BUCKHANNON — Paul Joseph Cortes, born Aug. 4, 1916 in Toledo, Ohio, passed away Aug. 14, 2017 in Oviedo, Fla. at the venerable age of 101 years. Paul was a World War II United States Army Air Force veteran. While in the service, he worked on both the B-26 Marauder and P-47 Thunderbolt aircraft. He was stationed in the European Theater of Operation. He married Geraldine (Geri) M. Buchanan in June 1940 in Detroit, Mich. and built their house in Southfield, Mich. After the war, they had four children.
Paul is survived by their four children: Dennis P. Cortes, 70; Gary F. Cortes, 66; and wife Nyoman; Lori Wilcox, 64, and husband Martin; and Craig R. Cortes, 62, and wife Jean. Paul’s surviving grandchildren include David James Dutcher; Adam V. Cortes and wife Christine; Daniel Cortes; Jay Cortes and wife Sharifa; Stacy Wilcox; Trevor Wilcox and Agung Ingprang. Paul’s surviving great-grandchildren include Bobby Shutran, Rachel Cortes, Ryan Cortes, Emily Cortes, Anthony Kueste, Charley Niess, David’s four adopted children, and one great-grandson is on the way for grandson Jay and his wife Sharifa. Paul has one surviving niece, Kathleen D. Williams born in 1939. One sister preceded Paul in death, Marion E. Williams (1918-1948). Paul’s parents were Antoinie and Joseph Cortes.
Paul spent his career working for Detroit Edison and performed a spectrum of job descriptions for the company including lineman, meter repair, teacher and secondary power inspector. He retired after 40-plus years as a senior service planner. He was active in Boy Scouts with his three sons, two of whom made Eagle Scout. His wife Geri was involved in Girl Scouts with their daughter Lori. After retirement, the couple moved to New Smyrna Beach, Fla. where he was very active in the Catholic Church at Our Lady Star of the Sea. Paul was a lifelong Catholic and along with Geri raised all four children as such. While living in New Smyrna Beach, he took up song writing and produced many great tunes. When performed by professionals, the songs are noteworthy - to use a pun. He was able to sell two of his songs, the first being “When It’s Spring in West Virginia.” That song is now the official song of the West Virginia Strawberry Festival.
The other song is titled “Tender Loving Care” and is the official song for Dr. Greenbrier Almond’s TV Show by the same name on Channel 3. Paul and Geri both donated their bodes to science and, when his ashes are returned, he and Geri will be laid to rest together at the Holy sepulcher Cemetery in Southfield, Mich. in their family plot.