Witherspoon, a home builder, was impressed with Besaw from the first time he met the man destined to marry his sister.
“He was a guy who put others before himself. He excelled at his job. He was a hero,” said Witherspoon, 44, who stopped to call The Palm Beach Post at the Florida/Georgia line as he drove to Palm Beach County with his wife, Amy, and son Miles, 7, from their home in Spartanburg, S.C.
The strong outpouring of sympathy to his family shows the high esteem in which Besaw was held by his peers, Witherspoon said. The family has been receiving condolences from all across the northeast part of the country.
“First responders are a family. We are getting an outpouring of love,” Witherspoon said.
Besaw acted as a mentor to many young medical technicians. He helped out hospital volunteers, candy stripers and anyone else, Witherspoon said.
“(Paul) would get calls from the young medical technicians at 3 a.m. from the scene. They would have questions. That’s how much he was respected,” said Witherspoon.
Besaw grew up in Jupiter. Dawn received a condolence call Thursday from a Jupiter police officer who had known Paul since he was 15, said Witherspoon.
The Besaw family lives in Weston with Dawn’s mother, Donna. She suffers from a heart condition. Besaw often assisted her with emergency services. He went out of his way to help with her care, said Witherspoon.
“Anybody who takes that kind of care of his mother-in-law is a good guy,” said Witherspoon.
Alison, the couple’s only child and who turns 6 in three weeks, is still processing her father’s death. The two had been practicing regularly for the dad/daughter dance.
“She lost her father. That’s a void that can’t be filled,” Witherspoon said.