A respected voice that carried through classrooms, ball fields and airwaves around the St. Louis area has now reached heaven. Paul A. Muniz, 72, of Collinsville, IL was received by his loving God Wednesday, May 31, 2023 at Christian Hospital Northeast, St. Louis, MO. Paul was born November 24, 1950 in East St. Louis, IL.
After graduating from Collinsville High School, Paul served in the U.S. Air Force Reserves and went on to pick up degrees from Belleville Area College, Illinois State University and Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. Paul had a great gift to teach and speak leading him to a 30-year career in the Mehlville School District along with more than 35 years in St. Louis radio. For 33 years, St. Louis knew him as Paul Jeffries on WIL (92.3 FM) where he was recognized with an A.I.R. Award as the market’s best non-drive time talent in 1998 while also being profiled in the 2003 book St. Louis Sports Folks.
Faith and family were most important to Paul. While at Illinois State, he met the love of his life Mary Lee, nee Low, and married on June 9, 1973 in Ottawa, IL. They raised three sons and eventually welcomed what he considered three daughters Joe (Natalé) Muniz of Maryville, IL, Brian (Julie) Muniz of Caseyville, IL, and Jeff (Bliss) Muniz of Morton, IL.
Despite carrying three jobs at times, Paul made it a point to always be there for his boys and their activities. He served as a baseball coach for more than a decade at Collinsville High School where he was able to coach each of his sons and two nephews. After his coaching career concluded, he continued to support his sons as they advanced in their careers following in his footsteps. He could also be found in the crowd showing that same commitment and love as Papa for his seven grandchildren, Mary Kate, Mia, Addyson, Allee, Linsee, Ava, and Mason Muniz.
Also surviving are two sisters, Barb (Mike) Kuhl of Highland, IL and Rosemary Novich of Troy, IL; two brothers, Ray and Dave (Lynn) Muniz of Collinsville, IL; one sister-in-law, Martha Sunwall of Great Falls, MT; one brother-in-law, Marlin (Patty) Low of Utica, IL; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
Paul was preceded in death by his parents, Joe and Irene (Falline) Muniz; in-laws, Marion and Marie (Boe) Low; and brother-in-law, Arden Sunwall.
Paul was always passionate about using his talents to give back to support his family, community, and church. He was a proud long-time member of First United Presbyterian Church in Collinsville where he held a number of leadership roles, including serving on the broadcast ministry, as well as building and grounds where he oversaw a number of projects in preparation for the church’s 200-year anniversary celebration in May. Paul was an avid St. Louis sports fan, even covering the Cardinals World Series title in 1982 for ABC radio. He enjoyed bowling, golfing and keeping a meticulous yard, home and cars. He most enjoyed spending time and quietly supporting countless friends and family in whatever way he could.
Visitation will be 3 – 7 p.m. on Friday, June 9, 2023 at First United Presbyterian Church, 201 East Church Street, Collinsville, IL and 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 10, 2023 at the church.
Funeral service will follow at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday with Rev. Zach Lysdahl officiating. Burial will be in St. John Cemetery, Collinsville, IL.
Memorials are suggested to First United Presbyterian Church and will be received at the visitation or can be mailed to Barry Wilson Funeral Home, 2800 N. Center Street, Maryville, IL 62062.