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Northwest Guilford teacher passes away on his birthday, family says

Christiana Egleston said her father Paul was celebrating his birthday with friends at his beach house when he died from a heart attack.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Northwest Guilford teacher and coach Paul Egleston died on his birthday last week.

North Topsail Beach police say Paul Egleston was found dead in his beach home on May 15th.

His daughter told WFMY News 2 that he had a history of heart problems but never let it hold him back.

Paul Egleston was more than just a teacher, he was a coach, mentor, and father. 

"I love hearing the positive impact that he made in everyone’s life," his daughter, Christiana Egleston said. 

Egleston says her father Paul Egleston had a passion for encouraging others to be a person someone can count on.

"The importance of being dependable, hard-working always showing up for your friends," Egleston said. 

Three weeks ago, her father took a trip to his beach house in Onslow County.

"The beach house was his life," she shared. 

She says he was there celebrating his birthday with friends. So when she received a call from family about her father she figured it was about him having a good time.

However, that wasn't the case.

"I received a call from my sister-in-law, my brother’s wife, who told me that my dad had passed away," Egleston said. 

He died on his birthday from a heart attack after battling heart disease for some time.

"I didn’t really understand the full extent of it because even when he isn’t feeling well, he pushes through," Egleston continued. 

The news of his death shocked many students and staff within Guilford County Schools where he served as a teacher and coach for 28 years.

"He had a huge impact," Egleston said. 

His former players and staff held a vigil in his honor last week.

"He was the junior varsity coach for wrestling the head coach for cross country and the assistant coach for varsity wrestling," Egleston added.

A heartbreaking loss for the community and the Egleston family, but Egleston says she has a little peace within her knowing he is now with her mother, who also died from a heart attack in 2019. 

"They were married almost 30 years," Egleston said. "He told me that he doesn’t want us to be sad when he passes because he knows that he’ll be with my mom again." 

Paul Egleston's funeral for close family and friends was held Wednesday and a celebration of life will be held Saturday.

He'll be buried alongside his wife in Virginia.

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