Special Agent Paul Sorce
End Of Watch:
March 9, 2009
Served 18 years
Paul is survived by his wife, Joy, and the four children they shared together, Morgan, Alexis, PJ and Jadyn.
Those who knew FBI Special Agent Paul Sorce have nothing but fond memories of the man they all call "Coach."
Paul was energetic and enthused about every aspect of his life, and when he tragically perished on March 9, 2009, his death sent shockwaves throughout the Detroit law enforcement community.
While conducting surveillance during "Operation Hemingway," an initiative to rout out some of Motown's most wanted violent offenders, Special Agent Sorce was involved in a serious two-vehicle accident.
His SUV flipped over and careened into a utility pole, crushing the driver's side.
Hours later, SA Sorce succumbed to his injuries and passed away at a Detroit-area hospital.
The FBI and the Detroit Police Department Violent Crime Task Force suffered a great loss that day, and his fellow agents and officers feel like they've lost a family member.
Paul's partner of more than a decade, Special Agent Art Wimmer, says Paul was a great friend. He considered Paul to be his "work-wife," and when Paul passed on, "there was a big hole left in my heart," said Special Agent Wimmer.
The same could be said for his real wife, Joy, who had been lovingly married to Paul for nearly 7 years.
The two were inseparable since they first met in October 2001.
A month after they started dating, Paul told Joy he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her.
The pair were engaged two months later, and by November 2002, they had happily wed.
Until that time, Paul had been a single father of two children, Morgan and Alexis, for seven years.
In 2005, he and Joy had their first child together, Paul "PJ" Sorce, followed two years later by little Jadyn Marie. In addition to the strong bond he had with his wife and children, Joy tells us Paul had a very close relationship with both his brother, Ronnie, and father, Paul Sr.
When not doggedly working, trying his best to keep criminals off the streets, Paul was heavily involved in the community.
In his spare time, he not only coached his daughter's sports teams, but inner city youth, as well.
He started a flag football team for the Eagle Sports Club, and also coached a soccer team for the same organization.
Paul coached at Benson Harbor High School after he graduated from Western Michigan, and was a receivers coach for the freshman team at Grosse Pointe South H.S.
Long before his coaching career, football played a large part throughout Paul's formative years. During his time at Western Michigan University (1982-86), he played wide receiver and proudly wore the #1. He lived up to the number, as he was selected Second Team All-Mid-American Conference for his accolades, which included leading the team with receptions (103) and total yards (1,248).
In the early 1990s, Paul had a bit part in the movie Rudy, in which his character caught a pivotal touchdown.
That TD gave way to the movie's final triumphant scene, in which the lead title character, Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, finally achieved his life-long goal of playing in a football game for the University of Notre Dame.
Day in and day out, Paul strived to reach and exceed all the goals he set for himself, but the goal he cared most about was bridging society's gap towards "racial reconciliation," says Joy.
Paul wanted to reinforce among everyone he met that all police officers are not out to get those of differing ethnicities.
One way he helped to bring about change in society's mindset was by taking on numerous responsibilities throughout the community.
Paul lived a full life, and felt proud to be a dedicated FBI agent and Violent Crimes Task Force supervisor, as well as a mentor to hundreds of Detroit's youth -- to whom he always offered his wisdom and unconditional love.
According to his wife, the love Paul held in his heart was inspired by the devotion he felt towards his religion.
"He was a true man of God," says Joy.
Even though a tragic car accident cut his life short, the everlasting positive impact Paul had on the greater metro Detroit area will surely be remembered and reciprocated for generations to come.
By Justin Lenart, AMW Staff