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Lifelong historian Paul Robert Treece, Ph.D., died at the age of 85 on Monday, April 24, 2023, at Otterbein Granville (Kendal). He was born in 1938 in Champagne, IL, to the late William and Marguerite Treece. Paul grew up in Illinois, Denver and Casper, Wyoming, before the family settled in Worthington, Ohio.
A graduate of Worthington High School and later The Ohio State University, Paul began his career as a high school social studies teacher in Cleveland and Westlake, Ohio. Paul met his future wife, Karen, while both served as counselors at Camp O'Bannon in Newark, Ohio. They later returned to The Ohio State University so Paul could complete his master's and Ph.D.
After receiving his doctorate in 1972 from The Ohio State University in American History, he moved to Granville with his wife, daughter, Kristine and son, Greg. The youngest, Matt, was born after the move to Granville to round out the family.
Deeply dedicated to public education and service, Paul worked tirelessly as a volunteer for the Granville Public Schools and the community. He joined the Granville Rotary Club in 1976 and served on the board of directors for three separate terms. As a Rotarian, Paul managed the Concert on the Green series, sponsored by the Granville Recreation Commission and Rotary Club. Paul went on to run the concert series for the next 25 years. For his dedication to others and numerous accomplishments, Rotary awarded him the distinguished Rotary Service Above Self Award in 1998.
Paul served as both President & Vice President of the Granville Recreation Commission and chaired its youth activities board for the middle school youth of Granville. A former Granville Township Trustee and Treasurer, he was instrumental in forming the Granville Open Space Committee and could often be found pouring over detailed maps of the community. Paul was active in the Granville Historical Society, serving on the programs and nominations committees, and was a trustee writing grants for the Licking County Historical Society from 1981 -87.
Former Assistant Dean at COTC, Paul served as Board Secretary from 1978 – 95 as the liaison between COTC and the State Dept. of Education. He was a founding member of the Board for Kendal at Granville and a dedicated member of the First Presbyterian Church in Granville. Paul was also a volunteer judge for the Ohio State University-Newark Science Day, a member of the Cultural Alliance of Licking County, Inc. from 1986 -91, a Granville High School junior Class advisor in 1986 -87, and a member of the Safety Town Founding Committee.
A voracious reader and meticulous historian, Paul's had a lifelong passion for researching and writing a series of historical novels and a biography of Montana pioneer Granville Stewart. Paul loved his cats and his books. He was happiest surrounded by hundreds of books on the floor-to-ceiling shelves in his study, researching, reading and playing chess. He also enjoyed racquetball and attending his "Prayer Group," a.k.a. his poker group.
Surviving are his wife of 58 years, Karen O. Treece; daughter, Kristine (Guy) Michael, Ed.D. of Granville; sons, Gregory (Kate) Treece, OTCHT of Sequim, WA, and Matthew (Melissa) Treece, M.D. of Granville; grandchildren, Maggie and Simon Michael; Lexi, Sophia, and Libby Treece; and Audrey, Emma, and Sadie Treece; and many nieces and nephews by marriage. In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his older sister, Patricia Neese.
A memorial service celebrating the life of Paul will be held Saturday, April 29, 2023, at 11:00 A.M. at the First Presbyterian Church, 110 W. Broadway, in Granville, with Rev. Karen J. Chakoian as celebrant. Immediately following the service, the family will receive friends in Heritage Hall. A private interment will take place at Maple Grove Cemetery in Granville.
Paul was a gentle and thoughtful soul, dedicated to his family and community. Paul's dementia could not diminish his keen sense of humor. He had us all laughing to the end.
The family asks that any memorial contributions go to First Presbyterian Church of Granville; the Granville Recreation District / Concert on the Green, P.O. Box 483, Granville, OH; or Hospice of Central Ohio.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.mcpeekhoekstra.com.