March 4, 2021 marked the end of an era for beloved Cadillac, Michigan native, Paul McMullen; an adored son, brother, husband, and father who lost his life in a tragic skiing accident in his hometown. Paul, born February 19, 1972 to parents, Douglas and Theresa (Trahan) McMullen, always lived life to the fullest.
He was best known publicly for his accolades on the track, having been an 8 time All-American at Eastern Michigan University, and a member of the US Olympic team in Atlanta, Georgia in 1996. Paul achieved his successes through hard work, mentorship from amazing coaches in high school and college, and the unwavering support of family and friends. However, those who knew him best understand that his greatest achievements were not made around the oval; they were forged through relationships and the drive to succeed.
Even at a young age, he felt “the need for speed,” as he pedaled his Big Wheel as fast as he could down the dirt road, eventually launching it off the dock and into Wells Lake. That desire continued into his teenage years when he rode his bike from Leroy to Cadillac and back in his pursuit of the high school sport he loved: football. As he aged, he traded in his foot-powered transportation for faster and stronger horsepower. With that, he darted across the country on family trips to California to see his brother Phil, or sped south for a quick getaway with his wife, Nuria, and two youngest children, David and Catalina. It was that desire for adventure and speed that helped him conquer and enjoy life.
He loved his quaint town of Grand Haven, Michigan where he served our country in the US Coast Guard. He and his family rooted themselves in the lakeside town where he started a local youth running program called "The Chariots of Fire Track Club." It was in that endeavor that he realized his passion for helping others in the sport that had become an important fiber in the fabric of his life. Not only did it give him the opportunity to ignite an affinity for the sport in youngsters, he was able to mentor adults and encourage them in their own running pursuits.
While Paul loved his sport and helping those in it, his first priority was his family. His soulmate and beautiful high school prom date, Nuria De Soto, became his wife on December 18th, 2011. They loved each other fiercely and enjoyed the excitement of traveling together. They have a daughter, Catalina, age 6, who kept them entertained and on their toes. Paul also adored his daughter, Olivia, a sophomore rower at The University of Michigan, and son, David, an 8th grader who is just beginning to realize his running potential with the help of his dad. In a similar vein, David caught Paul’s fever for adventure, and the two of them traversed many waterways on paddle boards and kayaks alike.
In addition to his wife and children, Paul also leaves behind his loving parents, Doug and Theresa McMullen of Leroy, MI; brother, Phil (Traci) McMullen of Danville, CA; sister, Sarah (Nino) Fogaroli of Marquette, MI; mother-in-law, Margarita Queralto; sister-in-law, Marta (Jake) De Soto; and nieces and nephews, Chase & Riley McMullen, Olivia & Adam De Soto, Lilliana & Nila Fogaroli. Paul also has a large, supportive extended family that will miss his presence at the annual family reunion fishing contest.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents, David and Lillian McMullen, Don and Marylan Trahan; and father-in-law, Jose De Soto.
Paul was much more than just a fierce runner. He was a teammate, friend, mentor, and a man who loved to push the limits. His favorite high school quote, “Today I gave all I had; what I’ve kept is lost forever” should function as advice for everyone. Give your best each and every day, and above all, give your love each and every day. For, you never know when someone or something will be lost forever. Even in death, Paul continues to help others in need through the donation of his organs to Gift of Life.
The Celebration of Life/Funeral Service for Paul will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 18, 2021 at the Gene Rothi Memorial Stadium at the Grand Haven High School. Masks and Social Distancing will be required. Interment will take place at Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Big Rapids, MI.
A Go-Fund-Me-Account has been set up in Paul’s name to help his family and vision. Please donate by visiting: https://www.gofundme.com/f/mcmullen-family-rest-in-peace-paul?qid=4ab6ad3eb07ef8f6ef69d0d96c6fe39a or by clicking the yellow "Donate Now" button below.
Memorial Contributions may also be made to the Paul McMullen Track and Field Scholarship and Memorial in C/O the Cadillac Area Community Foundation, 201 N. Mitchell St., #101, Cadillac, MI, 49601.
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Go-Fund-Me for Paul McMullen
Paul McMullen Track and Field Scholarship and Memorial: C/O Cadillac Area Community Foundation
201 N. Mitchell St., #101, Cadillac MI 49601