PAUL GARY STEHLIK
January 24, 1940 ~ August 18, 2017
Paul Stehlik passed away peacefully in his sleep on August 18, 2017 at the age of 77, after a life well lived. Paul was born on January 24, 1940 to Esther and Louis Paul Stehlik in Portland, OR. He had one younger brother, Larry. After graduating from Washington High School, Paul joined the US Navy in 1958, the day before he turned 18. Paul served as a 3rd Class Petty Officer and Signalman on the USS Mauna Kea until his honorable discharge in 1960.
Following his service in the Navy, Paul married Judith Logan in 1962. They had two children, Kristina and Brent. Paul and Judith divorced in 1967. Paul was remarried in 1971 to Karin Tomek. They had one son, John.
Paul's easygoing and friendly nature led him to a prosperous sales career in the long haul trucking industry. His greatest pleasure in life however was not in the office. As an avid hunter and fisherman Paul felt most at home on the river. Customers were earned on the river with a simple sales pitch of, "Let's go fishing." If you fished with Paul you were his friend and he collected as many friendships as fish stories.
In Paul's retirement years he worked at Fisherman's Marine Supply. His co-workers truly felt like family to Paul. It was here that Paul shared stories, fishing expertise, and friendship with fellow fishing enthusiasts.
Paul and Karin made their home in Brush Prairie, WA. When not on the river it was here that Paul felt most at peace. He enjoyed tending to the multiple acres of pastures and sitting in the kitchen with Karin watching the many animals they fed. They had many beloved pets over the years as Paul had a soft spot in his heart for all animals. Paul and Karin also shared a love for golf and spent time playing golf individually and together as a family.
Paul is survived by his loving wife of 46 years, Karin. He is also survived by his three children Kristina (Russ) Hibbard, Brent Stehlik and John (Merridy) Stehlik. He was proud to have eight grandchildren John White, Morgan (Drew) Lang, Jordan (Alexandra) Hibbard, Madison and Payton Hibbard, and Jack, Andrew and Luke Stehlik. Paul was also a great-grandfather to Tate and Gavin Lang. Paul had been looking forward to meeting the next Lang baby who is due around his own birthday in 2018. Paul also leaves behind many wonderful cousins and many dear friends who he considered his extended family. Paul was preceded in death by his parents.
A Celebration for Paul will be held Sunday, September 24, 2017, from 2 - 5 p.m. at the Cedars Golf Course, 15001 NE 181st St, Brush Prairie, WA 98606.
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Published by The Columbian on Sep. 22, 2017.