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Paul H. Militzer

June 24, 1926 - May 15, 2019

Paul Herman Militzer passed away peacefully on May 15, 2019.

Paul was born in Toledo, Ohio on Jun 24, 1926, and grew up in the Detroit area. At 17, he enlisted in the Army during World War II, and was identified with potential for the Army Corp of Engineers. He attended both the University of Oregon and the University of Wisconsin, studying engineering during his term of enlistment. After discharge from service, he joined his uncle in selling women’s coats through the Betty Rose company. In the early 60’s he moved his young family, wife Kanella (Kay) George, daughter Laura, son Kyle and daughter Karen to the Battle Creek, Michigan area. The opportunity arose to put his engineering and sales skills to work selling hydraulic pump and valve systems for Racine Hydraulics, primarily to the auto industry. He trained with his brother Don and in 1964 he and the family moved to Lake Fenton, south of Flint, Michigan, where his children grew to adulthood, and Paul assumed his territory with Racine Hydraulics of Michigan.

An avid outdoorsman, Paul enjoyed life on Lake Fenton. He had a life-long ambition to both snow ski and sail, and with young children in tow he participated whole-heartedly in both, becoming an adept sailor who enjoyed racing with his teen-aged kids as crew. He also enjoyed hunting, camping and hiking in the forests of Michigan, and shared his love of wilderness activities with his kids. Sailing in particular was a gift to his children, as all three remain capable sailors who enjoy being on the water. He was passionate about classical music, enjoyed good books and stimulating movies and plays.

Retirement brought the realization of another life-long dream, that of living aboard a large sailboat in the Caribbean. He and his second wife, Louise Phillips, travelled the Tombigbee Waterway on their way south, and participated in several Caribbean 1500 rallies. They sailed for several years in their Pearson 32, then upgraded to a beautiful Shannon 43 they named Tarnhelm, after the magic helmet in Wagner’s Ring Cycle. They traversed the Caribbean for several years until Louise’s death, after which Paul continued to sail on his own with a succession of long-term crew. From the Turks and Caicos to Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean was his home for over 15 years.

At age 80 Paul moved to St. Petersburg, Florida to be near his daughters and in a warm climate. For a number of years he enjoyed the cultural activities of St. Petersburg, indulging in his love of music. His final few years were a slow winding-down, after he received a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease that robbed him of much of his independence and constrained him physically more than mentally. He continued to enjoy visits from Laura, Kyle and Karen until his final days, recognizing them and communicating his love until the very end.

He is survived by son Kyle Militzer of Raleigh, North Carolina; daughters Laura Militzer Bryant (Matt) and Karen Militzer Park of St. Petersburg, and his brother Kenneth Militzer of New Jersey.

Memorial tributes may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association here:


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