Paul Exstrom

Paul Exstrom

1925 - 2022

Paul N. Exstrom, of Dubuque, IA born in 1925, in Nebraska, to Paul E. and Thurza (Almquist) Exstrom, died Tuesday, November 21, 2022, at the age of 97, following an enjoyable year at Oak Park Place, Dubuque. The Furlong Funeral Chapel, Galena, IL is assisting the family. As a child, his family lived in several communities as his dad was a teacher, before moving to North Platte, NE to be near family, then his dad was the County Superintendent of Schools, and his mom was an elementary school teacher. Paul graduated in 1943 and enlisted in the Navy V-12 program at Doane College, Crete, NE. A year later at the Great Lakes Naval Facility during a routine physical, he was found to have a heart murmur, so he was discharged. Then, he attended Kearney State Teachers College, married his high school classmate Bernice (Du Temple) in August of 1945, and transferred to the University of Nebraska Engineering College graduating in June of 1948 with a BS in agricultural engineering. The family moved to Wayne, MI where he worked at Ford Motor Company for four years. Then moved to East Petersburg, PA near Lancaster, to work at New Holland Machine Company for twelve years. A final move to Dubuque, IA to work at John Deere Dubuque Works in 1964 until his retirement. Paul was a lifetime member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE), the University of Nebraska Alumni Foundation, Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Garden (assisting with membership while Bernice was on the Green Team and tended a canna display bed), and Dubuque’s First Congregational United Church of Christ, having served on several boards and committees. For many years, Paul co-chaired the endowment program for the North Platte High School scholarship program for the University of Nebraska Foundation Fund 4060. He enjoyed his 16-foot Grumman sailboat above the Mississippi River Lock and Dam 11 and on Lake McBride. While at Ford Motors he worked on the small Ford 8N tractor. Following his retirement, he restored two of them with friends Wayne Collins and Bill Knight, which they drove in parades and on charity tractor rides in Eastern Iowa. The tractors were donated in 2021 to the Larson Tractor Museum, in Lincoln, NE. He is survived by daughters, Eloise (Thomas) Cohoon, of O’Fallon, IL, Paula Bunch, of Holdenville, OK, grandsons, Brian Cohoon (children, Lilly-Anne and Joseph), of CO, Russell (Katie) Cohoon (children, Charlie, Jackson, and Graham), of MO, a sister, Mardell Brestel, of NE, and a brother, Donald (Darlene) of OR, and numerous nieces, nephews, and their families. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, a brother Ralph, a son-in-law, Bobby Bunch, sister-in-law, Peggy Exstrom, three brothers-in-law, Leyon Brestel, Herb, and James Du Temple, and several nieces and nephews. The family appreciates the attention of Pastor Katie, Nicki and members of his church, the staff at Finley Hospital and Butler House in Grand Meadows, and the staff of Hospice of Dubuque. Family and friends will gather in the spring of 2023 for a celebration of life. Memorials may be made to the Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, 3800 Arboretum Drive, Dubuque IA, 52001, Camp Courageous, P.O. Box 418, Monticello, IA 52310, or the ASABE, 2950 Niles Road, Saint Joseph, MI 49085 in memory of Paul. Online condolences may be left for the family at 




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