Paul Edward Vowell, 83, McPherson: Aug. 18, 1939 – April 23, 2023 – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Paul Edward Vowell, 83, McPherson: Aug. 18, 1939 – April 23, 2023

MCPHERSON, Kan. – Paul Edward Vowell, 83, of McPherson, Kan., formerly of Scranton, Kan., passed away April 23, 2023, peacefully with his family by his side. Paul was born Aug. 18, 1939, in Harveyville, Kan., the son of Elmer Vowell and Beulah (Teeter) Vowell.

He grew up in the Harveyville area, graduating from Harveyville Rural High School with the class of 1958.

He served his country proudly in the United States Air Force from January 1962 until January 1966, attaining the rank of airman 2nd class. He received the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, twice, Air Force Good Conduct Medal, and the Air Force Expeditionary Medal.

Paul was well known for his welding skills, often helping friends with their projects. Paul was even sought out by companies from out-of-state to utilize his expertise in completing welding projects. He loved building everything by “scratch”, saying “why should I buy it when I can just build it”. He would carefully select the right metals; visualize his projects in his mind, then build the frames piece-by-piece, finally adding the engines, gears, hydraulics, electronics and more from his collections over the years, until they were complete. He created wood splitters, conveyor belts, loaders, backhoes, dune buggies, three-wheelers, utility trailers, car trailers, wood stoves and much more.

Paul restored several antique cars and trucks over the years, starting with a rusty frame and an idea. When the antiques were finished, more often than anything, he would just simply give them away to those that admired his work, just to see the astonished look on their faces.

He loved the peacefulness of country life, often hunting quail and rabbits, and catfishing back in the day from his boat. He loved visiting with his friends, taking drives in the country with his dogs, and working on his projects.

Paul had been a heavy equipment operator and welder by trade. He welded for several companies, including Wolf Creek Power Plant during its construction phase, and retired as a heavy equipment operator for Osage County.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Elmer and Beulah; and two sisters, Connie Potter and Delight Vowell.

Paul is survived by his daughter, Devra Shetler and her two sons, Dawson and Chase, of McPherson; stepson, Dean Shinabarger (Cathy) and their two sons Casey and Jack of Portage, Mich.; stepdaughter, Doreen Shinabarger and her two children, Kevin and Melissa, Vancouver, Wash.; and sister, Donnie, Auburn, Kan.

Celebration of life and memorial services will be 11:30 a.m. Saturday, June 3, at Schuyler Community Center, 218 W. Fremont Ave., Burlingame, Kan., with luncheon following. Indoor or outdoor plants and flowers appreciated; no donations please.

Condolences can be left at or with Lamb-Roberts-Price Funeral Home, PO Box 194, Burlingame, KS 66413.

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