WHAT WAS THAT green stuff Paul Aloe insisted on bringing to family functions?
Why, aloe, of course.
Paul, a dedicated civic leader in Montgomery County, had another passion besides public service: aloe.
In addition to foisting it on family and friends, he ran a store in Pennsauken, N.J., called the Magic of Aloe, which dispensed products made from this African succulent.
Aloe is said to be so good for your skin that, according to legend, Cleopatra used it to lure Mark Antony to Egypt.
Be that as it may, Paul drank aloe vera juice every day of his adult life, and never showed up to a family function without a bag full of green soaps carved with an aloe plant, his passion no doubt inspired by his name.
Paul E. Aloe, one of the founders and former chairman of the Abington Township Republican Organization and former head of the Rydal-Meadowbrook Civic Association, a Navy veteran of World War II and world traveler, died April 7 of sepsis. He was 87 and lived in Abington.
"He believed in fighting for what was right and just and he was an inspiration to all who wish to serve their communities," his family said. "He inspired and mentored many generations of civic leaders and fought for many civic causes in Abington."
All who knew him continue to be inspired by his "incredible spirit," his family said.
In addition to his store in Pennsauken, Paul was the former president of E. Hubschman and Sons, a Philadelphia leather tannery.
He was born in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and grew up on a farm in Warminster. He served in the Navy in World War II, deployed in the South Pacific theater. On his return, he married Mary Hubschman.
Paul graduated from Temple University in 1950. He was president of the One World League, a group promoting intercultural understanding. He also was a member of Pi Gamma Mu and the Sword Society.
He had lived in Abington for 57 years. He was instrumental in the creation of the Julie Greenbaum Memorial Award, which awards scholarships to high school seniors active in community service.
Paul was a world traveler, a lover of good food and good wine, "and a kind man who loved nothing more than cooking on his outdoor fireplace," his family said.
"He was a skilled gardener and spent his life surrounded by beautiful flowers."
Of his struggle with his illness, his family said, "He was a fighter, beating insurmountable odds over and over. He never gave up. He believed in living surrounded by love and friendship, and he was full of determination and surrounded by love through to the end."
His wife died in 1976. He is survived by a son, Paul H. Aloe, and two grandchildren.