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Remembering a Dear Friend and
Fellow Kite Flyer, Paul William DeHope


Paul passed away on December 30th, 1999 at the Providence Medical Center after a lengthy battle with Non - Hodgkin's Lymphoma. He was 45 years old.

Paul was born October 13, 1954 in Seattle and lived on Vashon Island his entire life. He was a Vashon High School Graduate who went on to the University of Puget Sound. Paul received a degree in Music from UPS in 1977. He was a member of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. Paul is survived by his parents Hank and Betty of Vashon Island. His brother Donald of Fox Island, Don's wife Marla and their children Kathryn and David. Paul sadly leaves his best friend and life's soul Melinda Ellis.

Paul was a world class Sport Kite competitor, he traveled through the US competing against the best, and winning many National and Regional events. It was always a great pleasure for me to share the flying arena with him, he was always first to offer a hand if I ever needed it in setting up for a performance. I know for sure one of his greatest loves in kiting was flying pairs to music with his sole mate Melinda and to be a witness to them flying together you became well aware of what love is all about, if there was ever a match made in heaven... Paul and Melinda were.

What many kite flyers did not know... was about Paul's many other interests... each one being a challenge in itself... and he excelled in all of them. He was a avid rock and ice climber, extreme snow skier, Hobie Cat sailor, scuba diver, river rafter and mountain climber. He climbed many of the Cascade peaks, including Mount Rainier and Mount St Helen's.

Paul was also very active in the Audubon Society and spent many happy hours bird watching. My wife Lesley remembers Paul for the man that turned her on to bird watching and feeding the many different varieties of birds that visit our back yard all year around. Paul made her, her first bird feeders -- now we have a dozen or more.

Another of Paul's loves was going to the cabin he built himself in the woods near Leavenworth, he loved the outdoors with a passion.

Paul will also be well remembered for his sharp wit and unique sense of humor. He had terrific expressions which made it so easy for me with my hearing problem to understand every thing he was telling me. I have many happy memories of Paul, Melinda, Brian and Sharon Champie when we all would spent a few days at Brian's home before and after the Berkeley Kite Festival. He was always the first one up and made coffee for every one. And the trip to and from San Ramon to Berkeley was some thing else... we were packed in the cab of Brian's truck like sardines, but I must admit, we really got to know a lot more about each other in more ways than one.

A celebration of Paul's life was held at the Vashon Presbyterian Church on Vashon Island Thursday January 6th. The Church was packed to capacity and ended up with standing room only. It was great to see so many of Paul's kite flying friends there, paying there last respects, some coming as far away as California and Canada. He was truly loved, and I know as all the Kiters that knew and loved him, he will always be in our hearts, Paul had a saying " Keep Looking Up"... I know I will, knowing for sure he will be looking down.

Ray.



Top Corner Photo
Copyright © 1999
Sam Eaton

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