Paul James Sovern was born in Maryville, Missouri on April 2, 1956. He would often call it Maryville, Misery, to make people smile. He loved to make people smile and laugh with his "punny" stories. In 1962, his father Arthur James Sovern, Jr. and his wife Betty Louise (Waniska), (along with his sister, Linda) moved to sunny California to accept the position as pastor of the First Assembly of God church in Norwalk, California. That is where Paul met and married his wife of 42 years, Susan (aka Sooz) (Smith) Sovern. Paul was a member of the church choir and many times was the soloist. Everyone agreed he had a beautiful tenor voice.
Paul lived with his family in Bellflower, CA for 40 years. After he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2012, gave up his job as Estimator at Precision Air Balance Co. He loved the owners, Dennis and Karen Fox, and crew and considered them as a second family. He was invited to attend the Bellflower Sr. Center to sing with a small band of musicians that entertained the seniors every Friday at Simms Park. He discovered how much singing brought joy and blessings to him; his audience was blessed as well.! He and his friend, Jim Anderson, went many places to share their musical gifts such as the Norwalk Senior Center and ARC in Long Beach. He even sang at a few weddings.
Paul and his family love God and worshipped at 3 local churches over the 40 years they’ve lived in Bellflower: Calvary Chapel Downey, where their children attended school; Calvary Bellflower (formerly Calvary Baptist);and finally, serving the Lord in music by singing at the Sunday morning and evening services at Lighthouse Christian church. Before his illness, Paul and his family would often attend New Christ Memorial Church of God in Christ pastored by Andrae Crouch. Paul and Andrae became best friends over the years. Paul collected music and all things Andrae and his twin sister, Pastor Sandra Crouch. He was known as Andrae’s #1 fan and historian. They even traveled together some. Paul’s favorite verse was: Proverbs 3: 5-6. He wrote a song to these verses with his teenage friend, Scott Hampton, in the late 70’s.
Paul was also known for his love of adult softball and his son, Scott’s, Little League and later Pony ball in Long Beach. Paul played softball for years. He also helped coach many of his son’s ball teams. And like father, like son, his son Scott has coached his son, Mason’s baseball teams and also coached at Mayfair H.S. and Oxford Academy. Paul was able to attend some of his grandson, Mason’s baseball and soccer games. We know he would have loved to see all of his grandchildren play and grow up.
Paul passed quietly at home on Wed. Nov. 4, 2020 with his family nearby. He is survived by his wife, Sooz, his daughter Kristen, and his son, Scott and his wife Dani. He has 3 grandchildren that he loved very dearly: Mason James, Zachary Ryan, and Addison Rae-Lynn Sovern. He is also survived by his sister, Linda (Sovern) Isham and her husband, Steve Isham.
Paul had no life insurance or prepaid burial plan and they had to use all of their savings when Paul was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease because he was denied disability assistance from Social Security several times before finally being approved. The family is also left with some medical expenses. Many people have asked how they can help. Continue to pray with us - that means so much. We appreciate all of the prayers for Paul and our family over the past year which was so terribly difficult. Paul would never have wanted to ask for financial help for himself but we are in need of help. Thank you for considering this request.
Paul's burial will be a private ceremony but we are planning a tribute to Paul near his birthday in April 2021. More details to follow.
Love, Sooz Sovern
on behalf of the Sovern and Isham families.
- Robert Truckey
- Elsa Barajas
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