View Full Version : Tragedy in the Baylor Family - Paul Gartner passes

12-30-06, 02:10 PM
In respect to the family, I will leave out any details, but you need to keep Paul Gartner and his family in your prayers this evening.

Paul tragically passed away last evening.

He was president of the Bear Foundation and immensely loved Baylor University.

Paul is one of the finest men I ever knew. He was somewhat of a mentor to me: as a lawyer, a father, a husband, a friend, and a man of God. I admired him and his family, who are just about the most outstanding individuals you could meet.

Paul read and posted sometimes here at BaylorFans.com.

This is tremendous loss to me personally and a huge loss to the Baylor family.

My thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time.

12-30-06, 04:47 PM
Thanks for the heads-up, Yogi

12-30-06, 04:49 PM
Family's in my prayers.

El Oso
12-30-06, 04:55 PM
this guy live in Ft Worth?

Jack Bauer
12-30-06, 05:26 PM
Was this the guy whose picture was in each Baylor Insider newsletter?

Waymond Bear1
12-30-06, 05:48 PM
Will do, Yogi. That's hard this time of year. Prayers for his family and friends.

~ WB1

12-30-06, 05:49 PM
Wow...I'm shocked by this! I had the chance to play golf with Paul a year or so ago and really found him to be a terrific person with an amazing love for BU, as you said. Prayers for the family.

12-30-06, 06:15 PM
this guy live in Ft Worth?


12-30-06, 06:15 PM
Was this the guy whose picture was in each Baylor Insider newsletter?

yes ---- he wrote "a message from the President" (or something like that)

12-30-06, 06:17 PM
I heard the news at a neighborhood gathering a few hours ago and was shocked.

Paul loved Baylor and will be deeply missed. As many events as you saw him at, you would have thought he lived in Waco!

Our thoughts and prayers with his family and friends -

12-30-06, 08:43 PM
Very true Banker. Prayers to his family. A great man and Bear.

12-30-06, 08:45 PM
yes ---- he wrote "a message from the President" (or something like that)

Wow. I had met that guy a couple of times. Obviously just simply as Paul.

12-31-06, 12:13 PM
I just saw this. What the hell happened?

Yogi you should not have had such a vague title here.

He was McLennan County DA for a couple of years in the late 80s--finishing out Feazell's unexpired term.

12-31-06, 12:18 PM
He was a Federal Prosecutor in Ft. Worth until his untimely death.

12-31-06, 01:20 PM
I agree on the vague opening. Made it sound like suicide or some other questionable cause of death, which most certainly was not the case. Just a very unexpected heart attack while travelling Friday. Nothing questionable here, except why such a good man needed to die so young.

Prayers continue.

12-31-06, 03:07 PM
I am Paul's brother-in-law. I will try to fill in some of the details.

Paul, Beth, and Ashley (youngest daughter) were headed to Waco on Friday night after a post-Christmas family reunion in the San Antonio area. Paul had a Bear Foundation meeting to attend on Saturday.

Paul was driving their SUV. Around Georgetown (about midnight), he started coughing heavily. He pulled off the freeway and stopped at a convenience store to see if he could clear his throat. Although he was coughing, he still was breathing fairly normally.

Thankfully, two employees from the local hospital (about a mile away) were coming out of the store. They noticed that he was having difficulties and went to help. In the meantime, my sister called 911.

Paul did not complain of arm pain (indicative of a heart attack). Within a few minutes, he began to lose consciousness and the two men started CPR. By the time the ambulance got there (just a few minutes), he was unconscious.

The doctors in the ER worked on him for quite some time, but were never able to revive him. At this time, we suspect a pulmonary embolism, but won't know until we receive the official report (perhaps next week).

The funeral will be held at University Baptist Church in Fort Worth on Wednesday, January 3 at 10:00. Burial will be in Waco around 2:00.

When I get more details on the arrangements, I will post them.

Paul's sudden and tragic death is an example to each of us how we should not take our days on this earth for granted. Paul did not have any of the risk factors for a heart/circulation problem (cigarette/alcohol use, excessive weight, etc.) He played golf regularly - he took up the game when he couldn't find people that wanted to play tennis anymore!

As many of you have said, Paul loved Baylor dearly. He never got involved in any of the recent internal bickering, but focused on supporting his beloved Baylor Bears. He supported all sports, from Baylor football to the new women's equestrian team.

Paul had not missed a home game since his days as an undergrad - BA '74, JD '76. He supported the Bears faithfully through good times and bad, never missing singing "That Good 'Ol Baylor Line" to support the team - regardless of the final score or weather conditions at the end of the game.

Paul's survivors are Beth, an elementary school Resource teacher in Ft Worth ISD, his wife of 31 years, whom he met at Baylor; Amanda, 25, BU grad and recent BU law school graduate, who has followed her dad's footsteps as a assistant district attorney in Tarrant County; and Ashley, 22, a May '06 BU grad and now enrolled in the Masters/phD Psychology program at BU.

Please lift up the family in your prayers. Although Beth and the girls have a strong faith, Paul's death is especially difficult as he was literally totally well one moment and left this earth in the next moment.

If you'd like to honor Paul for his life and his service to Baylor, a donation in his name to the Baylor Bear Foundation would be most appropriate.

12-31-06, 03:30 PM
Thank you for the post. He will be missed.

12-31-06, 03:31 PM
Thanks Bear8083, what a tragedy. Very sorry to hear the news.

12-31-06, 04:02 PM
Bear 8083, thanks for telling us what happened. What a terrible tragedy for your family. I am so sorry.

