Archive for Friday, December 23, 2011

Community loss

A longtime Lawrence dentist left a legacy of volunteer and professional service.

December 23, 2011


On Christmas Eve, friends and family will gather at Trinity Episcopal Church to pay their respects to long-time Lawrence resident Dr. Paul H. Getto, 94, who died Wednesday.

Our community is as diminished by his passing as it was fortunate to have had him as a resident and interested, active, positive and cheerful citizen for 63 years. He followed two of his brothers to Kansas University and returned to Lawrence in 1948 to practice dentistry and oral surgery. In addition to professional organizations, he was active in the Lawrence Rotary Club and did volunteer work for the Boy Scouts of America, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Lawrence Memorial Hospital, Douglas County Senior Services, the Lawrence Visitors Center and other organizations.

Every community needs people such as Paul Getto. He was a good person, and he will be missed.


Paul R Getto 6 years, 2 months ago

Mr. Simons. Thank you for your kind worda about my father. He will, indeed be missed. Dad was a humble man and I suspect, in some ways might be embarrassed by all the attention paid to his passing. His final year or two were difficult, but manageable until the last few weeks. The progression of his disease focused our family, gave us the chance to encourage his love of stories and opened him up to telling them all over again. It was wonderful to watch him recount his charmed and miraculous life, and to spend special time with him as he contemplated this sad and inevitable day. Our father represents an entire generation of service. Like millions after the war, Dad spent decades of a long and distinguished life serving country, church, family, Lawrence and the dental profession. His legacy lives on and will influence Lawrence for many years. Our parents taught us to volunteer time to our communities; Jane, Charles and I and the grandchildren have continued Dad’s tradition of service. I have worked more than 20 years with school boards and often tell them public schools are here for kids who chose the wrong parents. Jane, Charles and I never take a breath without knowing how lucky we are to have chosen Paul and Winnie so well. Lawrence is lucky Mom and Dad met at the Eldridge Hotel. If the world were populated solely with people like our parents, it would, indeed, be a much better place. As our Italian ancestors say, “Mille grazie,” a thousand thanks, Dr. Paul, Dad, Mi Papa. And, on behalf of my siblings and our mother, bless you for putting up with us all these years and for sticking around so long. Few children are blessed with parents who live past 90 and we appreciate you hanging on one evening so we could hear about your childhood friend PeePee Nose one more time. Rest in peace and we shall never forget you.

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