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Paul Michael Dutton, of Youngstown, OH, passed away at home on Sunday, May 7, 2023. Paul was born in Youngstown, Ohio, on January 11, 1947, to Frances Aloysius O’Connor, of Glenrue, County Cork, Ireland, and Paul Frederick Dutton, of Lowellville, Ohio. In his close-knit, hardworking family, Paul was the oldest of three brothers, including Patrick Francis Dutton and John Edward Dutton. Paul’s leadership, acuity for critical thinking and sense of purpose were evident from an early age. These traits inspired him to pursue a successful career in law and a lifelong commitment to education and public service.
After completing Cardinal Mooney High School in 1965, Paul graduated from Youngstown State University with a B.A. in political science and economics in 1969. He was a distinguished recipient of the YSU Honor Pin, awarded for excellence in academics, student activities and leadership. He was also awarded the Phi Award for meritorious service to Youngstown State University, presented by the Phi Kappa Tau National Fraternity, as well as the Phi Kappa Phi award, an honor endowed by this national honorary society, for educational excellence.
Following the obtainment of his undergraduate degree, Paul pursued further education and graduated from Case Western Reserve University School of Law (J.D.) in 1972. That year, in May, he was admitted to the practice of law in the State of Ohio and returned to Youngstown to start a career of over 50 years with the law firm of Harrington, Hoppe & Mitchell, Ltd. (formerly Mitchell, Mitchell and Reed). Demonstrating his strong ties to the Mahoning Valley, Paul became a partner of the firm in 1977, and until his retirement in 2023, Paul remained an active and significant member of the practice, serving lifelong clients and mentoring younger attorneys. In 2022, Paul was acknowledged as a 50-year member of both the Ohio State and Mahoning County Bar Associations.
Paul concentrated his legal practice in Business Law, Mergers and Acquisitions, Business Financing, Real Estate Development, Estate/Succession Planning and Public Sector Law. From the onset of his career, Paul continued to seek advancement and opportunities of impact. He was successfully admitted to the U.S. District Court for Northern District of Ohio in 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court in 1976, and the U.S. Tax Court in 1985. He was an esteemed member of the Ohio State and Mahoning County Bar Associations and joined the Nathaniel R. Jones Inn of Federal Court in 2014.
Directly impacting both municipal growth and business development in the Valley, Paul served as Solicitor for the Village of Lordstown for more than 29 years, and in 1978, he organized and served as general counsel to the Valley Economic Development Partners, Inc. (formerly Mahoning Valley Economic Development Corporation) and its affiliated enterprises, the Economic Development Rail Corporations and the Mahoning Valley Industrial Loan Fund.
A passionate champion of higher education in both his private and public life, Paul served as a Trustee at Central State University, Wilberforce, Ohio (1996-2008), as a Member (Chair) of the Ohio Board of Regents (1987-1996) and as a Trustee (Chair) of Youngstown State University (1979-1987). In addition, he enjoyed mentoring his children and grandchildren as they approached the transition from high school to college. Beautiful memories were made and valuable advice was given as Paul accompanied both his children and grandchildren on countless college visits.
Paul was an adjunct faculty member at YSU, where he initially taught courses in business law and, more recently, in business ethics. He enjoyed expanding his commitment to higher education through university teaching and through his interaction with students. Paul strived to serve as an inspiring role model to every student who participated in his classes.
Throughout his life, Paul was deeply committed to public service. Significant roles included his term as Trustee of the International Institute Foundation and his participation in the Ohio Courts Futures Commission of the Ohio Supreme Court (1997-1998). He served as a Trustee of the Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education (2004-2017) and as a Trustee (Chair) of the William Swanston Charitable Fund (1984-2020), focusing on improving the lives of at-risk children. Paul most recently served as Director of both the Akron Children’s Hospital and its Foundation, as well as Secretary to The Tod Homestead Cemetery Association. Additionally, Paul served as a Director of The Dollar Savings and Trust Company (Ohio Bancorp) (1991-2003), now PNC Bank.
Several of Paul’s professional achievements have impacted the Mahoning Valley in transformative ways.
· In 1979, he organized and developed a plan of restoration for a shuttered industrial plant facility (Aeroquip Corporation) and formed the Republic Hose Manufacturing Corporation, utilizing an ESOP worker buy-out plan which was financed through the Small Business Administration, the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration, and an Urban Development Action Grant.
· In 1980, he developed the initial project the Tamarkin Company for the Ohio Development Financing Act (Liquor Profits Loan Fund).
· In 1986, he organized and developed the Mid American Resource Corporation (MARC), a venture capital fund.
· In 1988, he organized and developed the Youngstown Central Area Community Improvement Corporation (YCA-CIC), an Ohio non-profit community improvement corporation responsible for coordinating the economic revitalization of the central core business district of the City of Youngstown.
Paul’s public service extended beyond the Mahoning Valley to include national and international impact. From 1978 through 1981, Paul served as a member of the Energy Research Advisory Board of the United States Department of Energy. From 1988 through 1995, Paul travelled extensively throughout Eastern Europe and Russia for the United States Information Agency of the U.S. State Department where he lectured on business development and entrepreneurship following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Paul’s community service included serving as Chairman of the 1986 Mahoning County United Way Campaign, Trustee of Canfield’s Cardinal Joint Fire District (1989-1991), Member of Canfield City Council (1988-1991) and Director of the Mahoning County Children’s Services Board (1981-1987).
In addition to spending leisure time at his home in Youngstown, where he enjoyed hobbies such as golf, reading and gardening, Paul also enjoyed the sun, sand and saltwater waves of Siesta Key, Florida, where he owned a condominium for over 40 years and “never had a bad day.”
Paul and Sallie loved experiencing different places in the world and enjoyed talking to people from different cultures and diverse walks of life. They were avid travelers and spent significant time in Eastern and Western Europe, Scandinavia, the Baltics, Russia, China and South America - as well as throughout the United States. Special family reunion trips - regularly organized by them which included their respective children and grandchildren - were a highlight in the family calendar. Paul and Sallie especially relished these trips because of the close interaction they could enjoy doing activities and sharing interests with their grandchildren.
Paul and Sallie were active members of several clubs, where they also enjoyed entertaining family and friends. Club memberships included Rolling Rock Club, Ligonier, Pennsylvania; The Youngstown Country Club, Youngstown, Ohio; and Laurel Oak Country Club, Sarasota, Florida.
Paul is survived by his wife Sallie Tod Dutton and by his children Traci Dutton Ludwig, of New Rochelle, NY; Amy Marie Dutton (Jennifer), of Galloway, OH; and Paul Joseph Dutton (Irene) of San Carlos, CA; and by his wife’s children Kathleen C. Wick, of Shaker Heights, OH; Erika Turner (Jason), of Ashville, NC; and Emily Pinsler (Brad), of Chicago, IL, and by his grandchildren Cole Richard Glaser, Elena Anne Ludwig, Alec James Ludwig, Makenna Faye Glaser, Kate Elizabeth Mai Dutton, Paul Henry Reed Dutton, Abigail Grace Beck, Lucy Elizabeth Beck, Lottie Tod Turner, Emerson Fox Pinsler, Wrynn Alice Turner, Jack Woods Pinsler, and Donovan Roberts. Paul is also survived by his brother John E. Dutton (Rita), of Chardon, OH. Paul was pre-deceased by his parents and a brother Patrick Francis Dutton.
In lieu of flowers, material contributions may be made to Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley.
Calling hours will be held at Cunningham Becker Funeral Home in Poland, OH, from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, May 26, 2023.
Akron Children's Hospital Mahoning Valley