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April 20, 2018

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April 20, 2018

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 Memories & Condolences
This Guest Book will remain online permanently courtesy of Alison Kliachko Trafas.
September 10, 2014
Adam & Gabriel,
I never knew your father, but was a friend of your mother in Montana, and knew you both. I am deeply sorrry for your loss. Losing a parent is extremely difficult and so very painful. My heart and my prayers go out to ypu both, and to all your family.
May our Father's love comfort you all.
August 23, 2014
Hi, my father, Paul Trafas, passed away suddenly the night before last........ He was a graduate student of yours at the University of Montana, and he talked about you much of his life....... He told us how someone said "special people" and you quite seriously said; "Everyone is special........."

I studied English at Long Beach City College with Dr. Jennings, and to my great astonishment he mentioned his friend Mike Urban said etc....... and after class I asked him if this was the political scientist, which he confirmed............

I was a bit dumb-struck by that instance, because my father respected you so much and spoke so often about you----------------your integrity and beliefs etc; even how you went against the grain and wore blue-jeans, but he said always w/ an immaculate crease down the middle...........

I told him you were teaching at UCSC and he got a deep reflective look and I could see he was looking back into the his youth, and his admiration of you...

I'm not sure if you remember him; he was a big guy---------played a little football at UCLA-------------and was quite idealistic as a young man when he studied with you. Suffice it to say, that his study w/you was truly a highlight of his life and he had the deepest respect and admiration for you............

All I know is that he really had some peak experiences studying under you and that you inspired him in a way that caused him to talk about you in the highest regard for most of his life, and if at all possible, if you do remember my father.............. if you could write a note about him for the funeral or of course you are welcome to attend, but anything from you would be appreciated............ I know it was a long time ago, but if you remember Paul Trafas and can write something brief about him I would be truly grateful.

You were a hero to him, and although it's likely you don't see yourself that way............ my father did and had the deepest respect for you.

And of course it is ok if you are too busy or don't remember my father, but if you do anything would be greatly appreciated.

Gabriel Robert Trafas

Michael Urban >

to me

Dear Gabriel, I am sorry to hear of your loss. Your father, as I knew
him, was a fine young man, one of the few whom I remember from all
those years ago and the one whom I remember best. As for a few words
from me:

When I was caught in a reduction in force at the University of
Montana, losing my first faculty position in my second year of
employment there, I had thoughts of leaving this low-paying and
-already - uncertain profession and getting into another line while I
was still young enough to do so. Among the things persuading me not to
do so was the relationship that I had established with graduate
students there. I wanted to spend my professional life in the company
of such people: bright, concerned, critical, supportive and ready for
a laugh. Paul Trafas stands out in my memory as the best of that
bunch. The program measurably improved when he entered it as other
students noted the degree of seriousness and focus with which he
approached his work. Many began to follow his example. Paul would
often visit my office to talk about things academic and otherwise.
Sometimes these talks would go on for an hour or two, neither of us
noticing how much time was slipping away. Paul was a person hungry for
knowledge and keen to try out new ideas. He was a person whom I
respected from the first and grew to become more and more fond of
during our year together in Missoula.

Gabriel, my sympathy and warmest regards,
June 29, 2013
I was a tutor, prof and friend of Adam's at UCLA. I just saw the scene in Ghostbusters with Paul and "googled" Adam. At that point I learned of your loss. My condolences. Ironically, I am home for my mother's memorial service. She passed away on June 6.
January 9, 2013
I never got a chance to say anything at the service, so I would like to write something here.
When I first met Paul 31 years ago I was impressed by his devotion to his two boys, his integrity and honesty, his knowledge about many things, his appreciation and curiosity for all things political and philosophical, and all the stories he had to tell about his life. I didn't realize at the time that I would hear some of these stories over and over again for 31 years, but now of course I would love to hear more of those stories yet again, over and over.
Paul wore his emotions on his sleeve and sometimes they were over the top but what I always said about him was that he always had very good intentions. He always meant well. He was always concerned and interested in life, whether it was about issues or about family, which grew during our time with three daughters and three young grandchildren. He always helped out no matter what. When we lived apart he would always buy things he thought we needed, always thinking of what we could use. If we asked him to do something, he might not do everything you asked with a smile, or do it right away, but what I realize is that he always did it. He always helped.
We also always really respected his opinions, which of course he loved to share all the time, but the fact is that the girls and I always went to him for opinions as he always seemed to know something about everything and you could always count on an honest opinion. We always relied on his broad knowledge of politics, but we always found he had smart ideas about many things, from cooking, to fixing things, to what medicines to take, to his choices over things he bought the kids, from shoes to coats to what clothes looked good and even purses; he was the one who actually bought most of our purses; he always had a good eye for both the aesthetic and the practical.
When it came to the girls, he got them all involved in sports and was extremely involved and supportive as a father. He never missed the many games and if it was far, he was the one who always drove us. He attended virtually every school event and every medical appointment for the girls. He also took me to medical appts and other places whenever I needed a ride. He was always involved. He drove the girls everywhere, to all their activities. He took them out to eat and to movies and loved to have barbecues and play board games together. When the twins went away to college, he helped them move in and out, driving long distances, lugging boxes, year after year. He helped make the holidays special and we always celebrated together. He was the one who picked out and put up the Christmas trees, oversaw the decorating, carved the pumpkins with them, dyed the Easter eggs, coordinated the Easter egg hunts, cooked the holiday turkeys and lit the candles on the birthday cakes.
He introduced me and the girls to his love of outdoors and camping, to places like Glacier, Montana, Sequoia, Yosemite and the Grand Canyon. He was the one who organized family trips to places like Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, the zoo, his beloved UCLA football games, and the Scottish Festival. He especially loved the sound of bagpipes. One of the last of the many notes he always wrote to himself was about taking all of us and the grandchildren to Knotts Berry Farm. He always had a ton of plans, for us and for himself and I fervently wish he could have had more time.
When I think of all he did for us, I'm sure I didn't thank him enough. Sadly, he left very, very suddenly and I would like to take this chance to thank him now and I know all of us miss him tremendously. Someone said to me that he's still there; we just can't see him now. I know he will continue to be a great presence in our lives and that he will know our great appreciation.