Paul Churchville did much to support youth in area

Experience has taught us that it takes all kinds of people to make a community a success.

Certainly, civic leaders and business people are important to the mix, as are members of the educational and medical communities, just to name a few.

Another type of person who is absolutely key but very often labors just outside the public’s view is the volunteer, those individuals whose good works are essential and just as important, we believe, as the people mentioned above.

While we have used this space in the past to underscore the accomplishments of such individuals, today we regrettably report the passing of one such person: Paul Churchville of Marquette.

Mining Journal readers learned recently that Paul, 73, died peacefully at home on July 3.

Some readers will recognize Paul’s name, many won’t. Years ago, he was a frequent visitor to the Journal’s newsroom, despite grappling with a significant handicap. Back in the 1980s, Paul had a vision, that the emerging sport of BMX could and should take place in the Marquette area on a large, organized scale.

Undaunted by his handicap, Paul started planning and raising money to construct what ultimately became the North State BMX complex in north Marquette. It now goes by the name Marquette BMX.

He spend nearly two decades building the organization, serving as president, and was awarded the Presidential Award for Physical Fitness in 1992.

That’s not to say Paul did the whole project himself. Certainly that’s not the case. A great many people were involved and continue to be involved, at multiple levels. But Paul involvement and leadership were key.

In more recent years, he kept up with local and regional politics and had many strong opinions and viewpoints that he shared.

Paul Churchville made the Marquette area a better place to live and work.

He serves as a shining example of what someone, handicap entirely aside, who is motivated can accomplish.


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