EL PASO (KDBC) — Family and friends were preparing for the funeral of longtime sports announcer and local educator Paul Strelzin. He passed away last weekend at the age of 75.
People who knew him described him as larger than life person.
"No one had a neutral opinion about Paul. They either loved him or not so much. I'm fortunate to say I loved him," said Richard Dayoub with the El Paso Chamber of Commerce.
Dozens filled The Queen of Peace Parish on Wednesday to pay their respects to Strelzin.
He died Saturday in his sleep.
Strelzin was a pillar in the community. He was the voice that created Miner ball, countless memories at Buzzards hockey and Diablos baseball games.
"Who could not remember the announcer that was Paul Strelzin and his cutting wit and he kind of made the game go faster," said family friend Martin Silva.
Education was also very important to Strelzin. He was a principal at Charles Middle School and Bowie High School.
"When he worked for EPISD, he was very involved with his students, looked out for them before he looked out for himself," said Silva.
Some said his passing represents the end of an era in El Paso.
"I think we're all sad to just see that period of El Paso pass forever. There will never be another one like him," said Dayoub.
Strelzin leaves behind a wife, three daughters and four grandchildren.
His funeral will be at Queen of Peace Parish in West El Paso at 10 a.m. Thursday and the burial will follow at Memorial Gardens in Santa Teresa.