Paul Douglas Trapeni III met his Savior on Dec. 21, 2019. Paul was born on March 26, 1998 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee to Vickie Hendrix Trapeni and Dr. Paul Douglas Trapeni, Jr. He was a gift from God and an answer to eight years of steady prayer.
Paul attended Battle Ground Academy from kindergarten through 12th grade. He served on the Student Council, was a member of the National Honor Society, and was selected to participate in Youth Leadership Franklin. He was also a competitive athlete at BGA. He played football, basketball, and tennis, but he was best known for his wisecracks and contagious grin. Paul was a captain of the football team his senior year and a recipient of the John Maher Scholar Athlete Award. More importantly, off the field and in the locker room, he was a humble leader and a loyal friend.
After high school, Paul attended Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. Paul was a beloved member of the Class of 2020. He was an integral part of student life at Rhodes and a selfless volunteer in the Memphis community. He served as a Summer Service Fellow and helped many find legal aid. Paul was majoring in Political Science and had plans to attend law school in the fall. He was a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity.
Paul was empathetic almost to a fault from the very beginning. At the ripe old age of almost three, when Paul’s little brother was born, Paul looked up at his mother in the elevated hospital bed and asked, “Mom, how are you doing way up there?” He showed us how to care for other people. At Rhodes, Paul met his first and only love, Annie. He believed that love is never wasted, and it was that selfless compassion that drove every action and every word. He showed us how to love.
Paul was also human, and he showed us how to learn from our mistakes. He would probably say he was never the best at anything in particular, but what is apparent now more than ever is that he made the best of his 21 years on this earth.
Paul showed us what it means to be truly good. The circumstances surrounding his tragic passing are a testament to his character. Paul’s sacrifice is also proof that in this world, darkness does not drive out light. In fact, Paul’s light has never been brighter. His light of love will forever guide us and comfort us.
Paul was predeceased by his grandparents, Paul Douglas Trapeni, Sr. and Helen Raymond Trapeni, and his grandmother, Letha Laverne Hendrix. Paul is survived by his heartbroken parents; his little brother, Carter Michael Trapeni; his older sister and second mom, Caroline Trapeni Mitchell; and her husband, Herbert Lee Mitchell IV. He is also survived by his grandfather, JB Hendrix.
The Trapeni family thanks the Beathard family, the Franklin community, BGA, and Rhodes College for the outpouring of love and support.
A visitation will be held on Friday, Dec. 27, 2019 from 4-8 p.m. at Williamson Memorial Funeral Home. There will be a service to celebrate Paul’s life on Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019 at 11 a.m. at Historic Franklin Presbyterian Church, where he was a member. Following the service, Paul will be buried in the Garden of Angels in the Williamson Memorial Gardens.
The Trapeni family requests any charitable donations in Paul’s memory be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital or Memphis Area Legal Services (www.malsi.org).