Paul Beseda passed away peacefully in his home in Healdsburg on January 1, 2019 at 95 years old with his daughter at his side. Paul was a good man who valued family above all. He was born a first-generation American to Slovak parents on July 2, 1923 in Portland and grew up on a farm in La Center, Washington with his parents Joseph and Frances, his Aunt Katherine and four brothers, John, Joe, Frank, all deceased, and Tony (Berta) and a sister Mary Anne DeLorme.
Paul always said that growing up during the depression, they didn’t have much, but being on a farm meant they had food on the table. That was Paul in a nutshell - a complete “glass-half-full” man. He was working in a sawmill after high school when World War II called him.
He served in the Army in Algeria, Italy, France and Germany before returning home. Thanks to the GI Bill he was able to graduate with a college degree in Economics from the University of Portland as a first-generation graduate. He went to work in retail management at JC Penney in Vancouver, Washington, starting a 45-year career with the company. Most importantly, at JC Penney he met the love of his life Roberta Buurman, and they married July 17, 1954.
The company took them to Yakima, Washington, Boise, Idaho, and finally to Fremont, California where they raised their four children. After his beloved wife passed, Paul moved to Healdsburg, California. In Healdsburg he created a wonderful new network of friends and neighbors and enjoyed activities at his church, the Senior Center, political events, and more. In addition to his wife and family, Paul loved gardening, all sports, cars, food (especially ice cream), following JC Penney stock and bragging about the latest grandchild or great-grandchild.
Paul is survived by his children Mark (Sandy) Beseda, Michael (Maureen) Beseda, Barbara (Tony) Grasseschi, and Brenda (Giuseppe) Pantano. He is also survived by his eleven grandchildren Heather Burns, Aaron (Breanne) Beseda, Daniel (Jessica) Beseda, Brendan (Cara) Beseda, Kathryn Beseda, Bronwen O’Herin, Conor O’Herin, Iain (Cristina) Crabb, Mario Pantano, Giulia Pantano and Ilaria Pantano. He is also survived by his seven great-grandchildren Hannah Kendall, Torin Rasmussen, Lucas Beseda, Everett Beseda, Isla Beseda, Roberta “Birdie” Beseda, and Tessa Crabb.
Viewing will be at the Windsor Healdsburg Mortuary January 11th from noon – 5 p.m. with a rosary service at 6 p.m. Services will the January 12th at St. John the Baptist Church in Healdsburg at noon with a reception in the church hall to follow. All are welcome to join us in celebrating a life well-lived. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Redwood Empire Food Bank in Paul’s honor.