July 30, 1951 - June 5, 2024


attachment-Paul Heath

Paul Heath, 72, passed away peacefully at his residence at 11:55 p.m. on Wednesday, June 5, 2024. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, June 15, at 11:00 a.m. at Calvary Community Church in Saint Cloud with Pastor Doug Fern officiating. Burial will be in the North Star Cemetery in Saint Cloud. Visitation will be held at Benson Funeral Home on Friday, June 14, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. and one hour prior to the services at the church.

He was born on July 30, 1951 in Olean, New York to Maurice and Alice (Thurber) Heath. He graduated valedictorian from Olean High School in 1969. He graduated summa cum laude from Greenville College in Greenville, IL in 1972 with majors in physics, math, and chemistry. At Greenville, he met his love, Joan DeBoer and they married in 1974 at Lorimer Memorial Baptist Church in Dolton, IL. Paul received his MD from Harvard Medical School in 1976. He completed both his general surgery residency and his plastic and reconstructive surgery fellowship at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN in 1981 and 1983, respectively. Paul and Joan then moved to St. Cloud, MN, where he and Dr. James Smith founded Midsota Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons on August 1, 1983. Despite his busy schedule, he completed his Masters in Business Administration from St. Thomas University in 1999.

Paul and Dr. Paul Schultz led the first surgical and medical team to Guatemala with HELPS International in 1988 and he continued to serve with them for 33 years. Throughout his career, he practiced at Midsota, St. Cloud Hospital, St. Cloud Surgical Center, and the VA. He showed great care for his patients, calling them at night after surgery to see how they were doing. His nurses and support staff loved working with him and always remember his kindness and that he never lost his temper.

Most important to Paul was his faith in Jesus Christ, followed closely by his family. He was involved in several Bible studies and small groups. He served as an elder and most recently as a trustee at his church. He cherished his time at the lake with family and friends. He had umpteen hobbies and interests, including woodturning, woodworking, building projects, home improvement, reading, and traveling with Joan. No project was off limits. He did his research and tackled it head on.

Paul courageously accepted his diagnosis of ALS in 2020, always trusting God’s plan. He continued to serve his family and set a godly example to everyone around him. His tenacity and grace was evidence of his steadfast faith and hope.

He is survived by his wife, Joan; four daughters, Joline (Jesse) Neilson, Janelle (Gabe) Solseth, Julianne (Micah) Fauske and Jacqueline (Steven) Lin; and eleven grandchildren, Joshua, Brianna, Carolyn, Everett, Audrey, Greyson, Evelyn, Allyson, Owen, Vivian and Benjamin. He is also survived by his brother Alan (Linda) Heath, his brother-in-law, Stan Cisler, and many nieces, nephews and other extended family.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Marilyn, and infant siblings Jeannie and John.

Paul’s rare combination of compassion, skill, humility, and gentleness will be greatly missed.

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