Sheri Samson
Robert Paul MacBeth (left) and former U.S. VFW Commander-in-Chief, John Stroud (right) prepare the flag presentation at the Celebration of Life for former Mineral County Commissioner Paul MacBeth on Saturday.

When the Celebration of Life was held for former Mineral County Commissioner, Paul MacBeth, at the local VFW, a mixture of laughter, smiles and tears created an honorary portrayal of a husband to Norma MacBeth, a father to two daughters and a son, a grandfather and a man committed to his country, his family and his community.

Coming to Hawthorne as a manager sent to remodel the old Safeway store, Paul was the one to fly military flags at the facility, run special store events for earthquake supplies or bring awareness for emergency packs. He was devoted as a businessman to his store and his career, as well as working selflessly to provide for his family in the best possible way.

Oldest daughter, Alicia Ford shared that he didn’t make it home every holiday because he was committed to his job, but he showed the fulfillment of a provider.

“He modeled the American Dream for us,” Ford expressed, “working and providing a safe, healthy place for us. He taught us gratefulness and to go make a difference, making things better than when you came.”

Ford also shared that her father left her with special quotes, such as “It’s not about the road, it is about the journey” and “See the hope – live in the moment and make it count.”

Son, Robert Paul MacBeth, also a former military soldier like his father, was joined by a close friend of his father’s and the Past Commander-in-Chief, John Stroud, in sharing and presenting the U.S. flag to Norma, widow of Paul, in an emotional moment of honor.

His son shared a stirring thank-you to the many people within the community who had assisted and been there during his father’s years in Hawthorne, saying, “You may not know that my father was a jokester and he had quite a sense of humor. I remember him saying that he never wanted people crying at his funeral – so he wanted the famous “Carrot Top” to come and make people laugh instead. I will never forget that, even though we couldn’t make that happen.”

Self-described as “his middle daughter”, Nicole Duran used a bullet point portrayal of her father stating things such as: touched many people; Old Spice; watching M.A.S.H. shows; Chevy Chase; golf; baseball; Heineken in a glass and more to describe her dad. Her remembrance included that he was not reward driven but he walked humbly and selfless, not as a boaster. Her recollection of his quotes: “Learn this lesson – it’s not all about you” and “If you find something you want to do – than do it.”

Paul had lived long enough to reach his three goals, his wife shared. “Paul got to have his 70th birthday party last year, celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary and see his grandson graduate. Those were the three things that truly mattered to him.”

An enjoyable slide show of his life was presented, as well as a potluck luncheon which allowed many to share personal moments regarding their own memories with Paul as his friends, his neighbors, his veteran comrades, his community mentorships and in total respect to his character in serving Mineral County.