Paul J. LaPuzza
May 30, 1948 – May 30, 2021
Preceded in death by devoted wife, Mary (Classen) LaPuzza; parents, Anthony and Elaine LaPuzza; beloved aunts and uncles. Survived by son, Mark LaPuzza (Amanda); daughter, Tracey Wiemer (Justin); grandsons, Tony LaPuzza, Lucas Wiemer.
VISITATION: Thursday, June 3rd from 4pm to 6pm at the West Center Chapel followed by VIGIL SERVICE at 6pm. MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: Friday, May 4th at 10:30am at St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church, 11802 Pacific Street. Interment: Calvary Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to Creighton University School of Law.
To view live broadcasts of the Vigil Service and Mass, please go to www.heafeyheafey.com and click on the “View Live Cast” button on our home page.
Paul James LaPuzza passed away on May 30, 2021. It was his 73rd birthday.
Paul was born in Omaha, Nebraska on May 30, 1948, to parents Anton “Tony” LaPuzza and Elaine Fitzsenry. Tony was a first-generation Italian American and served proudly as a B-17 radio operator in World War II. Elaine was a farm girl from Breda, Iowa, who moved to Omaha after high school. The two married after the war and raised Paul in the Omaha suburb of Irvington, Nebraska.
An only child, he was raised in the extended Italian family and was close to his aunts and uncles. He attended Benson High School and was a proud Benson Bunny. Paul was a passionate member of both Army ROTC and the Debate Team in high school and continued in those pursuits while attending Creighton University’s College of Business. He joined the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity at Creighton, where many of his brothers became lifelong friends. After graduating from Creighton, he continued on to the Creighton University School of Law, pursuing a childhood dream of becoming an attorney. While his love of the law may have been discovered watching Perry Mason, family friend and mentor Peter Marchetti gave him the opportunity and practical experience to prove to Paul that the law was his calling.
Following graduation, and his honorable discharge from the US Army, Paul began his own firm from his room in his parents’ house in Irvington. Eventually, he joined lifelong friend Tom Young to create Young & LaPuzza, founding the firm where he spent the majority of his practice. Paul’s experience grew in the practice of real estate law – a field in which his expertise was well known and respected among his contemporaries. Paul prided himself on always giving free counsel to any attorney who called with a question or in need of advice. Paul’s legal instincts, always direct advice, and quick wit gained him a devoted group of clients, a countless number of which became friends. When he retired in 2011, he wrote to his clients, proudly proclaiming that he had “the best clients in the world.”
Paul’s wife, Mary Classen, moved to Omaha from Humphrey, Nebraska to study and become a Registered Nurse. The two met on St. Patrick’s Day, and celebrated the anniversary of their first date throughout a marriage that spanned the better part of 5 decades. They built a life together in Omaha, raising son Mark and daughter Tracey. Paul and Mary worked hard to provide the best for their children, but no gift they offered was more valuable than the example of kindness, strength, and dedication they served to be. The children stayed in Omaha and married, with Mark and his wife Amanda giving Paul and Mary their first grandson, Tony, in 2010. Tracey and her husband Justin Wiemer made Paul a grandfather again in 2019 with the birth of Lucas. Paul also developed a strong affection for Tracey’s dog Lily – a 3-pound maltase-poodle mix – that was always sure to draw a smile from him.
After his devoted wife Mary passed away in 2011, Paul found himself living at Hillcrest Country Estates in Papillion. While his years in retirement were far less hectic than his work as a lawyer, he kept up with friends and family whenever he could. He always appreciated those friends and family that were able to visit – particularly if they came bearing a LaCasa pizza or Krispy Kreme donuts.
His age did nothing to diminish his dedication to his most beloved sports teams. Paul was a true fanatic when it came to Nebraska Cornhusker football, following every snap of every season and eager to discuss his beloved Huskers. He was also a great fan of the New York Yankees, with his father’s stories of Babe Ruth making him a lifelong fan from Mantle to Mattingly to Mariano. He closely followed the basketball and baseball teams for Creighton and would often be seen wearing his Blue Jay gear in all seasons.
Paul is survived by his children, grandchildren, extended family, and countless friends. Those that knew him are left with fond memories and countless great stories. Paul will be remembered by all for this sharp mind and sharp wit, as well as a strength of character and of will that served as an example to all.
He will be greatly missed and remembered lovingly by those he left behind.