Paul Warren Gunnoe, 51, of Antelope, Calif., passed away May 23, 2020, at his home after a short battle with cancer.
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He was born Oct. 4, 1968, in Cleveland.
The eldest of nine children, Paul took on the important role of big brother to the siblings that would follow in the years to come. Paul was a unique and old soul. An old school gentleman. His love of vintage muscle cars, music, specifically the Beatles, philosophy, life, family and friends was greater than can be conveyed in a few simple paragraphs.
However, we will do our best to describe the person that touched so many lives in this final tribute to him.
Although Paul only had 51 years, he packed a lifetime of memories and impact on his world and those fortunate enough to be in it.
He held a degree in psychology, ran for councilman, worked on the George Bush Sr. campaign, was awarded an art scholarship at the Cleveland Art Institute, while still in elementary school and ran his own business.
His self-proclaimed proudest accomplishments were his sons, Tomarro and Justice. Despite their young age, he was able to envision and take pride in the men they would become. Paul's talents and interests are clearly seen in both of them.
He was a dreamer, an optimist, musician, artist, and never met a stranger. He treated everyone as his equal. He loved creating music, writing songs, playing the guitar, singing, drawing and was a brilliant writer. As long as he had family and friends around him, Fox News playing in the background, a steak on the grill and an old car to bring back to life, he was in his element and truly happy.
Paul took being a big brother seriously. He shaped the lives of his younger siblings as protector, educator, leader and friend. He taught them all about life, what "real music is,” politics, religion, everything car related, and how to not take ourselves too seriously. He was adventurous and feared nothing. Paul would set out on a cross country trip in a questionable vehicle in various stages of restoration, without a plan in place or care in the world. He took life by the horns and by the day. He lived on “Paul time” and everything happened when he felt it was the right time, to the frustration yet envy of those that loved him.
He loved to travel across America and would often coerce his siblings into joining him on his many adventures. Whether traveling for days to attend a bake sale for a George Bush Sr. campaign fundraiser or a random last minute run to Niagara Falls, White Castle or Vegas, Paul kept things interesting. He found great pleasure in things most people take for granted. A beautiful sunset over the Salt Plains, big snowflakes that piled into sparkly diamond looking snow. A stunning pink rose he grew in his back yard or a simple peaceful rainy day.
He enjoyed playing an outdated Call of Duty with friends and family around the globe. It didn't matter to him that he was playing an old version. It was the friendships made and time spent together that mattered most. Material possessions held no importance to Paul, it was human interaction he valued most in his life.
He was named after Paul McCartney at the insistence of his mother, an avid Beatles fan. He admired Paul McCartney and John Lennon who, along with Curt Cobain, influenced his own musical talent. His love of music was inspired and nurtured by his mother and aunts. His appreciation of old westerns, movies, vintage cars and respect for women were shaped by his father's influence. His interest in cooking and creating recipes developed in his grandmother's kitchen. The man he became was made up of the people he cherished throughout his youth.
He loved freely and deeply, without conditions. He gave to anyone in need with no expectation of reward or acknowledgement. He was quick to forgive and held close, those dear to him. He would say “life is too short to hold a grudge,” and he lived by those words. It's seemingly impossible to summarize the life of someone so complex and unique in a few paragraphs. Was he perfect? Of course not, nobody is, but he was pretty special to his family. “We hope we have represented and honored Paul in the way he deserves and that anyone reading this has a more clear understanding of what made Paul…Paul.” He will be missed tremendously by those he leaves behind.
Paul left far too soon and left a place in our lives that can never be filled. Take from this, a lesson from Paul. Love freely, live fully and care for those around you. Tomorrow is promised to no one, so in the words of Paul's favorite musician..Let It Be.
Survivors are his sons, Tomarro Markel and Justice Warren Walker Gunnoe; father, Gary Gunnoe; siblings, Matthew (Ivana) Gunnoe, Melisa (James) Walker, Nathan (Katie) Gunnoe, Rebecca (Derek) Haffey, Jennifer (Luiz) de Macedo Vieira, Daniel Gunnoe, and Joseph (Sana) Gunnoe; nieces and nephews, Max, Maya, Mia, Mina, Sarah, Nicole, Alex, Logan, Elizabeth, Julia, Megan, Gabriel, Henry, Hannah, Madison, Hamza, Elijah; and his aunt and uncle, Michael and Frema (nee Buckles) Fine. Paul also leaves his cherished friends, Kymmy Thomas, Chrissie McKeon, Phil Sharp, Kevin Scanlon, James Thomas, and Jessica; cousins, Jason, Laura, Tawnya, Anthony; as well as numerous other friends and family.
Paul was preceded in death by his mother, Sharon (nee Buckles) Gunnoe; infant brother, David; grandparents, Ward and Inez (nee Taylor) Buckles; aunts, Myrtle and Margaret; uncle Ward Buckles II; and cousin, Jared.
Family will receive friends from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday at McMahon-Coyne-Vitantonio Funeral Home, 6330 Center St. (Route 615, north of Route 2), Mentor, with a funeral service to be conducted at 11 a.m. Monday at the funeral home. Father Tom Johns will officiate. Burial will be in Mentor Cemetery.
To leave condolences for the family or order flowers, visit www.MCVfuneralhomes.com.