Michael John Paulus
April 28,1942 - September 15, 2021

Michael Paulus died peacefully of multiple complications on September 15, 2021.

Michael was born to Kathryn and Talbot Paulus in Los Angeles. At the age of seven his family moved to the small mountain community of Wrightwood, California where his father opened the local grocery store – Tal’s Market. The store was a whole family operation. Michael, always a very hard worker, was known to frequently say, ”I’ve been working since I was seven-years-old!” Michael loved Wrightwood and had many stories of his adventures there, especially with his dear friend Steve Carbaugh.

Michael had no idea what he was going to do after high school. He decided to join the Army and throw himself into it totally. He always took pride in having made sergeant faster than Elvis Presley did! Fortunately, he was assigned to psychiatric services where he found his career love and direction. After the Army he began college to pursue his goal of becoming a psychotherapist. He completed his BA and MA at San Jose State. Michael next attended University of California Berkeley where he received a Master of Social Welfare degree. Michael developed and directed the Psychiatric Technician training program at West Valley College in Saratoga, California from 1973 to 1977. He was eager to next begin private practice.

It was in graduate school at San Jose State he met the love of his life, Jan Van Atta Paulus. This was truly love at first sight! Jan and Michael celebrated their 50th anniversary December 29, 2020.

Jan and Michael moved to Humboldt County in 1977 to escape the crowds and smog of the Bay Area. Michael first set up practice at Redwood Memorial Hospital where he remained for 18 years. He then moved his practice to Mad River Hospital where he worked for 17 years. He loved doing therapy and was dedicated to his clients.

Michael and Jan loved living in Humboldt County having access to all sorts of travel from back packing and kayaking to touring the world. Michael and Jan loved traveling with best friends Al Raddi and Julie Booth. The foursome traveled the world together. Michael enjoyed music, cooking, and working in his yard. Michael had a wonderful connection with animals and has had many cat and dog companions through the years. His two Siberian Forest cats Mark and Martha will truly miss him.

In 2008 Jan and Michael joined the Immanuel Lutheran Church and have grown to love this wonderful Christian community. Jan and Michael so appreciate Pastor David Groe and his support both through the years and now.

Michael had the privilege to have received the benefit of the skill and dedication of many medical providers that allowed him to lead a full and rich life in spite of medical challenges. Michael’s family is especially appreciative of the following providers: Dr. Chris Lee, Dr. Samer Kabbani, Dr. Huy Trieu, Dr. Tom Taylor, Dr. Phil Alway, Dr. Melissa Robinson (University of Washington), Dr. William Fearon (Stanford University), Angela Smith, NP, and physical therapist Terry Kramer.

Michael was preceded in death by both of his parents, his brother Bryan, and his mother and father-in-law, Neil and Eileen Van Atta. He is survived by his wife and soul mate, Jan, his beloved daughter Lisa Moore and her husband Geoff Moore, and his grandchildren of whom he was so proud, Sophia Moore and Maceo Moore. He is also survived by his cousin-in-law, Vivian MacKay. He has always been very close to Bryan’s daughters and their families, Deanna (Jerry) Larson and Kathleen (Kevin) Quick, as well as his sister-in-law Marie Paulus. His long-time special friends, Steve and Jerry Carbaugh; Marian and David Vasilevich, Theresa and Morey Montoya; and of course, Al Raddi and Julie Booth.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to Immanuel Lutheran Church (3230 Harrison Ave, Eureka, CA 95503) or Amputee Coalition would be welcomed.

The Celebration of Michael’s life will be on September 26, 2021 at 10 a.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church (3230 Harrison Ave., Eureka, CA). This service will be available on Zoom and all unvaccinated friends and family are invited to attend via Zoom. Vaccinated friends and family are invited to attend either in-person with facial coverings and physical distancing or on Zoom. The Zoom meeting number is 846-5558-7701 and the password is 00000. Click here to automatically take you to the zoom meeting.


The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Paul Maisenbach’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.