Aug. 19, 1927-Nov. 22, 2017
“We are what we were when … ”
MISSOULA — A native New Orleanian and the first son of William and Marcelle Gueringer Steen, from early childhood Paul expressed his fertile imagination, keen observations and self-sufficiency. These same qualities and a lifelong devotion to his Catholic faith sustained him in his long and creative life. He is preceded in death by his parents and younger brothers, Gary and Roy Steen.
Paul graduated from St. Aloysius High School in 1944, then served as quartermaster in the U.S. Navy, 1945-47. He achieved a baccalaureate of philosophy in journalism at Loyola University in 1950 and taught there through 1953. He eventually launched a long career in marketing and public relations that included department head and officer with The Bank of New Orleans, 1963-78. He was national director of the Bank Marketing Association, 1974-77 and sole proprietor of Group VII Advertising Agency, 1971-97.
Paul married his childhood sweetheart, Alice Olike, in 1951. Their fruitful 64-year marriage included raising five children, actively participating in New Orleans culture, and lighting up dance floors locally and on international cruises. In 2006 Paul relocated with Alice to Montana where he thoroughly enjoyed the assimilation of Big Sky Country. Paul was a devoted caregiver for Alice in her final years, and he deeply grieved her passing in 2015.
A self-admitted “word mechanic” and “practitioner of history without a license,” Paul was appreciated by all as an entertaining yarn spinner, rocking-chair naturalist, lover of trivia, big band and jazz music enthusiast, expert Sazerac cocktail maker, and reliable source of encyclopedic knowledge.
Paul passed peacefully in his beloved Montana home with family in attendance. To his final day, he was grateful for his good fortune and abundant blessings and proud of his five Ks. He will be greatly missed by his entire surviving family, especially by his sons Kirk (Christel Roesch), Kerry and Kory (Bonnie) all of New Orleans, Louisiana, his daughters Karen of Bellingham, Washington, and Kathy (Larry Bradshaw) of Missoula, and his grandchildren Andrew Taylor-Steen, Rachelle Schoolmeyer (Brian), Marisa Bennett-Steen, Rebecca Rubion (Ryan), and Patrick Steen. His two young great-grandchildren, Lucan and Dax Schoolmeyer, will surely be entertained by the many stories they will hear about their great papa.
Paul has already indicated to us that he has arrived in a finer place. He will be honored in a memorial service with interment of his ashes in his hometown, New Orleans, Louisiana.