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Paul Ray Mickelson, 73, passed away Monday, February 13, 2023 at his home in Maple Valley, Washington. He was born September 20, 1949 in Salt Lake City, Utah to Hal Leonard and Helen Meta Tadje Mickelson. Paul’s dad worked for the US Forest Service and the family was living in Loa, Utah when Paul was born. Paul’s brother Keith was about three years old then. The family next moved to Logan, Utah where Paul’s dad was the District Ranger. Another move took them to Nephi, Utah where Paul started school. In a few years the family moved to Bountiful, Utah. A move in the late 1950’s took them to Ogden, Utah.
Paul had his first airplane ride at about the age of 14 and he loved flying. He financed his flying lessons by working many different part-time jobs. He received his private pilot license about the time he received a driver’s license.
Paul graduated from Ogden High School and served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Denmark before there was any language training before a mission. He returned from his mission in 1971. He married Bonnie Kay Goodwin on April 7, 1973 in the Ogden LDS Temple. After graduating from Weber State College, he completed the second half of the Navy Aviation Reserve Officer Candidate (AVROC) program. His parents traveled to Pensacola, Florida to see him commissioned in September 1973.
He earned his Navy wings in 1974. His first duty station was at Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland to VXN-8 flying P-3’s (Lockheed Electra’s) for ice survey and magnetic field mapping. His deployments included Japan, Spain, and Norway. After three years in Maryland his next duty station was NAS Whidbey near Oak Harbor, Washington, on Whidbey Island. At this last duty station, he flew G-1’s while bombardier/navigators honed their skills on equipment in the back of the aircraft. Later he flew DC-9’s for the Navy Reserve for a short time at NAS Whidbey.
After military service Paul was hired by TWA, but was furloughed for downsizing. He was then hired by Air Florida in Miami and flew DC-10’s to Europe and the UK, Central and South America. He also flew Boeing 737’s for Air Florida on their east coast routes.
In 1983 Paul and Bonnie moved back to the northwest to Seattle, Washington, where Paul had been hired by Alaska Airlines. He started at Alaska as an engineer on Boeing 727’s, then flew MD-80’s and several models of Beoing 737’s until he retired in 2013. As a Captain at Alaska Airlines he would often hold the aircraft door for a late runner to board or he sometimes retrieved a forgotten item at security so a passenger would not have to deplane. He liked to give the passengers the best ride possible and a smooth landing.
Paul and Bonnie enjoyed x-country skiing and hiking in Washington and on visits to Utah. In 1999 Paul bought his first airplane – an Aviat Husky. Paul and Bonnie enjoyed landing at off-airport landing strips in the back country of Washington, Southern Utah and other western states. They like hiking in those remote locations and enjoyed the solitude and beauty there. After the Husky was sold he bought a Carbon Cub that could land on even shorter strips.
Paul liked to visit the Goodwin family farm in Lewiston. He always helped with the work and timed vacations so he could enjoy fresh produce: raspberries, fresh tomatoes, squash, green beans, corn, apples and even some peaches.
Paul was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in various callings. He liked to go to the temple and served briefly in the Seattle, Washington Temple.
Paul is preceded in death by his parents and a sister Molly. He is survived by his wife Bonnie, a brother Keith (Alyce), Truckee, CA; and three sisters Meta (Stephen, dec.) Brown, Ogden, Utah; Mary (Daniel) Green, Pocatello, ID; Ann (Patrick) McKenna, Ogden, Utah. There are four nephews and eight nieces.
Graveside services and military honors will be held on Saturday, February 25, 2023 at 1:00 pm at the Lewiston Utah Cemetery.
We would like to thank all of the family and many friends and neighbors in Washington, across the country and in Lewiston who have helped us in so many ways in the last months.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at webbmortuary.com
Saturday, February 25, 2023
Starts at 1:00pm (Mountain time)
Lewiston City Cemetery
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