Mad for…Paul

A tree is known by it’s fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost. He who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love. St. Basil

When I was a little girl attending St. Lawrence Catholic School on the north end of Lafayette, one of my favorite friends was the sweet, adorable girl on the right in the picture above. That’s just how I remember her in my mind, and even as I have run into her as an adult, I still see that beautiful, friendly face. Her name is Kathy Hunckler. On her left is the guy that I always thought was the most cool big brother imaginable, Paul. I was totally jealous that Kathy had him as a big brother!!

Unexpected kindness is a powerful, totally free, and underrated commodity with which Paul Hunckler has always been generous. In fact, so engaging and friendly was this guy to all of us younger goofballs whenever I was visiting the Hunckler house as a grade schooler, that I recall asking my parents if I could please have an older brother. I’m not sure I completely grasped the complexities involved in that request, ha? For the record, I remained the oldest child in the family.

Here is a more recent photo of the siblings, from left: Paul, Beth, (mom) Jean, Brad, Kathy and Laura.

Paul is the husband to a completely charming wife named Maggie and the father of two talented and bright daughters, Danielle and Erica. If my sources are correct, Paul and Maggie should be about ready to take Danielle to St. Louis University for her first year of college. It’s an exciting but completely emotional experience and since all college kids are on my mind this week, I couldn’t help thinking of the Hunckler clan with their oldest off to school. We reconnected after many years because our children are all Guerin Catholic Golden Eagles.

When I first ran into Paul again after MANY intervening years, he smiled just as brightly as ever and greeted us with enthusiasm! Paul’s a talker, and he can draw anyone in with his warmth, great laugh, and sense of humor. He and Maggie are both charismatic and they have done a remarkable job with their girls, as they are articulate and delightful.

I’m LONG overdue to tell Paul that because he never missed an opportunity to share a smile or a few kind words, he made a major impact on me as a kid. It would have escaped my notice had he simply ignored us, as many older siblings would typically do just that. His good humor, patience and kindness were notable as his example made me want to do those things a little better myself for those around me. Thank you, Paul!!

Hang in there, Huncklers, your sweet girl will return and all will be well. Go Golden Eagles! Go Billikens!