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Paul Wozniak 1956-2011

June 30th, 2011 · 16 Comments

A long time Magnolia resident and well known community volunteer has passed away.  Paul Wozniak died suddenly on June 21, leaving behind his wife and three children.  His friends asked us to share the story of his life with our readers.

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Wozniak was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and grew up between dairy farms and urban parks, fascinated by the way cities and communities were designed to create a sense of purpose, belonging, community and home. He met his wife, Diane, while completing a degree in planning and environmental studies. They moved to Seattle in 1978. Paul received a master’s degree in geography and urban planning at the University of Washington and he loved seeing the resulting applications of his work: saving salmon streams, planning the first Microsoft campus, mapping out linked bicycle trails , and being a part of the evolving growth of his chosen home. Paul was a volunteer soccer coach and a  loyal supporter on the sidelines for his kids various sports.

Whenever Paul was asked how he was,  he unfailingly responded: "Never better!" He welcomed each day as a chance to volunteer and be of service somewhere, for church or schools or the broader community.  A highlight was his six-year food prep for the Washington Middle School and Garfield High School auctions. With professional chefs and fellow parents Thierry Rautureau of Rover’s and John Platt of St. Cloud’s, he delighted in this successful annual fundraiser for students.

There will have a service and reception in his honor on Saturday, July 16, at 2 p.m. at the Church of the Ascension, 2330 Viewmont Way West, in Seattle. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to any hunger/feeding program or another charity of your choice.

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  • Juli Bunting

    Such very sad news.  We are sending hugs to Diane across the miles.

  • Barnesz

    Paul will be missed by many.  I feel so fortunate to have know him the past 18 years.  It was a special treat to catch up with him the week before his untimely death at a graduation party.  His legacy is the three amazing children that he leaves behind and of course his sweet wife Diane.  I’m honored to know the girls and or course thrilled that Christopher is going to be a DAWG!!!

  • Leslie and Marie

    We have such fond memories of Paul from when Eric played on the indoor soccer team with Christopher. Those were such fun days.  Paul was always so positive and supportive of the boys. What a great loss for the family and for the community.

  • SeattleSlew

    Paul always stood out as a inspirational familyman

  • Julie Szmania

    Paul was a wonderful guy, always had a smile for us and a twinkle in his eye.  We will miss him terribly around the neighborhood and our hearts go out to Diane and his three great kids.  

  • Kevin Clark

    Jake and I lost one of our best buddies.  Will truly miss Paul.

  • Selden

    Paul was a wonderful man and we loved having him in our neighborhood. He was always there with a smile and friendly chat whenever I passed by the Wozniak house while walking my dog. He will be greatly missed.

  • Jill Mackie

    The first year Daron played soccer, she played on the same team as Chris. Paul was taking a well deserved sabbatical from coaching after having coached his girls for years.

    Our team’s first coach quit after hearing the gossip/criticism of parents. The second coach assigned our ragtag group of 5 year -olds had coached much older kids and was too harsh/verbally abusive for little ones. This being our family’s first experience with youth sports, we were kind of stunned by all the chaos.

    Finally, after the 2nd coach was dismissed by the league, Paul stepped forward to lead the mighty team Portugal. He restored fun and confidence in youth sports to all us first time families. Every time over these many years we have run into Paul in the neighborhood, it brought to mind his generosity in stepping forward for the kids that year.

    Our love and warm wishes are with the Wozniak’s.

    Jill Mackie

  • Lkhilliard

    Paul will be missed by our family!  Everytime we bumped into him, we would chat about our kids.  How he loved his children and was so proud of them!

    Our thoughts are with the Wozniak family.

    The Hilliard Gellos family

  • Murphy/O’Malley Family

    Tim and I will miss seeing  Paul in Discovery Park, at the grocery store, in the village, and of course, at our book club. Running into him and talking about the latest news in our lives always made us feel like we were part of a special community. We will miss his sparkling eyes and warm smile. Our thoughts are withyou,  Diane, Chris, Hanna, and Hayley.

    The Murphy/O’Malley Family

  • Scott Coughlin

    We didn’t know Paul for long, having just gotten acquainted over the last couple years at track and cross-country meets. But his positive nature and generous spirit were just as clear and natural as could be.
    Our thoughts are very much with Diane and the kids, and we hope to see lots more of Chris in the years to come. Somehow we suspect that Paul won’t be missing too many of his meets.
    The Coughlin Family

  • ruths

    We knew we could always count on seeing Paul at x-country and track meets.  He was always a friendly positive friend to stand next to and chat with.  We will miss seeing him cheering the team on.
    Ruth and Dave

  • Coulter Leslie

    Though I only had the  honor of knowing Paul during this last school year, it was always such a great pleasure to see him and chat with him during track and cross-country meets.  Nothing can mollify the devastation of losing someone too soon, but I’m at least thankful that he was able to see Chris run some tremendous races at the end of the season… 2 KingCo championships and an all-state performance.  I’ll never forget the look of pride and joy on his face as we shared in the happiness of those races.  He will be dearly missed, but his spirit lives on.  

  • Jack Ballard

    Diane, Hayley, Hannah and Christopher, I am so saddened to read of Paul’s recent death. The world is diminished by Paul’s passing. My heart is with you.

  • Martini

    Whenever and where ever we saw Paul, he always had a smile and kind words. It’s hard to believe that we won’t see him blackberry picking in Discovery Park this summer or at the post office or in Thriftway.  His presence was felt and will truly be missed.  Our thoughts and love to the Wozniak family.

  • The Adair Family

    Sending hopes for peace and strength to Diane, Hayley, Hannah and Christopher.  Our love to you.