Morrow, Paul

Benton-area businessman and church leader Paul C. Morrow died unexpectedly on July 23, 2019, of complications from surgery. He was 77.

The son of the late C.G. "Doc" Morrow and Ann Gallemore Morrow, Paul graduated from Benton High School in 1960. He enrolled at David Lipscomb College (now Lipscomb University), where he met a spunky Tennessee girl, Nancy Park. Family legend tells that Nancy poured salt down his pants and said, "I hear you can catch a bird by putting salt on his tail." On Aug. 25, 1962, they married and began a lifelong adventure together.

Paul completed his bachelor’s degree in Pre-Med at Murray State University, earned his master’s degree in psychology from Oklahoma State University, and eventually pursued a Ph.D. at Vanderbilt University. Paul never lost his love for studying and learning.

During this time, Paul and Nancy had two daughters, Stephanie Jo in 1963 and Stacey Leigh in 1966. After living in Murray, Ky., Memphis, Tenn., Tulsa, Okla., and Mobile, Ala., Paul and the family settled in Nashville, where he was employed as a psychologist by the State of Tennessee.

Paul eventually left counseling to move the family back to his hometown of Benton to make Morrow Book Service his vocation. It remained the focus of his career for the remainder of his life. Chances are, if you have a Bible with your name engraved on it, you have a piece of his handiwork.

Leaving the psychology profession, however, did not mean he stopped counseling. Through the bookstore, he listened to and talked with so many people who would tell you his friendship and counsel were vital to their faith and well being. He touched far more lives than most people will ever know.

In addition to his business, Paul was passionate about his family and his faith. He and Nancy were among the founding members of the Central Church in Benton where Paul taught, sang bass with the praise team, and served as a shepherd for 13 years. The Central church was core to his life, and his life was core to the life of Central.

In an email to the church, Pastor Logan Savage articulated what so many people experienced through their friendship with Paul:

"[H]e has been a constant for us over the years—a calm but fierce voice of compassion, hope, healing, and progress, always there and always simultaneously calling us both forward as a church and back to the roots of our identity. There simply are not adequate words to name the loss we have suffered," Logan said.

Paul was active in community life. For many years he was a member of the Kiwanis Club, serving as the president for some years. He was on the board of directors for New Pathways for Children. He sang bass with the "Holy Ground" quartet. And during the 1980s he was a Marshall Co. High School "band dad", chaperoning trips to the Grand National Championship, Disney World, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, and the Rose Bowl parade.

Paul was a gourmet chef for his family and friends. He was always in the kitchen or at the grill, because he loved to cook and he loved the joy it brought to family time around the table.

He was an avid, if wildly unsuccessful fisherman, and a devoted fan of the St. Louis Cardinals, the UK Wildcats, and "The Kitchen" on the Food Network. .

He loved blue shirts, showing off at trivia, Earl Grey tea, correcting bad grammar, and a really good steak. He loved to talk on the phone with his sister, Judi. He loved to read his daughter Stephanie’s blogs and follow her writing. He loved to go out to dinner with Nancy and explore all types of cuisine.

Paul hated yard work, but Nancy loved it. And because he loved her, he put in many months of work laying rock walls, building garden structures, and meticulously babying the grass. As a result, they have always had one of the most beautiful yards in Benton.

But mostly, Paul was the very definition of a Teddy Bear of a man. He was generous to a fault with everyone. If he had it, it was yours. He was quiet and calm, patient and affectionate, wise and caring. He had a heart for helping people any way he could.

Paul was the most gentle man we, his family, have ever known. He was a devoted husband, the best dad two girls could have wanted, and a perfect Papa to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was so very proud of us all. He held us up through dark times, let us cry on his giant shoulders, never balked or judged, just guided us forward. He spoiled us all and we will never be the same without him.

Paul is survived by his wife of 56 years, Nancy Park Morrow, and one daughter, Stephanie Morrow of Paducah; one sister, Judi (George) Doty of Benton; four grandchildren: Kacey (Mike) Darling, Paducah; Lindsay (Jerad) Frazier, Benton; Kevin (Maddy) Reynolds, St. Louis; Parker Lockhart, Nashville, Tenn; and three great-grandchildren: Mayah Anderson, Charlotte Anderson and Cohen Darling, all of Paducah.

In addition to his parents, Paul was preceded in death by his daughter, Stacey Morrow (Jay) Lockhart, of Nashville, Tennessee, whom he missed daily until he was reunited with her Tuesday morning.

Paul’s visitation will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, July 27, at Collier Funeral Home, Benton. A graveside service will follow at 11:30 a.m. in Benton Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the best way to honor Paul’s life is to make someone else’s life better. Memorial donations may be made to "The Corner" benevolence program at the Central Church, 2081 Mayfield Hwy., 42025.

"The Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;

the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace."

Published 12:00 AM, Friday Jul. 26, 2019
Updated 05:45 PM, Friday Jul. 26, 2019

Collier Funeral Home

Collier Funeral Home
211 West 5th Street
Benton, KY 42025

Phone:(270) 527-3141


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