Paul Alma Whitby
Paul Alma Whitby, 89 of San Diego, California, passed away peacefully and painlessly in Winter Park, Florida on November 16, 2016 after a courageous battle with congestive heart failure and lymphoma. He was surrounded by the comfort and loving care of his family. A resident of the Mayflower Retirement Center, the family expresses their deep gratitude for the care provided to our father by the dedicated and wonderful Mayflower staff.
Paul Alma Whitby was born on July 5, 1927 in Carey, Idaho. He was the last surviving sibling, 2 brothers (Harold and John) and 4 sisters (Thelma, Althea, Loretta and Eva). His father, Oscar Witby, a cowboy that homesteaded land next to Craters of the Moon National Park in Idaho and his mother, Viola (Little) Whitby, a gentle southern lady from Georgia raised a family in the LDS faith in Carey, ID and Logan, UT.
A sportsman, Paul excelled in basketball, gymnastics and boxing as a teenager. Upon graduating from Logan High School, Paul enlisted in the Navy at age 17. When he finished boot camp at Naval Station Great Lakes, World War II ended. Due to his typing skill, he was assigned to the Admiral's staff in San Francisco and helped process the rapid demobilization of returning Navy personnel from the Pacific Theater. He was then discharged from the Navy after 1 1/2 yrs of service. Later, with the rising challenge of the Soviet Union in Berlin and the Korean War, Paul enlisted in the Air Force.
As a boy growing up, Paul dreamed of flying inspired by Charles Lindbergh's epic flight from New York to Paris. He took his first airplane ride when a barnstormer passed through Carey, Idaho. While in the Air Force, he was stationed in Weisbaden, Germany, flying air transport throughout Europe. He returned to Salt Lake City after his Air Force service and taught the first Civilian Air Patrol cadet program in a local high school.
Then he joined United Air Lines when Los Angeles had openings for pilots in 1955. Paul retired as Captain from United Air Lines after 32 years. His career based him in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. His first jet airplane he flew was the Boeing 727. He flew it for 15 years. He always said it was the 'best airplane he ever flew.' Later, he would fly the Boeing DC-10. Between the Air Force and United Air Lines, Paul flew for 38 years.
Throughout his adult life, Paul was a student and teacher of Christian spirituality. He took classes and studied the Bible and A Course in Miracles extensively. He brought his children to church. Paul sang in church choruses, taught Sunday school classes, contributed and led fund raising efforts. He was a kind, gentle and a very generous benefactor to many that needed a helping hand or to help support their own educational or spiritual journey. For 5 years, he volunteered for the La Jolia Meals On Wheels. Fun loving, Paul loved to dance and play music. He was a self taught accomplished piano and organ player and would play for family and friends when the spirit hit him. He was a member of the San Diego Playback Theater Company for 7 years.
In retirement, an avid environmentalist and hiker, Paul became a trail guide/docent at Mission Trails Regional Park and Torrey Pines State Nature Preserve. He was a lifetime member of the Torrey Pines Docent Society. He so enjoyed participating in the Paneurhythmy meditative dance and attending the Church of the Holy Quest at the Questhaven Retreat in the hills of northern San Diego County.
A romanticist and charmer, he married eight times. The love of his life, Bobbie, preceded him in death in 2014. They walked the path of spirituality and environmental concern together for over 20 years.
He is survived by his three sons; Philip (Carolyn), Douglas (Marlene), David, his four grandchildren; Christina, Jimmy, Sara, Justin and five great grandchildren, Ashley, Jamaica, Chloe, Emma, Victoria.
A memorial service will be held later in San Diego, California.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Christward Ministry at Questhaven Retreat
(http://questhaven.org/home/?p=Support) or the Torrey Pines Docent Society