August 28, 1920 - May 9, 2013
Our dear friend, Paul Klutts passed away on Thursday May 9th, 2013 in Gardnerville, Nevada. He was born in Watsonville, California on August 28, 1920. He lived 92 wonderful years.
Paul’s life was that of a very hard working individual. He was orphaned at age 8, putting him in the care of foster parents. His foster family put him in charge of herding and milking cows until he was 14 years old. He then moved in with a great uncle and completed high school. He went on and graduated from the Boeing school of Aeronautics in Oakland, Calif. He worked for North American Aviation in Los Angeles, Calif. building airplanes prior to WWII. At the outbreak of war Paul joined the U.S. Merchant Marine and worked as a fireman/water-tender/lifeboatman on ships in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
Paul began coming to Lake Tahoe in 1946, settling as a full time resident in 1954. In the mid ‘50s he worked at the Zephyr Cove Marina helping keep the rental boat fleet running for Jerry Acree. Paul became a licensed operator and piloted many commercial and private vessels motoring about the South Shore. He even took Elvis Presley fishing on several occasions. He worked at most of the South Shore marinas through the years. He spent several years fixing boats at Camp Richardson Marina. He was the ”go to guy” if you needed an inboard motor repaired.
Paul loved the outdoors. He spent many summers in Alaska and many winters in Baja, fishing, hunting, and working of course. He loved hiking in the mountains and especially enjoyed hiking to see the wild flowers at Lake Winnemucca, Pope Beach Marsh and Cathedral Woods. One of his most beloved spots were the Big Trees at Armstrong Pass. He was also an avid San Francisco Giants fan and very much enjoyed watching their games.
Paul was very appreciated at the U.S. Forest Service Tallac Historic Site where he volunteered for 18 years. He helped facilitate the boathouse and restore the historic “Quit-Cha-Kiddin”. He also did maintenance, grounds management, and helped to make the water system function each spring. He will be remembered by many Tahoe residents as a cheerful volunteer at annual events in South Lake over the years. Paul was a fixer and if he couldn’t fix it then it probably couldn’t be fixed. He was constantly doing projects, often for others, to keep busy until the very end. He planted many wildflowers throughout the South Shore that will continue to bloom every spring in his memory.
He used to say, ”This bunch of guys would tell me, Paul, you are going to work yourself to death if you keep going like you do.They’re all dead and I’m still going!” That was 30 years ago. When you would ask him what he was up to, his favorite comeback would be, ”Just playing hooky from the grave!” We always loved that comment.
Paul will by missed by many many friends. All his friends knew him as the one who would show up early and stay late when the job needed to get done. He was always happy and glad to be where he was. He will be greatly missed by Krista and Don Womack, and their two children Charlie and Jonny. He spent the final few years living with them, where he became known and loved as “Grandpa Paul”............