Community mourns loss of Lufkin Industries VP Paul Perez

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - He's known for his role as Vice President of Lufkin Industries, but East Texans say they'll remember Paul Perez for his dedication to the community.

"He loved Lufkin and simply one of the most positive people I've ever met and those people are the kind of people you remember forever and really have an impact on your life," Lufkin Economic Development Director Jim Wehmeier said.

Wehmeier called Perez his go-to guy.

"He was great about keeping us in the loop and communicating with us and again he was a community person," Wehmeier said. "Any time an industry has a layoff, that's not fun to deal with, particularly in his position. He took it personally, I mean that bothered him anytime they had to lay anybody off."

As a member of the Lufkin Industries team for nearly two decades, the company said, "...they've lost a dear friend, a colleague and mentor. He will be missed."

The law school graduate served on a number of boards including Angelina College and Kurth Memorial Library.

"I knew of course he had been ill for awhile and was aware he had been admitted to the hospital and people kept me posted on his condition throughout the day, so I was pretty much with him every step of the day," President and CEO of Memorial Health System of East Texas Bryant Krenek said.

Krenek said the 65-year-old was currently serving on their board when he died Tuesday.

"In every one of his roles, I just found him to be a very unique, very special individual, loved by everybody," Krenek said. "He was fun to work with and a great leader."

"A huge loss," Wehmeier said. "He was very involved in a lot of things. He and his family. Good Christian, just a good guy."

Services for Perez will be held at Saint Patrick Catholic Church in Lufkin.

Visitation will be Friday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. with a rosary at 7 p.m.

Funeral services are set for Saturday at 10 a.m.

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