Paul F. Semmler, 87, Air Force and Navy Reserves vet, electrical engineer and avid horseman is your source for free news and information in the Wilmington area.

WILMINGTON – Lt. Col. Paul Frederick Semmler (USAF Ret.), 87, of Wilmington, N.C., passed away on Wednesday Aug. 3, 2016.

Paul was born May 3, 1929, in Toledo, Ohio, to Pearl Hawkins Semmler and Frederick Paul Semmler. He was married Feb. 19, 1955, to Sally Snellbaker at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Toledo, Ohio. They were married for 61 years and have two sons, Scott and Todd. He also was a second father to his niece, Tamera Semmler Howell, and a beloved uncle to Tina Semmler Bjornstad.

Paul F. Semmler
          Paul F. Semmler

Paul had a distinguished, 24-year career in the U.S. Air Force and the Navy Reserves. He flew combat missions in Korea and Vietnam. Recently, he was honored for his Korean War service by the Military Officer’s Association of America.

Paul earned his master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan and, after retirement from the Air Force, he worked in the private sector for 15 years.

Paul was an avid horseman. He was a founding member of the Clifton Horse Society and a board member on the Old Dominion Endurance Ride. Paul was such a devoted horsemen that, in addition to his full-time career, he became a farrier to better care for his animals.

Paul is survived by his wife, Sally Semmler; sons Scott Semmler (Caryll) of Fairfax, Va., and Todd Semmler (Anne Marie) of Hanahan, S.C.; and two grandchildren, Joshua and Jacob Semmler.

A memorial service will be at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016, at Wilmington Memorial and Cremation, 1535 S. 41st St., Wilmington, N.C.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to equine or military charities at

Share memories and condolences with the family at