J. Paul Heinzinger, 92, passed away peacefully with his daughters by his side on June 18, 2017. He was many things: friend, husband, father, papa, brother, teacher, carpenter/mechanic, engineer, manager -- always quick to lend a hand. He will be deeply missed by those who knew him. He can now rest in peace, but we suspect, free of his failing body, that he is working on lists of projects to help improve Heaven.
Paul was a devout Catholic; he showed how to be a Christian by living the gospels through his actions: acts of kindness, putting others before himself, doing the right thing even when hard, caring in simple day-to-day situations. He was happiest when with family or serving others.
Born in Seattle on December 11, 1924, the son of John Paul and Nina Heinzinger. He graduated from O’Dea High School in Seattle and immediately went to serve in World War II, first at Pan Am and then in the US Navy as an Aviation Radioman. He later earned an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from Seattle University in 1954, a Masters in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 1956, and a Masters in Business Administration from Santa Clara University in 1964. Paul worked for Pitney Bowes, Lockheed, ITT Berack Electronics, and Ford/Loral Aerospace.
In 1957, he married Mary Lou Ryan and together they raised 4 children. Paul was a dedicated father who always made his family the priority; he sacrificed career opportunities and recreational activities for his wife and children. He never tried to force his children to live his dreams but supported them to explore their own dreams. His love, guidance, and support gave them the confidence and courage to take their own paths in life. He loved being involved with his children, Boy Scouts, Catechism, sailing, flea markets, riding bikes and projects. Paul was an accomplished Ham Radio Operator, sailor, wood worker and handyman.
Paul and Mary Lou lived in California until their retirement to Marrowstone Island in 1990. During retirement he greatly enjoyed finishing their home, having coffee with the men, square dancing with Mary Lou, having family and friends visit their Island home, and being an active part of his grandchildren’s lives. He was always sharing his talents and helping others by volunteering for United Neighbors, ECHHO, local organizations and numerous Marrowstone Island groups as well as always being ready to help a friend with a project. In 2011, Paul and Mary Lou moved to Spokane.
In addition to Mary Lou, his wife of 59 years, Paul is survived by his son Mark (Kathleen), Modesto, CA; Greg (Kerstin and grandchildren Cassandra and Talia), Del Mar, CA; Nina (Dave and grandchildren Miriam, Peter and Matthew), Helena, MT; and Rita (Jim and grandchildren Cooper, Becca and Hunter), Spokane, WA. He is also survived by his sister-in-laws Gladys Heinzinger, Marrowstone Island, Jean Oxley, Laramie, WY, and Marjory Ryan, Cheyenne, WY, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. Paul is preceded in death by his parents, his sisters, Ruth and Mabel, and his brothers, Grant, Lee and David.
A Funeral Mass is scheduled at Saint Mary Star of the Sea in Port Townsend on Saturday July 15th at 12 pm, Interment at the Soundview Cemetery on Marrowstone Island 2:00 pm, followed by a reception at the Nordland Garden Club. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Paul’s life. In lieu of flowers, please donate in memory of Paul to ECCHO in Port Townsend or a charity of your choice.