Brett Anthony Paul, 31

He is dearly missed. Wednesday, May 7, 2003

Locks for love

Teen donates hair as tribute to father

By Gigi Wood Iowa City Press-Citizen

Four years and 11 days ago, Brett Paul died from Lyme disease, an illness carried by ticks.

(Photo caption- Lori Paul wipes tears from her eyes as her daughter Ashley Paul, 13, gets her hair washed after cutting off a length of hair to donate to children that lost their hair due to cancer treatments. Press-Citizen/Matthew Holst)

Paul, then 31, had attended a wedding on the East Coast when he was bitten on the head by a tick.

He struggled for three years with the disease until he lost his life with his children and wife of 10 years by his side.

Days after his death, his daughter, Ashley Paul, then 9, watched a television show about donating hair to children with cancer.

"She said, 'Mom, I'm going to do that,'" said Lori Paul, Ashley's mom. "I thought it was just a passing phase, but she stuck with it."

Ashley decided this week that it was time to cut the hair she had been growing for four years in tribute to her father. So she went to The Wave Length, 1705 First Ave., in Iowa City.

Onlookers could hear a bobby pin drop when Ashley Paul looked at herself for the first time when her haircut was complete. Her mother stood speechless with tears streaming down her cheeks. Her hair, which once reached down her back, is now shoulder-length.

"It's different. It's not what I expected, but I like it," the 13-year-old Tipton student said.

"Now her hair matches her attitude," Mary Larson, a family friend and neighbor, said of the trendy hairstyle.

Ashley Paul, 13, watches as stylist Courtney Durow prepares to cut off her long hair. Ashley donated her hair to "Locks for Love." Press-Citizen/Matthew Holst

Lori Paul said the time was right for the haircut because the family recently reached the four-year anniversary of her husband's death. It also is the right time to raise awareness about deer ticks with families headed outdoors, she said.

"I think he would be very proud of her. I think she will set goals in the future that she will reach as well," Lori Paul said. "She looks just like him. He would do anything for anyone and that's her."

Ashley Paul has already considered one goal: She wants to be a doctor when she grows up. The seventh-grader is an honor roll student, plays the saxophone and loves horses. She also plays on the basketball, softball, volleyball and track teams and is a former flag-football player.

For now, though, she is excited to show her friends her new hairstyle.

"I only told one friend I was going to do it," she said. "Most of my friends have never seen me with short hair."

Ashley Paul kept the hair that was snipped off Tuesday. She plans to write a letter to include with the hair and send them off to "Locks for Love." The Florida-based charity uses donated hair to make wigs for children who cannot afford to pay for one. The program has helped more than 800 children nationwide since it was formed in 1997.

Gazette, The (Cedar Rapids-Iowa City, IA) - April 29, 1999

Brett Anthony Paul

Brett Anthony Paul, 31, died Tuesday, April 27, 1999, in Mercy Iowa City after complications of Lyme Disease. Services: 10 a.m. Friday, St. Mary's Catholic Church, Tipton, by Father Eugene Benda. Burial: Rochester Cemetery, Rochester. Friends may call from 5 to 7 p.m. today at Fry Funeral Home, Tipton.

Survivors include his wife, Lori; his children, Ashley and Jake Paul, both at home in West Branch; his parents, Donald and Ann Marie Paul of West Branch; and four brothers, Donald Paul of Radcliff, Michael Paul of West Branch, John Paul of Tipton, and Kim Paul of St. Louis, Mo.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Gazette, The (Cedar Rapids-Iowa City, IA) Date: April 29, 1999 Edition: Final Page: 2 Record Number: 1057746 Copyright (c) 1999, Gazette Communications, Inc.