Paul Dhonau

Obituary of Paul Duane Dhonau

Paul Duane Dhonau

1931 - 2021



Paul Duane Dhonau, “Zeke”, 90, of Tampa and Inverness, passed away March 27, 2021. Son of Owen and Lulu Dhonau, he was born in Evansville, Indiana. The family moved to St. Petersburg where Duane graduated from St. Petersburg High School. He was preceded in death by his wife Helen; son Michael Duane; siblings Bonnie Lou, Owen Earl, Edwin Ray, and Phyllis Ann; and step-granddaughter Emma Grace. Duane is survived by his daughters Patti and Bonnie, stepson Scott (Danielle) and daughter-in-law Kathy; grandchildren Thomas Duane (Michelle), Kevin (Jackie), and Constantine; step-grandchildren James Duane “J.D.” and Rachel; great-grandchildren Devin, Taylor and Evin; his sister Darlene, and brother Donald (Patti). He is also survived by many beloved nieces, nephews and extended family.


“Poppa” was larger than life and when he showed up at family gatherings, the kids would swarm around him – he became affectionately known as “the baby whisperer”. He was renowned for his sense of humor – frequently turning a phrase through his quick wit and dry sense of humor that put smiles on everyone’s face. Poppa had a magnetic personality.


It was well known that Poppa could fix just about anything – and did. He loved his tools and lived by the saying, “if you take care of your tools, your tools will take care of you.” He made sure his children and grandchildren knew the value of being able to fix things on their own and take care of their tools.


Dad was an accomplished woodcarver and won ribbons at the County Fair, mastering his art after starting with simple whittling. He made countless carvings from blocks of wood and cypress knees which he freely shared with friends and family over the years. He made sure everyone had a toothpick holder at their house that he had carved so that his ever-present toothpick would always be available for him when he visited.


Duane provided for his family starting as an apprentice lineman with Peninsula Telephone Company.  Through promotions he eventually retired as an engineer from GTE. His strong work ethic lives on in his children and grandchildren.


A member of the Inverness Elks Lodge #2522 for many years, he loved to play cards and volunteered doing magic tricks to entertain children.


At his recent 90th Birthday he remarked, “This has been one of the best days of my life!”


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A Memorial Tree was planted for Paul
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Reese Funeral Home