Paul Thomas Mowrey, Jr., age 89, of Dover, died Saturday evening, December 31, 2022, at Community Hospice Truman House, New Philadelphia.
He was born January 18, 1933, in Connorville, Jefferson County, to the late Paul T. Mowrey, Sr. and Mildred (Carpenter) Mowrey. Paul was a 1952 graduate of Warren Consolidated High School in Tiltonsville, where he excelled in academics and athletics. He wrestled under Joe Begala at Kent State University, from which he graduated, earning a bachelor's degree in comprehensive social studies with a minor in chemistry. Paul continued his studies earning a master’s degree in sociology; he was a member of honor societies in both fields of study.
Paul rose from humble beginnings, having been born in a railroad boxcar, and learned the value of hard work at an early age. He labored on farms and picked up jobs wherever he could in order to supplement his family’s income. Paul wore many hats over the years, from construction and working nights in a steel mill as a teenager, to employment in a greenhouse and a restaurant to support himself in college, to pumping gas and then working as a roofer in the summers that separated the years when he later taught school.
He married the former Lola Nine on September 1, 1956, and his first teaching assignment came two years later in 1958 when he was employed as a social studies and chemistry teacher at Nordonia High School in Summit County. Paul started the wrestling program there, initially practicing on the stage, as the gym was reserved for the basketball team. “Mowrey’s Mighty Maulers,” as the team was dubbed, sported three undefeated teams, a consecutive dual match win streak, and claimed seven league titles. His record at Nordonia was 114-14.
In 1965, Paul accepted a teaching and coaching position in Dover, and he and Lola moved their young family to Tuscarawas County. He took a personal interest in his students and truly made history come alive in the classroom. By retirement in 1988 he had taught many subjects, but his greatest academic interests were in Civil War history, anthropology and sociology.
Paul served as football equipment manager during his first few years in Dover, and again took on a fledgling wrestling team that grew to be a powerhouse under his tutelage. He coached his early years without an assistant, and when he obtained permission to add a junior high program, he found himself in the position of coaching both teams due to a lack of applicants.
On December 6, 1976, the Crimson Tornados beat rival Carrollton 32-26 to give Coach Mowrey his 267th career win, making him the winningest dual meet coach in Ohio history, and, in 1982, he was recognized as “The Winningest Coach in the Nation.” When Paul stepped down as coach at Dover, his dual meet record stood at 342-70-3. His overall record in dual meets, quadrangulars and tournaments was 633-203-17.
After he retired from teaching in 1988, Paul missed contact with young people and took the position of wrestling coach at Tuscarawas Catholic Central Catholic High School. Though the team was small, he enjoyed the success of individual boys under his instruction, and coached a number of them to state competition. Paul officially retired in 1996 after 36 years of coaching. In 1980, the Upper Ohio Valley Dapper Dans honored Coach Mowrey for his contribution to athletics, and, in 2018, he was inducted into the Dover Athletic Hall of Fame.
Paul loved the outdoors, and, when in good health, spent most of his leisure hours working on the grounds around his home. He also loved trees and planted hundreds of them, even giving names to some of which he was particularly fond.
In midlife, Paul developed a great interest in genealogy and enjoyed genealogical research before computers became the prime source of information. He and Lola enjoyed many travels in pursuit of family history and made many friends along the way. Paul and Lola were active in the “Carpenter Cousins,” an international organization for serious researchers of that name. Paul had written books on both the Carpenter and Mowrey families and had helped many people build their family trees. Additionally, he belonged to Summit Lodge No. 213 F. & A.M., Twinsburg, and was recognized in 2015 as a 50 year member.
In 1993, Paul and Lola opened Mowrey’s Welcome Bed and Breakfast, welcoming guests to their home for a number of years. Paul maintained a booth in the Dover Flea Market where he sold books and other items, and made many friends. He enjoyed telling stories, and will be remembered by many for his entertaining narratives. Most of all, Paul loved his family, and his passing will leave a hole that cannot be filled.
He will be dearly missed by his wife, Lola; his children, Stephanie (Donn) Handy of Swannanoah, NC, Paul T. (Kathleen) Mowrey III of Dover, and Christopher (Margaret) Mowrey of San Angelo, TX; his grandchildren, Christine (Justin) Patterson, Paul Mowrey IV, Sampson Mowrey, Randi (Tabor) McEnrue and Zeke (Rachel) Mowrey; his step-grandchildren, Justin (Jamie), Chad and Christopher Dean; his great-grandchildren, Rowan, Ruby and Cora Patterson; his step-great-grandchildren; his dear cousin, Steven Lovett, and his wife, Sheila, and their daughter, Allison; and his nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, Paul was preceded in death by his sisters, Pauline and Betty Mowrey, Hester Krenke, Nancy Ella, Mary Ruckh and Emma Polen.
Family and friends are invited to call at the Toland-Herzig Funeral Home & Crematory, Dover, on Friday, January 6, 5 - 7 p.m. A funeral service will be held Saturday, January 7, at 11 a.m. in the funeral home. Paul’s niece, Rev. Denise Lowery, and his brother-in-law, Dr. William Maynard French, will officiate. Burial will follow in Zoar Cemetery. To sign an online guestbook and share a fond memory of Paul, please visit the Obituaries link on the Toland-Herzig website.
The family suggests that contributions in Paul’s memory be made to Community Hospice, the Salvation Army, or the American Cancer Society.