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On Sunday, March 4, 2012, Harry Walter Paulin passed from this life suddenly but gently.
Harry was born on June 17, 1928, in Western Springs, Illinois, to William and Gertrude (Schmidt) Paulin, who had emigrated from Berlin, Germany (Gertrude), and Heltau, Transylvania, then part of Hungary (William). Harry had one older brother, Gerhard Paulin (1918-1995).
Harry graduated from high school in 1946 and earned his Bachelor of Arts from North Central College four years later.
From 1951 to 1953, Harry served in the U.S. Army. Harry then returned to Illinois and worked at the Johns Manville Corporation.
In 1955, Harry began pursuing his dream of obtaining a higher education. In 1959, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois.
Harry went on to teach German language and literature at Northwestern University (Chicago, 1959 to 1962) and then at San Diego State University from 1962 until 1966. After a year as a Fulbright exchange teacher at the Gisela Gymnasium in Munich, Germany (1966-1967), Harry returned to San Diego State University, where he continued to teach, ultimately as a full professor of German and German literature. He also served as chairman of the department. Harry retired in 1991.
Harry married Jean Gertrude Stewart, a junior high school music/art teacher and the daughter of Allan Cross and Martha (Capps) Stewart, in June of 1954.
On December 20, 1955, Harry and Jean's first daughter, Kerry Ann, was born in Evanston, Illinois.
On December 1, 1957, Harry and Jean's second child, Kathryn Joy, was born in Champaign, Illinois.
In 1962, Harry and Jean made the life-changing decision to move their small family to San Diego, California.
In San Diego, Harry and Jean were active in their church. They were devoted parents who exposed their two girls to many wonderful opportunities, including travel abroad and learning how to sail and figure skate.
The family lived for a school year in Munich, where Harry taught English. The family traveled by car with Harry's father deep into Hungary and Romania to visit relatives and by car and train into Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Holland and France.
Kerry and Kathryn are very grateful for the thoughtful and loving upbringing that Harry and Jean gave them.
In 1995, Harry and Jean moved to Sun City/Roseville, California. They enjoyed Roseville and their friends there; however, as they said in a 1999 letter to friends, Harry and Jean "ultimately realized that the love of the sea was still with [them], especially with Harry."
In August 1999, they explored Sequim on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state, fell in love with the area and bought a house on a hill overlooking Sequim and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Harry and Jean became active in the local camera club and in their church, First Church of Christ Scientist of Sequim. Harry also joined the Sequim Aquatic Recreation Center so he could continue his favorite activity, swimming.
Jean passed on in January 2003. Harry found friendship, support and ultimately peace through his family, friends, church, swimming, bowling and photography, and he found a new joy in life: dancing. With the patient coaching of his dear friend, Helga, Harry learned to swing dance, waltz and polka.
Harry wrote to friends, "Dancing continues to be one of the greatest mysteries and miracles of my life."
Swimming at SARC also gave Harry satisfaction and the opportunity to "meet friendly people." All the friendships Harry made were of the utmost importance to him, as were his family ties.
In the last year and a half, Harry adopted a sweet little miniature Schnauzer, Schnucki. The two were inseparable.
Harry is survived by his two daughters, Kerry Ann Paulin in Washington, D.C., and Kathryn Joy Heim with husband Patrick Heim in Winthrop, Washington. Schnucki will live with Kathryn and Patrick.
We will all remember Harry for his humor, humility, integrity and gentleness. A celebration of Harry's life will be held in late summer.
Published in The Peninsula Daily News on March 29, 2012
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