Services to be Held For For John A. Paul Jr., 81

John A. Paul Jr.

Services for John A. Paul Jr., a longtime Sitkan, have been scheduled. Panakita services and memorial services will be held 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19, at Sitka National Cemetery. A celebration of his life will be held Feb. 18, at the ANB Founders Hall.
At a later date he will be taken back to his hometown of Holy Cross, as was his wish.
John passed away Jan. 11 at his home, with family around him. He was 81.
John was born July 14, 1942, to John and Martina Edwards Paul, in a Native village across the Yukon from Holy Cross called The Point.
John loved the outdoors in Holy Cross. He was raised hunting, fishing and trapping, in summer months he harvested fish needed for his family.
He graduated from Copper Valley High in Glennallen, and when he became of age he sought out work in McGrath as a forest firefighter, working his way up to crew boss.
He was drafted into the U.S. Army, and served with the 82nd Airborne division as a paratrooper at Fort Bragg, from 1964 to 1966. When he was discharged he returned to Holy Cross.
In the summer of 1967 he landed his first construction job as a laborer, building a school in Shageluk and working seasonal jobs for the Bureau of Land Management in McGrath as a forest firefighter. During his employment he learned many skills, as a small engine mechanic, truck and backhoe operator, log building, communications, outboard motor mechanic and fire line operations. In 1973 he took a position in the Alaska state General Services & Supply, under the Uniform Commercial Code office in Juneau.
He met Christine A. (Sam) Hill in 1978, and the two married on Nov. 5, 1979.
John moved to Sitka in 1976, where he was a driver for Island Taxi for four years. In the summertime, he would return to McGrath to build log cabins and work as a firefighter.
He belonged to Local Union 942 and worked in various places, construction, haz mat, etc., holding positions with AC&S, Cascade Western Inc., Jaffa Construction, Trans-Environmental Services of Coast, Asbestos Inspections Inc., Fosco Inc., Restec Contractors Inc., Central Environmental, Power Insulation Inc., Dawson Construction, Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital, Lost Control of AK, Asbestos Removal Specialist of Alaska, Rain Proof Roofing, Technical Contractors, Toliver Inc., Servant Mechanical Insulation Inc., and D.G.
After he retired from construction, he started driving bus for Sitka Tribe of Alaska – he loved driving “Red Line.” He enjoyed talking and meeting people on the bus, always had a smile for everyone he talked to.
John was a “people person,” got along with people of all ages, and was easy-going with a lot of common sense and innovation. He called everyone “Hello, Partner.”
He was a jack of all trades, if given the opportunity.
John loved just being with his wife and family, going to family functions, movies, picking berries, doing little jobs around the house. He would be outside working on something just to keep busy.
He loved watching National Geographic programs and westerns, doing barbeques at his sister-in-law Barb’s house. On Veterans Day, he would go to town and participate in the parade, carrying a flag. He never missed a year until, due to his illness, he was unable to walk the distance of the parade.
John was diagnosed with cancer a little over a year ago, and Christine would go with him to Anchorage every three weeks for doctor appointments. His pastime there while waiting for appointments was playing “Skip Bo” and, yes, he won all the time. While in Anchorage, he also enjoyed having lunch or dinner with his brother-in-law Fred Sam and his wife, and his buddy he grew up with, Joe Frank.
For medical reasons, John decided to put in his notice with “The Ride”  – the hardest decision he had to make, for he loved that job.
He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Christine A. Paul of Sitka; daughter Kristal of Sitka; sons Christopher of Sitka, Steve (Stephanie) Hill of Yuma, Arizona, and John Paul III and Allen Paul, both of Juneau.

Numerous grandchildren and great- grandchildren also survive. John was preceded in death by his mother, Martina Edwards Paul, his father, John A. Paul Sr., and his siblings, Dorothy Paul Turner, Mary Ann Malik (Wuddle), Mary Jane Paul Simpson, Charley Paul Sr. (Tushie), Phillip Paul (Iggy), Phyliss Paul Gregory and Rita Ann Paul.
He’s survived by his youngest sibling, Joseph A. Paul (Bossy), and numerous nieces and nephews.
Honorary pallbearers are Fred Sam, David Sam, Robert Sam, Ted Burkhart, Ralph Jones, George Bennett, Joe Frank, Steve Stiles, Al Bigley, Guy Tompkins, Frank Tompkins and Joe Tompkins.
Pallbearers will be Steve Hill, John Paul III, Allen Paul, Christopher Paul, Kristal Paul, Eric Drake, Sheridan Bacon and Bianca Erickson.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to Christine A. Paul, 4766 Halibut Point Road, Sitka, AK 99835.

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