January 1, 1932 - February 6, 2018
Paul flew west on February 6, 2018 surrounded by his loving family during his final hours. Paul died from complications of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Born at 12:02 a.m. on Jan 1, 1932, in Salida, CO, Paul would go through life saying, “I ruined my mother’s New Year’s Eve.” Paul spent his childhood in La Junta, CO. Raised by his mother, as Paul’s father was disabled and lived in a veterans’ home, Paul began working at a very young age to help support the family. By age 12, he had a paper route and was buying all of his own clothing.
Upon graduating from La Junta High School in 1950, Paul worked the 3-11 p.m. shift in a steel mill while attending Pueblo Junior College. Paul would later say, “Working in the steel mill was the best education I ever received.” It was difficult, dangerous work and taught Paul that an education would be his key to success. While in college, Paul qualified for the ROTC and joined the Navy. From there, he soared through basic training, became a legal officer as well as a Navy pilot. He was proud to serve and grateful for the outstanding training he received as a Navy pilot.
After serving in the Navy, Paul finished college at Seattle University on the GI Bill. He would continue to serve in the Ready Reserve for eight years. While attending Seattle University, he met the love of his life, a beautiful stewardess named Rita Gleason. The young couple married in 1957. They settled on Mercer Island in 1968 where they raised four children.
Paul would spend the majority of his professional career with Northwest Airlines. He became a Captain and check pilot on the state-of-the-art 747, and made many lifelong friends at Northwest.
Paul enjoyed the outdoors, fishing, birdwatching, tennis, and travel. Poetry was always foremost in his mind. In later years, Paul could still recite Cyrano by heart. Paul loved spending time with his “Reedee,” his wife of 62 years; his children and grandchildren; and the many nieces and nephews who knew him as “Uncle Paulie.” He loved them all very much.
For the last two and a half years, Paul was lovingly cared for by the outstanding Staff of Sunrise Assisted Living on Mercer Island. Making the best of every situation, Paul used to say, “Bloom where you’re planted.” He participated in trivia, crossword puzzles, bingo, and Scrabble right up to the end.
Paul is predeceased by his parents, Nick and Jenny; brothers, Nick Jr. and Peter; and infant sister Dorothy. He is survived by wife Rita; sons Mark (Melissa) of Beaverton; Steve of San Francisco; Marty (Carolyn) of Seattle, and daughter, Lisa (Peter) Casterella of Mercer Island. He also leaves behind six grandchildren (Dana, Drake, Katharine, Andrew, Kelly, and Erik), as well as numerous close friends and family members. He will be missed by his Welsh Corgi, Oscar Mayer, family dogs Reggie and Hazel, and Moose the celebrity canine at Sunrise.
Donations may be made in memory of Paul Pompermayer to: The Alzheimer’s Association (Alz.org) or The Seattle Humane Society (Seattlehumane.org).
A Funeral Mass will be held at St Monica Catholic Church 4301 SE 88th Ave. on Mercer Island on March 2 at 11 a.m. Reception to Follow.