Paul E. Gade

paul gade

Paul Eugene Gade was born on August 9, 1943 in East Chicago, Indiana and raised in Wisconsin. He was the third of six children, born to The Reverend Edward Gade, Jr. and Louise (Wunnenberg) Gade. Paul graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point with a degree in English. He and his wife, Gayle, moved to Middle River, Minnesota where he taught high school English until he realized his true calling, to be a custom cabinet builder. Paul converted his garage into a shop and spent three decades building custom kitchens and numerous other custom projects. He retired after some health issues in 2009.

It was easy to see how Paul touched the lives of people. For years after he quit teaching, his former students would drop in to shoot the breeze. He could often be found shooting hoops or playing board games with the neighborhood kids, who affectionately called him “Big Guy”.

Paul never had a shortage of hobbies. He built model trains, rode motorcycle, and loved to fish. His thirst for knowledge and new skills stayed with him until the end. In the early 80’s when home computers were just becoming a thing, he purchased a computer that you had to program yourself with the accompanying book of code. He wrote some simple games that were sold in the local Radio Shack, then wrote his own bookkeeping and cabinet design programs. At age 78, while living in Assisted Living, he purchased a 3D printer. He made several projects using public domain designs, and was in the process of learning how to program his own designs.
Paul also loved to share his knowledge and opinions. By his own admission, he liked a spirited debate (some would say argument) so much that he would proceed to present a point of view, even if he didn’t personally share the opinion.

Paul’s marriage ended in 1989. Paul spent some time trying to enjoy his new-found bachelorhood, but after time, loneliness and depression turned him into a bit of a hermit. In 2017 Paul encountered some life threatening health conditions that forced him to move to Assisted Living in Dilworth, MN. It was here that Paul was able to once again find joy. He participated in numerous activities, including painting, “grub club”, BINGO, and cardio drumming. Paul was touted one of the best recruiters for these activities, encouraging other residents to join. Paul truly loved his family of fellow residents and caregivers at Serenity Assisted Living, and stories told during his final days left no doubt that Paul was truly loved back and will be sorely missed.

A perfect storm of simultaneous health conditions took him from active and vibrant to hospital admission then hospice for end of life comfort care in less than two weeks. He peacefully took his last breath with family by his side on September 4, 2022.

Paul was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Eunice (Kenneth) Holgate.

Paul is survived by siblings Edward (Sandra) Gade of Oshkosh, WI, Dean (Joan) Gade of Ukiah, CA, Lois Hill of Appleton, WI, and Richard (Theresa) Gade of Plymouth, MN; two children Jennifer (Jeffrey) Hovde of Baudette, MN and Nathan (Cathy) Gade of Moorhead, MN; and four grandchildren who were the light of his life.

View current weather.

Memories Timeline


  1. Words cannot express how very special Paul was to our Serenity family! I was blessed to cook and serve breakfast orders for him. He so enjoyed socializing. Always no doubt on how he stood on views regarding any topic. I looked forward to him coming every day for breakfast. He was always so polite and gracious. We could joke with eachother as well. I miss him so much already. Rest in peace to a much loved soul! Deb

  2. Goodbye my friend, we will all miss you terribly. I asked Blessed Mary to drop in to just say Hello, don’t be bothering her with your silly jokes. Well, maybe just one joke would be alright. I think of you Paul, everyday. Save a seat for me at the table. Jeanne Kelly

    • I chuckle at the thought of Dad trying to decide between reverence and snark.
      He will be in good company at the table, and I know he’ll be happy to make room for more. ❤️

  3. Rest In Peace ~ May you find the perfect neighborhood up there and be surrounded in love ~
    With hugs for all~
    One of the neighborhood kids

  4. I was 15 years old and Paul gave me my first “real” job. I lived just a block away so I could walk or ride bike to work. I spent the summer helping building the beautiful custom cabinets he made. My favorite part working with Paul was his amazing MP3 catalog of music! We talked about and listened to a lot of classic rock music which is still my favorite genre to date. Many prayers to your family, RIP

  5. Paul was my neighbor for 23 years. We had numerous meals together and I enjoyed the friendship and conversation.

    He employed both of my son’s during their school years and was an amazing mentor to them both. He was so good to them but equally as hard on them when they needed it. I truly thank him for being part of the village that helped raised my sons.

    He has been missed in Middle River since he left, but his craftsmanship carries on. I am grateful to have his cabinets. He never did anything halfway. His standards were very high and he only produced the best!

    Thank you Paul!

  6. Oh how I wish I could bring you back!! It’s the lucky ones that we met on our path everyday and you surely were one of them. Thank you for just being you Paul. You are missed so much. I hope you and Mark are behaving up there. Until we meet again~ Love Lena~

  7. As one of Mr. Gade’s first students when he arrived to teach English in Middle River, I’m saddened to hear of his passing. He was an inspiration to me. He enjoyed intellectual adventure, and I’ll always recall the books he (and we) loved. I had no idea he led such an astonishing life after leaving teaching. He likely enriched the lives of more lucky acquaintances than any will ever know.

Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle