Lester Paul McIntosh was born April 6, 1957 to Lester and Mary McIntosh of Enfield, Illinois, the youngest of four children. Paul attended William Gray Memorial School in Springerton, Illinois and graduated from Enfield Community High School.
He moved to southern Louisiana as a young man and married Darnelle Mouton in 1991. In 1996, they discovered the beauty of the Arkansas Ozarks and moved to Bruno.
In 2002, Paul began working for the US Forest Service. He found his place as a respected tour guide and teacher at Blanchard Springs Caverns. His favorite tours were always with school groups. It wasn’t uncommon for Paul to lead a group of visitors, answering questions about the cave, with a little child holding his hand as they moved along the underground trail. Paul also found joy in the wild cave tours he led, and many visitors remarked on the patience with which he helped them through tight spots and across ledges, while teaching them respect for the delicate beauty of the world underground. He retired from the Forest Service December 28, 2019.
Paul was an EMT and an active and respected member of the Bruno Volunteer Fire Department. His kindness made him a beloved member of the community.
Paul was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife of 29 years, Darnelle; two step sons, Chad (Kristie) Buford and Justin (Briggett) Buford; three favorite sisters, Mary Ellen (Marvin) Schiavone, Rebecca (Richard) Hargrave, and Leah McIntosh; two nephews Jason (Tia) Schiavone, Jon Hargrave; two nieces, Jill Schiavone and Melissa (Brian) Daugherty and several great nieces and nephew and numerous other family members who loved him dearly.
Paul also leaves behind many unfinished plans, projects and things he still wanted to learn. There are many caves he still wanted to explore, and many friends who will miss his stories, his jokes, and his smile.
A Visitation was held in Mountain Home, Arkansas on February 22, 2020. A Service and Remembrance will be held in Illinois at a future date.