COMER JR., Paul Leonard August 24, 1940 - July 28, 2019 Paul Leonard Comer Jr., died peacefully at his home in Knoxville, Tenn., on Sunday, July 28, 2019, surrounded by his wife of 57 years and friends. Born August 24, 1940, Paul was preceded in death by his parents, Paul L. Comer and Thelma Dickson Comer of Rich Creek, VA, and siblings Betty Farmer and James Russell Comer. He is survived by his wife, Barbara Jean Ball (formerly of Narrows, VA), their son, Paul III (Jeannette) and two grandchildren, Paul IV and Jordan. Paul Comer began his career with the broadcast industry in Virginia and Iowa. In 1975, Paul joined the Iowa Development Commission as Director of the Iowa Community Betterment Program. Under Comer's direction, this program became a national role model for twenty-two states. The program was singled out in November 1981 by Vice President George Herbert Walker Bush, who personally recognized its achievements directed at preserving Iowa's small towns and lifestyle. In 1983, Paul was named Director of Tourism for the State of Iowa. He was also appointed to the Re-Commission Committee for the USS Iowa BB 61 in 1984. He later established the Convention and Visitors' Bureau in Fayetteville, N.C., and in Gatlinburg, Tenn., and also served as Executive Director of the Convention and Visitor's Bureau in Kissimmee, Fla. A Memorial Service with interment in the family plot at Birchlawn Cemetery, Pearisburg, Va., will be held at a later date.


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