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Paul Gibson Wirth

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URBANA — Paul Gibson Wirth, of Urbana, IL died after a brief illness in Charleston, IL. He was born in Atlantic, Iowa on January 24, 1956, to Mary and Lloyd Wirth, and grew up in Decorah, Iowa and Shelbyville, Illinois. Paul attended both Eastern Illinois University in the music department and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the education department, and he maintained a lifelong relationship to the University of Illinois through its jazz department. He was married to Julie Vinson Wirth of Champaign, IL until their divorce in 2010. He lived the last 45 years of his life in Urbana, booking music through the Ramada Inn in Champaign before owning the Embassy and Iron Post establishments in Urbana. In that capacity, Paul served as a member of the Urbana Business Association, managed the music for the Sweetcorn Festival, and was recipient of a 2009 ACE Award from the Champaign County Arts Council.

In his spare time, Paul enjoyed such hobbies as cooking, discovering new music, watching the Chicago Bears, and especially gardening. Paul will continue his gardening work at Sunset Memorial Park in Danville, Illinois.

He is survived by his two siblings: Steve Wirth of Raleigh, NC, Claire Ford (Gary) of Champaign and their five children and five grandchildren, his children Alexa Kitchen (Craig) of Affton, MO, and Gibson Wirth (Becca Newton) of Denver, CO, ex-wife Julie Wirth of Champaign, IL and his granddaughter, Ellen Kitchen. The family would like to express their great gratitude to the staff at Hilltop Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation, and to his hospice nurse Allison, for all of their help.

Services for Paul will be private.

Sunset Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Champaign, Illinois 710 N. Neil St. Champaign, Illinois will be handling arrangements.

A memorial service will be held at a later date; announcements will be provided by the family. Please join his family in sharing memories, photos and videos on his tribute wall at

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