Gregory Howard Paul (November 1, 1945 — June 29, 2018)
Greg Paul’s soul left his body at 11:50 AM on June 29, 2018 while in his home and surrounded by 20+ of his family and friends. They had been with him for the last days and nights of his life on this earth.
Greg was born in Buffalo New York on November 1, 1945 to Robert Paul and Audrey (Thomas) Paul. He spent his childhood in Buffalo until he and his family moved to Colorado in 1964. After moving to Colorado, he attended Lamar Community College, majoring in Liberal Arts with an emphasis on Pre-Vet. In 1966 he married his first wife Susie (Loeven) Blattner. The couple moved to Fort Collins in the summer of 1966, and Greg resided there for the next decade, gaining some of his life-long friends and he and Susie had their son Thad.
Greg moved to the Roaring Fork Valley in 1976, drawn by the beauty and active life style, he had found his permanent home. He discovered his love for rafting while working with Snowmass Whitewater. Eventually, Greg purchased his own raft, continuing to ride the rapids for the rest of his life. He began working with the Pitkin County bus company, later known as RFTA, where he remained as a committed employee for the next 40 years. In 2018, Greg was given the “2018 Award of Excellence” for 40 years of innovative thinking, excellent skills and customer service. He was the first recipient of this award. This makes him the first member of the RFTA Hall Of Fame. He will be sorely missed by his RFTA friends, co-workers and passengers.
Greg was a capable athlete, excelling in swimming as a teenager, running in his 20’s and becoming an accomplished amateur road bike racer in his 30’s. His love for skiing began in cross-country, but soon the alpine bug bit. G.P. became an expert skier, embracing each new upgrade in equipment. Greg’s passion for bicycling, which was first ignited by motorcycling adventures, carried over to mountain biking and throughout his life he loved to participate and watch all forms of cycling. After going sans motorcycle for 30 years, Greg again picked up the sport, encouraging his wife Susan to ride as well. They enjoyed many motorcycle adventures together.
G.P. loved life. One of his greatest accomplishments was his ability to gather folks together through his spontaneous good humor, honesty, respect, kindness and love for all. He loved to organize group events for all friends, one of which was the “Top Ski Challenge.” Top Ski was a non-competitive ski event that skied all 12 peaks of the 4 Aspen Mountains, via the Double Black Diamond runs, in one day, while utilizing RFTA buses to go between mountains. The final run was a dash from the bottom of Aspen Mountain to the “Cantina” or other bar of choice. The vent has been held for 28 years in a row.
Greg was a magnet, drawing people from all walks of life into the fun athletic events he devised. His kindness and inclusive attitude made everyone his friend. I’m not sure anyone will be able to continue his legacy of fun times with the groups for the sake of enjoyment and comradery.
These words from Thad. “I feel honored to call this man Dad. I only hope I can live my life with as much grace, caring, commitment to friendship and passion as he did. Nothing Dad did was halfway. He was the best man at my wedding, and I at his to Susan. He taught me to never give up, find what make you happy and treat people with dignity. Every time it snows I will remember his love for skiing and his ability to always find the softest snow on the mountain. Every sight of a river brings memories of raft trips, including our trip down the Grand and every time I ride a bike he will be with me. I see many of his mannerisms in myself and in his grandson Keenan. The way he sat with his legs crossed, his gate (before Titanium) and his stubbornness.”
Greg leaves behind literally hundreds of friends. He is survived by his loving wife of 20 years Susan Anderson-Paul, his son Thad and his wife Oriana and their son Keenan, his step-daughter Crystal (whom felt Greg was the father she never had), Crystal’s husband Jake Garrison and their daughter Lilikoi, step-son Jeremiah Philyaw, his sister Claudia and her husband Bob Beauprez, brothers Jeff Paul of Illinois and Cliff Paul of Arizona and many nieces and nephews that loved Greg.
There is a hole in the veil of our atmosphere and through it I shall see Greg, and I know we will be joined again when it is my time to leave earth and see what next God has planned for us.
There will be a Mass in Fort Collins held on July 27, 2018 @ St. Elizabeth Ann Seton at 11:00 AM. A luncheon will follow and the church and a continued celebration at Thad’s home.
In September there will be a “Celebration of Life” held in the Roaring Fork Valley for all family and friends, more details forthcoming.
Those who desire may make donations to the Aspen Ski and Snowboard Club (https://www.teamavsc.org/Donate).
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