Daniel Henry "Dan" Paulsen, Lt. Col. USAF Ret, died at age 95 on June 7, 2013, at Sunshine Care in Poway. The son of German immigrants, he was born in San Francisco on May 15, 1918. He graduated from Berkeley High School and attended San Jose State College.
After serving in the National Guard and working as a policeman in Palo Alto, Dan entered the Army
Air Corps' pilot training program in 1941. He graduated as a 2nd Lt on May 21, 1942, and married his sweetheart, Irma, the next day. Two weeks later he left for the South Pacific. During World War II
, he served as a bomber pilot in Guadalcanal in 1942-43, flying B17s and other aircraft. Dan loved flying, so welcomed the opportunity to remain in the Air Force after the war, when he flew B36s and eventually B52s. He served as an intelligence officer in Washington, DC; Labrador, Newfoundland; Colorado and in various other posts from Texas and Oklahoma to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Upon retirement in 1969, Dan enjoyed a second career at United Services Planning Association, providing financial services to military personnel. He moved to Poway in 2003 to be close to his family here, and enjoyed hunting, fishing and boating with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Dan was never happier than when sharing stories ~ from meeting the love of his life after she beckoned to him from a candy store window when he was a cop walking his new beat, to his adventures in the South Pacific and the National Guard, to the saga of his father's journey to this country as a ship's carpenter. He charmed family, friends and all who heard his stories.
His op-ed, "A veteran's thoughts on health care reform," was published in the San Diego Union-Tribune on August 30, 2009. His daughters will continue posting Dan's stories on his blog, flights-to-remember.blogspot.com.
He is survived by his daughters, Joanne Woodard of Poway; Kathryn Paulsen of New York City and Kristine Paulsen of Escanaba, Michigan; son-in-law, John Franzen of Escanaba; grandson, Miles Woodard and his wife, Kristi, of Aguanga; granddaughter, Johanna Franzen of Minneapolis; and six great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his parents; his wife, Irma, who died in 1995; sister and brother; his son, Daniel, who died in 1979; and grandson, Gordon Woodard, who died in 2012.
Dan will be buried with military honors at Riverside National Cemetery on Monday, June 17, 2013, at 2pm.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project at:woundedwarriorproject.org.