Paul Morgan Laird

March 13, 1955 - September 12, 2020
Paul Morgan Laird

Paul Morgan Laird, age 65, of Leland, NC, passed away on Saturday, September 12, 2020.

Paul was born in France on March 13, 1955 to Earl Laird and Marjorie Morgan Laird.

Paul lived in Thailand, Mississippi, and later Fayetteville, N.C. He graduated from UNCW with a degree in history.

After graduation, he had a 22-year career with the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce. Later he served the Boys and Girls Homes at Lake Waccamaw, the Fort Fisher State Historic Site, and the Moores Creek National Historic Site in Corporate Development.

Paul was passionate about history and had a special interest in the Civil War and Revolutionary War periods. He traveled across much of the U.S. visiting various battlefields and historic sites. He also traveled to Europe on multiple occasions visiting many castles, museums and historic locations.

Family was the most important thing in Paul’s life. He is survived by his wife, Kathryn Jordan Laird; two sons, Matthew and spouse Heather, and Benjamin; one brother, David Laird and spouse Virginia; and one sister, Lisa Laird and spouse Angela Evans. He is survived also by his loyal companion, Bastian.

A Memorial Celebration of Life will be held at the Fort Fisher State Historic site at a later date.

Share memories and condolences with the family by clicking on the “Condolence” tab.

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation Village Road Chapel, 525 Village Road Leland, NC 28451 910-383-3511


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  • September 15, 2020
    Pandora S Lowery says:
    I was Pauls hair dresser since 1996. Paul is the nicest man and I enjoyed conversations with him on each of his visits. My thoughts and prayers are with his family in this time of sorrow. Many friends including me will miss Paul very much.

  • February 19, 2021
    Harry Warren says:
    I just found out about Paull's passing through the UNCW magazine. Paul and I knew each other through Cape Fear Museum, the Lake Waccamaw Boys home and an mutually shared innate love of history. He was a fine fellow whose behind the scenes influence to keep Lower Cape Fear history alive will have an enduring influence. It was a privilege to know him.

  • September 26, 2020
    Jim Johnson says:
    I had the unique opportunity of knowing Paul Laird from both sides of the Cape Fear River. Paul sponsored me for the "Friends of Fort Fisher" Board of Directors. When I was Vice President of the Brunswick Civil War Round Table, across the river at Fort Caswell, Paul joined us as an Advisor. Paul’s background and knowledge of Civil War and Fort Fisher, made Paul a real asset to both organizations. Add his commitment and passion for American history, he covered both sides of the Cape Fear River in American history. I was proud to call Paul Laird an associate and a friend. His congenial personally and friendly smile will be missed by all who knew him.

  • September 19, 2020
    Chris E. Fonvielle Jr. says:
    I extend my deepest sympathies to Kay, Matt, Ben and the entire Laird family for their unexpected loss. Paul was one of my oldest, closest, and dearest friends, dating back to our days together as undergraduates at UNC Wilmington in the 1970s. Were it not for Paul Laird, I may not have become a professional historian. He was responsible for getting me the job as curator of the former Blockade Runner Museum at Carolina Beach, N.C. in 1979 and, as it turned out, the last curator of the museum. When New Hanover County purchased the Blockade Runner Museum's collection and moved it to the Cape Fear Museum in Wilmington in 1983, I decided to attend graduate school and pursue a career as an academic historian. As fate would have it, I ended up teaching in the Dept. of History at UNC Wilmington, our undergraduate alma mater, for many years. I publicly credited Paul with jump starting my career path. Modest as he was, Paul always downplayed his role, but it's my story and I'm sticking to it. Even after retiring as director of the Friends of Fort Fisher, Paul remained active as a board member for the Moores Creek Battlefield Association and the Federal Point Historic Preservation Society, and an advisor to the Brunswick Civil War Round Table. He and I worked together on many local history projects, most recently the Joseph Ryder Lewis Civil War Park at Carolina Beach. Cross over the river and rest underneath the shade of the trees, my good friend, and wait for us there. We'll join you by and by. In the meantime, you will always be in my thoughts and prayers.

  • September 17, 2020
    Lee Porter says:
    I came to know Paul through his excellent work with the Moore's Creek Battlefield Association. As a remote member of the Association, Paul always made me feel welcome and valued. His communication skills were outstanding, and everything I observed that he did was done with excellence and careful thought. We had recently exchanged several emails as we always did whenever he published the Association newsletter, which was superb. I know he will be missed by many, and send my sincere condolences to his family.