Paul E. Koontz Jr., 83, most recently of Aberdeen, Wash., passed away of natural caused on Nov. 28, 2017.
He was the first born son of Paul Koontz Sr., and Anna Marie Elliot Koontz in Portland on June 27, 1934. The family moved six days later to Elliott Point on the Lower Columbia River. Paul maintained that same property as a memorial to his mother and it remains a gathering place for family and friends.
Paul graduated from Naselle High School in 1951, where he met the love of his life, Elsie Buskala. They were married for 62 years when she passed in 2015. He was also preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Fred Koontz. His sister, Marianne Koontz of Taholah, Wash., survives him.
Paul is also survived by his children, Michael Koontz (Beverly) of Elma, Wash., Susan Strom of Lakewood, Wash., Perry Koontz (Christa) in Germany, and Jenita Vogt (Jim) of Snohomish, Wash. He cherished his grandchildren, Andrea Guyer, Michael Paul Koontz, Shaun Hartgrove, Paul Jesse Hartgrove, Ken Koontz, Heidi Shrader, Steve Vogt, Christopher Koontz, Tommy Koontz and Mary Parcher. His nine great-grandchildren were a source of great pride and joy. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews and their families.
Paul spent his life, starting at a young age, working on the river and in Alaska with his uncles. He then lied about his age to work in the woods for Cap Schmand. After starting a family, Paul moved to Longview and became a boat builder at Tolleycraft before moving into heavy construction as a union carpenter millwright as well as a boilermaker. He was a project supervisor for several major construction companies until his retirement in 1997.
His other activities included being an active member of the First Baptist Church in Longview, a baseball coach from T-ball through legion. He spent many hours hunting ducks and fishing on the river. He was well-accomplished and always accompanied by his faithful dog, Lucky. Paul hunted deer and elk as well as game birds for many years with his uncles and cousins on family property and provided for many meals. As the oldest of his generation he enjoyed playing the surrogate big brother to his extended family in Dahlia as well as to his brother and sister, and still did well into his 80s.
Paul embraced his Indian heritage and was an elder in the Quinault Nation. He enjoyed volunteering with cultural events at the reservation. He had a great musical gift with a harmonica and concertina and played ragtime music on the piano. He had a great voice for storytelling.
A graveside service is planned for 1 p.m. Saturday at Eden Valley Cemetery. A lunch gathering will follow at Rosburg Hall.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Eden Valley Cemetery or the American Legion.
Dowling Funeral Home in Cathlamet is handling the arrangements.