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Paynesville Press - June 20, 2001

Pauls named parade grand marshals

By Linda Stelling

Pauls Harry and Nettie Paul of Paynesville have special memories of Town and Country Days because they moved to Paynesville 33 years ago on parade day.

"Paynesville has been good to us," Harry said. "It's a nice honor to be picked as the parade grand marshals," he added.

Nettie said their being named grand marshals could only happen in a small town like Paynesville.

The couple was born and raised near Eden Valley. His job took them to Minneapolis, Windom, and Cloquet before they moved to Paynesville to be closer to their family.

Harry was hired as the first full-time insurance manager of First State Bank Insurance. In 1973, he became partners with Gene Schmitt at the Schmitt Agency. He bought out Schmitt in 1979 and moved the H.F. Paul Agency to its present location.

An avid golfer, Harry felt the golf club would be a great place to meet people, and it was. The businessmen he met on the course took him around main street and introduced him to others. "It was tremendous," he said. "People were pretty congenial." Harry has been a member of the Koronis Hills Golf Club for 33 years and has sponsored a team in league for 22 years.

Nettie said they have many good memories of Paynesville.

"It's the little things that make a person enjoy the community and its people," Nettie said. "Everybody is warm and friendly."

Shortly after coming to Paynesville, Harry wrote a column in the Paynesville Press "Shooting the Breeze with Happy Harry." Harry said his picture at the top of the column gave him instant recognition. The kids on the street even called him "Happy Harry," he said.

The couple have been active at St. Louis Catholic Church, where she is an eucharistic minister and Harry is a member of the Knights of Columbus.

The couple has six children - Kris, Kathey, Tom, Dan, Rick, and David. In the winter months, Harry and Nettie visit each of the four children who live out of state for a month.

One of their daughters was the first person in Paynesville to have scoliosis. As a result, scoliosis screenings were started at the school the next year.

Harry is a member of the Paynesville American Legion, has served on the boards for the historical society, hospital board, and EDAP, and is currently treasurer for the R.O.S.E. Center.

Nettie calls Harry a social butterfly who enjoys meeting people. She loves to entertain at home, write letters, and read.

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