12-31-06, 04:08 PM
Wow. Prayers for his family and friends in this time of loss.

12-31-06, 04:42 PM
Saw some of the family at the mens game last week. I'm very sorry to hear of the loss for your family, and for the Baylor family.

Prayers are with you.

12-31-06, 05:40 PM
....one of the all time great Baylor fans....from wearing the green and gold to walking the streets of gold. It's our deep and tragic loss. Baylor truly loses one of our best supporters.

12-31-06, 06:07 PM
Paul tookover the DA's job at a very difficult time for Waco and righted that ship promptly. Sad to hear about his death.

12-31-06, 07:03 PM
A great lawyer and a better person

01-01-07, 08:40 AM
Paul was the standard for all Baylor Fans. He will be sorely missed.

01-01-07, 07:40 PM
Sounds like a great person that I wish I had been able to meet...Prayers with the family

01-02-07, 12:09 PM
I met with the family last evening in Fort Worth.

First of all, they are all as strong as Paul was. Once again, I was reminded of why I so admire that family.

For those of you who don't know, I would not have decided to go to law school but for Paul Gartner. That's because Paul proved to me that a man can be a good lawyer, a good husband, and a good man without sacrificing any of the three.

In terms of his love for Baylor University, if love was measured out in dollars and cents, Baylor would be in the black forever with Paul's love for Baylor.

Finally, the best theory of the cause of his death is a pulmonary embolism, basically, a blood clot in one of his lungs. The autopsy won't be returned for another month.

01-02-07, 12:12 PM

FORT WORTH - Paul Edwin Gartner Jr., 54, a loving husband and father, passed away on Saturday, Dec. 30, 2006. Funeral will be 10 a.m. Wednesday at University Baptist Church with the Rev. Mark Woods officiating. Burial will be 3 p.m. Wednesday at Oakwood Cemetery, Waco. A visitation will begin at 5 p.m. Tuesday with a vigil service at 6:30 p.m. at Thompson's Harveson and Cole Funeral Home. Paul Gartner was born May 19, 1952, in Dallas, to Paul Edwin Gartner Sr. and Barbara Bledsoe Gartner. He attended McLennan Community College and graduated from Baylor University in 1974, and from Baylor Law School in 1976. Paul began his legal career as an Assistant District Attorney with the Tarrant County District Attorney's Office. He practiced law in the private firm of Khoury and Gartner in Waco, and also served as the McLennan County District Attorney. For the last fifteen years, Paul has been an Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Texas and has served as a Deputy Criminal Chief. Paul was an avid Baylor sports fan and had season tickets to all home football, men's and women's basketball and baseball games for the past thirty years. Paul was so full of spirit that he was named the Baylor Fan of the Year in 2003. Paul was currently presiding as the President of the Baylor Bear Foundation. Paul was a lifelong Catholic and attended church at St. Andrew Catholic Church. He also attended church with his family at University Baptist Church. Paul was preceded in death by his grandparents and his father, Paul Edwin Gartner, Sr. Survivors include his loving wife of 31 years, Beth; two daughters, Amanda and Ashley; mother, Barbara Gartner; sister, Leighanne Hoban and her husband, Mark; numerous nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins; and a host of friends. His memory may be honored with a gift to the Baylor Bear Foundation, 150 Bear Run, Waco, TX 76711. Thompson's Harveson and Cole Funeral Home and Crematory May 19, 1952 - December 30, 2006 Sign the Guest Book at www.wacotrib.com (http://www.wacotrib.com/)

01-02-07, 12:13 PM

I have posted on here a couple of times. Paul Gartner is/was my uncle.

Paul was an inspiration for me in good times and in bad. Everybody remembers Paul as being a great fan, well I will remember him for being a great uncle. He was always there if I needed someone to talk to. He was always there when times were bad. He would lift me up when I was feeling sad. He encouraged me to follow my dream and go to BU. He was on me when sometimes I was not true.

All in all Paul was a great man who will be missed more than he will ever know. As you ascend to the pearly gates of Heaven, Paul we lift or hands up high. And say Sic 'em Bears as you ride through the sky.

We will love you and miss you and me will see each other again.

Until that faitful day, we as Baylor fans need to honor his memory by supporting our beloved bears through good times and in bad. Do not knock them down, but be like Paul always was, be optimistic.

"There is always next year, we will be better next year," my Uncle Paul would say. Well Paul your time is up, but we as Baylor fans will cheer extra hard and extra loud to celebrate your memory.

Love your nephew

Sic 'em Bears
BSE 1999

P.S.: The best way to honor Paul's memory and to thank him for his years of undying love for the bears, and his service in the Baylor Bear Foundation, is to become a member and dedicate your mebership contribution in the memory of Paul E. Gartner Jr..

01-02-07, 12:13 PM
I need to add that the best way to memorialize Paul is to either join or up your committment to the Bear Foundation.

(as per my friend, BUgrad99 - who was very close to Paul and his family)

Knight Bear
01-03-07, 09:57 PM
I heard about this from a close friend who's an assistant DA for Tarrant County up here in Fort Worth. My prayers go out to all of Paul's family and friends. He will be missed by them as well as his Baylor family.

I hope that we can continue to build upon his positive enthusiasm.

01-04-07, 09:10 PM
I hadn't seen him in a while .... Wow, this hits me like a ton of bricks. I worked on Paul's campaign for DA, he worked sooo hard for that position; there was a lot of mud being thrown, too. Paul never said a negative word.

What a great guy.