WICHITA – Paul Wilson Works, 89, passed away peacefully on Dec. 2, 2020. His children were by his side. Paul is now at rest with our Lord and Savior in Heaven.
Paul was born on Feb. 3, 1931, in Iola, as the youngest child of Clark Obediah Works and Leota Marie (Wilson) Works. He spent much of his early life on the farm and had many fond memories of spending time with his grandparents. After graduating from Humboldt High School in 1949, Paul attended Neosho County Community College and then Kansas State University. He graduated with a bachelor of science in civil engineering from KSU in 1956 and was a lifelong alumnus supporter. Several of his grandchildren are fourth-generation Wildcats.
While attending KSU, Paul was drafted into the U.S. Army. His entrance exams found his intelligence and mechanical aptitude suited him for detailed technical work and he spent his years in service as a calculator machine (including the revolutionary IBM 701) mechanic in New York City. He made several good friends in the Army with whom he kept in touch throughout his life. Following his discharge, Paul returned to KSU to finish his degree. After graduating from KSU, Paul was hired by Eby Construction Company headquartered in Wichita, and rose to the position of vice president, heavy construction. Paul was involved in construction projects ranging across the United States including The Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth; Titan II missile silos in Colorado and Idaho; the Kansas Army Ammunition Plant in Parsons; and a major kiln enhancement to the Monarch Cement Company, Humboldt. He also managed multiple large locks and dam projects in the south-central United States. His work contributed to the defense of our country and enriched the lives of many people.
Paul was a lifelong member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and was a Freemason for 60 years, as were his father and grandfathers before him. Paul was a lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church.
Paul grew up on a farm and loved farming his entire life. After retiring from Eby Construction, Paul returned to farming in Sedgwick. He enjoyed attending farm sales, developing an extensive knowledge and collection of horse drawn farm machinery and tools. Paul was proud of his family history. His ancestors were in America very early, both at Jamestown and on the Mayflower. The first recorded Works (Samuel) in America was married in Massachusetts in 1706. He had great-grandfathers who fought in the Civil War. Robert Miller Works served in the 9th Kansas Cavalry in Kansas, Colorado, Cherokee Nation Indian Territory, and Missouri. Henry Michaels served in the 105th Pennsylvania Volunteers at Second Bull Run, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness and Spotsylvania.
Paul met his future wife, Barbara, through a mutual friend, and they were married on Nov. 5, 1956. The early part of their 63-year marriage was busy. Paul’s job with Eby Construction had them moving 10 times before they finally settled on their farm outside Sedgwick in 1972. All who interacted with Paul knew him as a highly intelligent, hard-working man who expressed genuine interest in people by learning about them and what they did. Many can remember having good talks and laughs with Paul over the years. Paul was an avid reader and kept himself well-informed on both local and national topics. He was always interested in talking about politics.
Paul is survived by his sister, Mary Freiburg; his two children, Paul Wilson Works Jr. (Patti) and Amy (Works) Nemeth (Lou); his five grandchildren, Alexandra Puskas (Kyle), Anna Ehlers, Abbey Strunk (Philip), James Works, and Leota Works; and his three great-grandchildren, Sophie and Charlotte Puskas and Avie Strunk. Two of Paul’s brothers, Bruce Works (2017) and Clark Works (1935), preceded him in death.
His wife Barbara passed away on Jan. 24, 2020.
Paul’s family remembers him as a strong example of what hard work, applied intelligence, forethought, and true respect and caring for others can accomplish. His grandchildren have many loving memories of their times spent with him. Paul was a strong Christian and taught his children to love God and keep Him in their lives. We will forever be grateful and will miss Paul very much; his life and love will forever remain in our hearts.
A service celebrating Paul’s life will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday at First Presbyterian Church, 525 N. Broadway St., Wichita. A graveside service will follow at 2:30 p.m. that same day in Mount Hope Cemetery, Humboldt. Masks and social distancing will be followed at all locations and services. A memorial has been established for the Parish Nursing Program with First Presbyterian Church, Wichita, Kansas (https://firstchurchwichita.org/; phone (316) 263-0248).
Arrangements by Downing & Lahey Mortuary West. Share tributes online at www.dlwichita.com