Paul Zumwalt 1912-2004

Jean Trousdale reports that Paul Zumwalt, first winner of the Jack Longacre and Vin Hoeman awards, guidebook author, and definitive friend of highpointers passed on Monday, Dec. 19.

Following is the funeral arrangements and obituary informatio for Paul Zumwalt (provided by his daughter Judy Zumwalt)

Paul Lawrence Zumwalt, 92, long-time Peoria resident, died at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 20, 2004 at the University of New Mexoco Hospital in Albuquerque, NM, of pneumonia. He was born April 4, 1912 in Emden, the eldest son of Edwin and Clara Siuts Zumwalt.

He grew up on the family farm and taught at a country elementary school in his early years. He graduated from the University of Illinois in 1938 as a civil engineer. He married Lila Anna Birky of Hopedale on Oct. 22, 1939. She preceded him in death Feb. 12, 2003 in Peoria.

Mr. Zumwalt worked for the U.S. Geological Survey making topographic maps for five years then enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1944. He was a military governor in Korea then after his discharge settled with his family in Peoria in 1946. He was a city engineer and later worked for Caterpillar Tractor Co. as an engineer.

After retiring in l977, Mr. Zumwalt pursued his love of jogging, running marathons, hiking, backpacking and mountain climbing. He also began his passion for state high points, which began in 1943 in Louisiana, when one of his associate surveyors discovered that Mt. Driskell was the highest point in that state.

Since then he located and attempted to climb highpoints in all 50 states, actually reaching the top in 46 states and coming within 1,500 feet of the summit in two others. He did not attempt Mt. McKinley in Alaska nor Granite Peak in Montana. He has been very active in the Highpointers Club, an organization of people who climb the highest point in each state. In 1997, at age 85, he climbed Colorado’s South Mt. Elbert during the annual Highpointer convention.

He wrote a book, Fifty State Summits, which is a collection of data needed by hikers and climbers who attempt to climb the highest points in each state.

Mr. Zumwalt was elected in l981 to the Hall of Fame by the Illinois Valley Striders, an organization of runners with whom he distinguished himself by winning more than 100 trophies in races. He was a life member of the National Society of Professional Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers, American Running and Fitness Assn., and the University of Illinois Alumni Assn. as well as a member of University United Methodist Church, the Has Beens Club of Retired Engineers and the Mazamas Mountain Climbing Club in Portland, OR.

He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, and one brother, Donald. Survivors include 4 sons: Glen (Judy), Fountain Green, UT; Dr. Ross (Dr. Cheryl Willman), Albuquerque, N.M.; Wayne (Laura), Colorado Springs, CO; and Dr. Merle (Amy), Battleground, IN; one daughter, Dr. Susan (Dr. John) Gorz, Algoma, WI; and 11 grandchildren; three brothers: Robert (Helen), Emden; Delmar (Martha), Bloomington; and Dean (Alice), Peoria; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 at
University United Methodist Church in Peoria, IL. The Rev. Robert Lawry
will officiate. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. on Monday, December 27,
2004 at Davison-Fulton Woodland Chapel in Peoria, IL. Burial will be at
Swan Lake Memory Gardens in Peoria, IL.

Memorial contributions may be made to University United Methodist Church in
Peoria, IL.

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