Paul Strom Burley, Sr., of Lake Wylie, South Carolina, passed away on Tuesday, September 3, 2019. It had been a long and courageous fight.
A funeral mass will be held on Saturday, September 7, 2019 at 11:00am at All Saints Catholic Church in Lake Wylie, South Carolina, and co-presided by Reverend Agustin Guzman and Reverend Edward McDevitt.
Paul began his life’s work just after graduation from Charlotte’s Central High School in 1956. He couldn’t wait to join the Navy, and along with a fellow classmate and friend, enlisted for reserve and then active duty. He hoped for and received sea assignment on a new destroyer, the USS Barry. It was, by his own recognition, what he called “a good one.”
While deployed, his ship chased Russian subs from Cuba to Newfoundland, and he loved being at sea. He served as a gunner’s mate, then later joined the communications unit, listening and recording messages via code—including the tracking of Russia’s first spacecraft, Sputnick.
Paul would say he was too young for Korea, too old for Viet Nam, but in 1958 his unit saw the intensity of war in the Mediterranean, where the dangerous mission was to guard planes for aircraft carriers and deploying Marines in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1958.
When his service was completed in 1959, he returned to Charlotte and attended Charlotte College, now UNCC. Paul began a successful career in newspaper advertising at The Florence Morning News in Florence, SC.
It would only be two years before marrying the love of his life, the former Peggy Harper, of Charlotte on September 2, 1962. They began a life together that would last 57 years. These two seemed destined for each other and they began dating shortly after Paul returned to Charlotte. As kids, they grew up on the same street- Kirkwood Avenue in Charlotte, and Paul was close friends with Peggy’s older brother, the late Billy Harper.
Professionally, Paul excelled in various levels of advertising management in the Carolinas (Charlotte and Florence) and in Georgia (Macon, Atlanta and Rome). In 1994, after 28 years with Knight Ridder Newspapers, Paul joined News Publishing Company (NPC) in Rome, GA where he served the last 10 years of his professional career as Vice President Advertising Director. The Burley family especially acknowledges the Mooney family of NPC for the consideration and kindness shown Paul during the onset of his illness.
Paul was a favorite to many professional organizations where he often served in leadership roles. He was a charter member and past president of the Advertising and Marketing Executives Association, a past-president of the Atlanta chapter of the Newspaper Advertising Sales Association, and served as the Georgia State vice president for the International Newspaper Advertising and Marketing Executives Association. Civically, Paul served as president of the board of directors for the Museum of Arts and Sciences (Macon) and as a member of Kiwanis International.
One of his favorite past-times was golf, and many of his friends and colleagues enjoyed spending afternoons with Paul on the golf course. During the last few years, Paul found great joy as a volunteer- serving weekly meals at the Community Café soup kitchen in Lake Wylie.
He is survived by his wife, Peggy, daughters Ann Marie Burley, (Joe Artime), Kelly Ann Curley (Jon); son Paul Strom Burley, Jr., (Anda) and grandsons Paul Strom Burley, III (Trace); William McClain Burley (Mac); John Michael Burley, along with 10 nieces and nephews and favorite pet, Oscar.
Donations to honor the life of Paul Strom Burley, Sr. may be contributed to All Saints Catholic Church or a charity of your choice.
All Saints Catholic Church
530 Highway 274, Lake Wylie SC 29710