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Paul G. Estes of Purcell, Oklahoma died peacefully this week in his sleep from a heart attack. Paul was an aeronautical engineer who designed airplane engine parts. He was exceptionally bright and loved math and science. He attended Oklahoma University and liked the area around Norman, so he stayed. An avid pilot, he owned his own Cessna airplane and insisted on trying out his inventions himself in his own plane before passing the design along to others. He loved all animals, especially cats, and spent his life collecting and caring for strays, both domesticated and feral.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Zach and Jonnie Estes; his aunt, Mary Estes Lieberman; and his grandparents, Lamar and Annie Mae Estes, and Red and Bea Mims, all of whom he was very close to. He is survived by his sister, Polly J. Estes of California, whom he cared for and tried to protect her whole life. Paul taught her how to fly, how to shoot, and he even taught her calculus when she was still in grade school because he was just too excited to wait to share the magic of math with her. When the family moved while Polly was little, Paul took time off from college to help her adjust to the new town because she was afraid she wouldn’t have anyone to play with her. That is how kind and empathetic he was, even as a young man. Later, he used to surprise her by flying up to see her in college and taking her and her roommates out for dinners and to go flying. He loved the mountains and looking for geodes. He spent his entire life trying to help others, and specifically trying to invent machines that would improve the lives of people living in third world countries.
Tragically, three separate, traumatic head injuries over the years slowly robbed him of the life he deserved, so he would be the first to encourage everyone to wear a helmet when engaging in any kind of potentially dangerous activity, even if it’s just riding a bicycle.
A graveside service will be held on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. at Arlington Memory Gardens, 3400 N. Midwest Blvd, Midwest City, OK, 73141, (405) 427-2453. The cemetery is near Tinker Air Force Base, so Paul can spend eternity admiring the jets flying overhead. His sister asks that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Paul’s name to the Brain Injury Association of America or your local animal shelter.