Paul Edgar Lanham was called home by his Heavenly Father on October 22, 2019. He passed away peacefully after an extended illness.
Paul is a 1947 graduate of Ripley High School where he played football and baseball for the Vikings. He went on to play football at Glenville State College where he served as the Student Body President and was named the Frank Montrose award winner as the top male scholar/athlete in his class. He began his football coaching career by returning to his high school alma mater, but soon left his beloved West Virginia to pursue his Masters Degree at the University of Delaware where he coached the Blue Hens. His other college coaching assignments included the University of Dayton Flyers, the Colorado State Rams and the Arkansas Razorbacks. Paul's college coaching successes earned him position in the NFL as a Running Back Coach with the St. Louis Cardinals. Paul then became the first full time Special Teams Coach in the NFL under George Allen and the Washington Redskins. He also coached for the Los Angeles Rams, the Detroit Lions, the Cleveland Browns along with the USFL Chicago Blitz and Arizona Wranglers coaching them through their Championship run in 1994. He won the NFC Championship with the Los Angeles Rams in 1980, Super Bowl XXII with the Washington Redskins in 1988, coached in the 1990 Pro Bowl and is a member of the Glenville and Mid-Ohio Valley Halls of Fame. Paul served two years in the United States Air Force, played AA baseball with the American Legion, participated with Fellowship of Christian Athletes and was recognized in 2001 with the Distinguished West Virginian Award. Paul's life was chronicled in an autobiography written by local sports journalist, Mark Martin in 1997. Paul returned to Ripley after his retirement where he was an avid golfer and loved spending time with his wife, family and friends. He will be remembered as a man of intelligence, integrity, faith and humility but most of all, he will be remembered by his grandchildren as their Papa.
Paul is survived by his children, Tamara Lanham, Stephen Lanham (Lisa Lanham), and Randall Lanham (Kristen Lanham); his grandchildren, Andrew Arth, Nicholas Lanham, Chloe Arth, Brandon Lanham, Christopher Lanham and Alexander Lanham; as well as cherished family member, Gary Lanham.
Paul is also survived by his brother, Robert Lanham, and was preceded in death by his parents Westa and Stanton Lanham, and his siblings, Charles Lanham, Peggy Lee and Diann Mayes. Paul will be laid to rest beside his beloved wife of 60 years, Helen Holmes Lanham.
Funeral services for Paul will take place at the Waybright Funeral Home in Ripley, beginning with a viewing on Saturday, November 2, 2019 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Sunday, November 3, 2019 at 2:00 p.m., immediately followed by a graveside interment at Pine Hill Cemetery and then returning to Waybright Funeral Home for a reception. All are welcome.
In lieu of flowers, contribution in Paul's name may be made to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, www.fc-a.org/donate.