Paul J. Milord, 90, loving husband of the late Maureen Milord (née McCambridge); proud father of Catherine Milord (Art Schueneman), Carol Turner, Kevin (Lisa), Amy Harrell (Kevin), Philip (Donna), Donna Somerville (Luke), Paul (Betsey/late Patti), Jackie Raimo (Jeff); beloved grandpa to Noel, Kelly (Flower), Matt, Henry (Kala), Sophie, Emily, Christopher (Alyssa), Grace (John), Nolan (Alanna), Eliza (Kyle), Luke, Kate, Eden, Joanna, and Leah; doting great grandpa to Isaiah, Andria, Ayana, Nina, Birdie, Beau, and Aria. “Uncle Paul” was also a favorite of his many nieces and nephews and a great friend to so many.
Paul grew up the youngest of five children to Raymond and Frances (Eaton) Milord in the Brainerd neighborhood in Chicago, just a few doors down from his future wife Maureen. He was very close with (late) siblings Tom, Jim, Jane (Ardizzone), and Eileen (Zuro).
As a young man, Paul studied under Mies van der Rohe at the Illinois Institute of Technology, then joined his brother Tom at the R.T. Milord Company (now the Milord Company). Together, they shored up the family construction business (founded by their great-uncle in 1887) from the deep losses of the Depression and rebuilt it as the vibrant company it is today. As long-time president, Paul was responsible for the design and construction of hundreds of educational and religious facilities, factories, railroad and port terminals, food processing plants, retail establishments, and luxury housing developments throughout the country.
Yet, Paul built so much more than just scores of buildings and the company that the family still owns and operates.
He built a strong and joyful marriage with Maureen that lasted 70 years. And what a love story it was! As neighbors, Paul and Maureen both attended St Kilian’s Grammar School and had many friends in common. After Paul’s mother died quite young, Paul attended Loras Academy for high school, a military seminary boarding school in Dubuque, Iowa. But neither the military nor the priesthood was in the cards for Paul; he had a keen eye for Maureen, and their relationship blossomed. They married in 1951 at age 18 and were still going strong at her passing only 11 months ago.
Paul also built a large and happy family . . . and the ever-expanding brick house in which they lived. With eight kids, Paul joked that people would groan when they saw the whole motley crew approaching. But Paul was an engaged, playful, and supportive dad and grandpa who loved his big, messy family. He was a natural teacher with a gift for showing through doing, framing work as an enjoyable puzzle to be solved. He and Maureen created a warm and loving home that was open to everyone . . . and an epic backyard that was legendary for its parties, lively conversations, lost bathing suits, hula hoops, fireworks, basketball injuries, and rollicking good times for all.
Paul built community and lifelong friendships as well . . . not to mention some truly elaborate sets for the many shows he and Maureen directed at the Chicago Heights Drama Group. They both had a passion for live theater and enjoyed more than 50 years with “the DG,” designing, directing, or performing in at least 100 productions.
Paul was known for his generous leadership in business and the arts, his creativity, humor, hard work, and deep faith . . . and most of all, his devotion to family. His designs for both buildings and theater sets mirrored his approach to raising children and living life: they were beautiful yet demanding and always incorporated an unerring sense of proportion and perspective.
He was the best of men.
Visitation Sunday, March 19, 2-7 p.m. at Tews-Ryan Funeral Home, 18230 S. Dixie Highway, Homewood. Funeral Mass Monday, March 20, 11 a.m. at St. John Neumann Church (formerly St. Joseph’s), 17951 S. Dixie Highway, Homewood. Interment at Assumption Catholic Cemetery, 19500 S. Cottage Grove Avenue, Glenwood, IL. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Plymouth Place Senior Living https://plymouthplace.org/makeagift.