Paul Andrew Vitale passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Friday, May 19th after a courageous 15-month battle with cancer.
Paul will be laid to rest in Saint Paul, Minnesota. There will be visitation from 4-7:00 p.m. on Monday, May 22 at O'Halloran & Murphy, Woodbury, Minnesota. A rosary will be recited at 6:30 p.m. Paul's Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 23 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in West Saint Paul. A link to the livestream of the Mass will be available at https://churchofstjoseph.org/. There will be a Memorial Mass and Celebration of Life at 4:00 p.m. on June 20, 2023 at St. Leo the Great Catholic University Parish located at 509 West L Street, Russellville, Arkansas 72801. A reception will be held on site following Mass.
Paul was born April 12, 1972 in Russellville, Arkansas to Carole and Lou Vitale. Paul attended Russellville High School and went on to play baseball at the University of Central Arkansas. Paul graduated with a degree in Mass Communications and Journalism in 1996. He authored his first of four books shortly after graduation.
Early in life, Paul recognized his calling as a speaker. He was inspired by the impact made on him while listening to a professional speaker during an eighth-grade school assembly. It was a life-changing moment for Paul.
Prior to becoming a professional speaker himself, he was director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Preceding his role at the CVB, Paul launched his professional career with the largest marketing firm in the State of Arkansas—Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods. Paul’s entrepreneurial spirit and his ability to inspire others have made a profound impact on countless numbers of people.
Whether one met Paul on a delayed flight to New Orleans or heard him speaking to an audience of 10,000, he treated everyone he met with respect, honesty, sincerity, and authenticity. Each person Paul encountered felt as though they were the only person that mattered.
Paul was President of Matt Birk and Company. While he had the distinct pleasure of working with Fortune 500 companies, NFL teams, and nonprofit organizations as a speaker and consultant, Paul’s passion was working with students and emphasizing the importance of character, while helping them to develop a skill set that would unlock their potential. Paul wanted to give kids a chance to have a chance.
To know or meet Paul was a gift. He was a constant example of humility and generosity. Paul was always upbeat and positive, even throughout his battle with cancer. The incredible staff at Mayo Clinic that went above and beyond to provide the best care possible in the world proclaimed how much they learned from Paul. A tenured critical care physician shared with him, “I am learning from you. We are all going to be in your shoes one day. I only hope that I can only be as gracious and positive as you when my day comes. The way you have handled your journey and inspired our staff is admirable.”
Paul was a devoted Catholic and shared a special brotherhood with his True North Men’s Group. He was a proud father to Sophia Grace Vitale with whom he shared a joyful and adventurous relationship. Paul met the love of his life, Melissa Joy Sudbeck through their respective best friends and together they created a loving home for their blended family, Owen Steven Welk, Sophia Grace Vitale, Abigail Joy Welk, and Louis Alphonse Francisco Vitale. The Vitale Party of Six was his greatest accomplishment.
Paul is survived by his devoted wife, Mitzi, and children Owen, Sophia, Abby, and Louie. He is also survived by his faithful parents Carole and Lou Vitale (Russellville, AR), loving brother Matt Vitale and his wife Vicki (Mandeville, LA), nephews Nicholas, Nathan, and Sammy Vitale, sister-in-law Kim Sudbeck (San Diego, CA) and her son Ryan Sudbeck-Goldie, brother- and sister-in-law Darin and Julie Kolbeck (Sioux Falls, SD), niece Emily Kolbeck, nephew Jackson Kolbeck, and many colleagues, family, and friends, especially Pam Bozeman (Biloxi, MS) whose dedication and trust have made her like family.
Paul was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents Frank and Mary Vitale of Carnegie, Pennsylvania and his maternal grandparents Nieman and Frances Mitry of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The family would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of support they received over the last 15 months and especially the wonderful doctors and staff at the Mayo Clinic, M Health Fairview, and MN Oncology for their amazing care and compassion.
In lieu of flowers, donations preferred to church of St Joseph, churchofstjoseph.org/donate or St. Leo the Great Catholic University Parish, Russellville, AR, https://www.stleosatu.org/index.php/donation-information/
"It is not where you have been and what you have traveled through, it is where you are going and how many lives you will touch along the way." ~Paul Vitale