Paul A. Tangora Jr., 68, died on Thursday (July 1, 2010) at Provena Covenant Medical Center, Urbana.
There will be a visitation from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 8, at Owens Funeral Home, 101 N. Elm St., Champaign. Funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. Friday, July 9, at Holy Cross Catholic Church, 403 W. Clark St., Champaign. Interment will be in Woodlawn Cemetery, Urbana.
Paul was born on Sept. 2, 1941, to Paul Sr. and Arlene (Thinnes) Tangora. He married Sally Melahn on Jan. 18, 1969, and she preceded him in death on Aug. 8, 1991.
He is survived by his mother, Arlene Tangora of Champaign; his children, Angeline (Kevin) Deptula of Champaign and Anthony Tangora of Chicago; two granddaughters, Natalie and Abigail Deptula; three sisters, Teri Britton of Fort Pierce, Fla., Karen Tangora of Pompano Beach, Fla., and Mary Tangora (Larry Steinbauer) of Champaign; and one brother, Mike and Barbara Tangora of Champaign.
Paul was a proud American and he honorably served in the U.S. Navy, stationed on the USS Wallworth County (LST 1164) from 1960-1962.
He then worked for Champaign Asphalt and assisted with the construction of Interstate 57. Although his time with Champaign Asphalt was brief, he always remembered it with fondness and frequently discussed returning to this work upon retirement.
Paul continued in his lifetime career of civil service as a Champaign firefighter, earning "Firefighter of the Year" in 1992. He retired in 1999.
Paul was also a tireless volunteer, contributing much of his time to Boy Scout Troop 13 in Champaign and to his church, Holy Cross Catholic Church.
Paul was like a dictionary when it came to history. He had a special interest in military history, especially the Civil War and World War II.
One of Paul's favorite hobbies was HO scale model trains. His train sets grew to take over his entire home and more recently, his garden and yard. He always admired large earth-moving equipment.
Paul also loved being a grandfather to his two precious granddaughters, Natalie and Abigail. He truly enjoyed his time with them, whether he was weeding his garden with Natalie or insisting Abigail's Barbie dolls had enough clothing on. He has left many memories behind which will be cherished by his family for years to come.