pool at the American Legion. His choosing your company should have been a clear sign that he held you in high esteem. Born in the Great Depression on October 4, 1932, in Covington, KY. to Clarence and Ruth (Mersfelder) Paddock, his work ethic came honestly. Last week he still remembered being angry he didn’t learn to dig a well when living in Missouri, where his family lived from 1933-1938. They then moved to Lafayette, IN, where he was a lifelong resident. He was a graduate of Jefferson High school class of 1950. His formative years during WWII, with party-line telephones and work after school to help the war effort, made him ready to teach valuable lessons to his children, their friends, and countless Purdue students who leased apartments from him over the years. Things like “how to check a breaker box & write a check.” Favorite lessons in respecting elders and not underestimating them were not so subtle; such as a man in his 80s can 1) clear the pool table when his quarter on the rail was scoffed at by a young buck and, 2) outdo the best young adult on a night out on the town. He was staunchly patriotic and respected anyone, immigrant and businessman alike, so long as they pay taxes, because “taxes pay for the roads you’re driving on.” His patriotism led him to serve in the U.S. Navy from 1951-1955. During this time, he developed a love for travel and other cultures. In 1979 while working in Dominican Republic married his wife, Mariana. He was a devoted husband who was said to “be the happiest he had been in his life” upon returning to Lafayette with Mariana. He remained that way for over 40 years. He lived a life full of routine and hard work balanced with pie for lunch and Latin dance parties in the living room. He lived a life filled with love (though he’d warn against overusing the word ‘love’ or it becomes meaningless). He is survived by his wife Mariana and the three daughters, Heidi Paddock (World Citizen), Denise Paddock, and Carissa Baker, both of Columbus, OH. And Daughters Debra Stetler and Tina Leming, both Lafayette and son Mike Paddock of N.C. from his previous marriage to Babara Kerns. Also living on are five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his sisters Delores, Virginia, and Jean. Donald was a parishioner for over 40 years at St. Mary Cathedral in Lafayette. Friends may call from 11:00 AM until the Mass of Christian Burial at 12:00 PM Wednesday January 13 in St. Mary Cathedral, Fr. Dennis Faker officiating. The Rosary will be recited at 10:45 AM preceding Mass. Interment will follow in St. Mary Cemetery with military graveside services by American Legion Post 11. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to American Legion Post 11 of Lafayette. Hahn-Groeber Funeral Home of Lafayette is honored to serve the Paddock family. Please leave memories and condolences at www.hahngroeberfuneralhome.com
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