Paul Bryon Shaner
Feb 3, 1958 - Sept 10, 2022

On September 10, at 3:30 p.m., with his daughters and grandson by his side, Paul Shaner passed away in the arms of his wife, Michelle.

The story of his life is filled with adventures, love and, most important to him, fun. Paul was born and raised in Arcata. He loved playing sports and was a natural athlete. He excelled in football, basketball and baseball in high school, and he is still remembered for being an exceptional baseball player. Anything he tried to do he picked up quickly and was hard to beat. While trying to help his daughter improve her hand-eye coordination for softball, he would tell her to go hit gravel in the driveway. She was not very successful. He took the bat, grabbed a small rock, and sent it humming into the woods. Not once, but every time he swung. His daughter was in awe at how good he still was. Paul was naturally talented in basketball, and he would spend many weekends showing his daughters his famous hook shot. He rarely missed a shot. The old guy still had it. Paul was a life-long San Francisco Giants, Lakers and LA Rams fan. Every sport season his daughters would hear about his “Mighty Rams, Mighty Giants or Mighty Lakers”. Win or lose, they were mighty.

Paul was an extremely hard worker and devoted family man. He spent over a decade at his first job with TP Tire in Arcata. He then went on to work at Pacific Lumber in Scotia until he became ill. He started out pulling green chain, but after several shoulder surgeries he was trained and certified to be a welder and mechanic. When is girls became old enough to drive and have cars of their own, he became their personal mechanic. Most of the time he could fix the problem, but when he couldn’t we would hear him say the dreaded “well kid, you’re screwed”. He’d say it with a laugh, and then pay to get the problem fixed.

He loved his job. Many times he’d come home and talk about his day - the good, the fun and the crazy. Paul was a prankster and loved to have fun wherever and whenever he could. Home, work or just out with friends, he always wanted to have fun. Paul loved being a father. His five daughters were the lights in his life. He enjoyed teaching them how to play their preferred sports, the card game cribbage, and about life. He could always be depended on as a thoughtful sounding board for them when they would ask him for advice. Those calls were typically met with a quick update on the weather at the house and what adventure he was up to that day.

Once his girls became older and moved away from sports, Paul picked up a new hobby, tractors. He started out small, with a modest Craftsman riding lawn mower. Not too much later he had it outfitted with mud tires and rear wheel weights. When he figured out it wasn’t powerful enough to move mountains, he bought a bigger riding lawn mower. After fabricating a hydraulic scoop for the front he was on his way to making trails around his property. After going through several of his lawn “tractors” over the years, he finally bought a real tractor. Now he was in “seventh heaven”. Many a weekend, when his daughters would come up to see him, they could quickly tell what he was up to. “Woo Hoo’s” and “Yee Haws” could be heard echoing over the property. They’d find him on his tractor, one arm in the air as if he was riding a bronco, having fun.

In early elementary school, while riding on the school bus, Paul met Michelle Hansen. While they wouldn’t meet up again for many years, their love story started with a young-fated kiss on that bus. In 2008 Paul reconnected with an old friend from childhood. It was his Michelle. The two began talking and their love story unfolded. In October, 2010, in a small ceremony, Paul and Michelle were married – a childhood crush had come full circle. Together, Paul and Michelle enjoyed many adventures – trips to Tahoe, riding their quads in the mountains and at the beach, or just around their property.

In 2015, Paul and Michelle were given the life-altering news that Paul had early onset Alzheimer’s. He soon was accepted into clinical drug trials, being conducted over a period of three years, in San Francisco. Michelle was with Paul for every round of treatment. Paul said he wanted to do the trial, as he hoped it could help others dealing with this disease. Paul faced his diagnosis with courage, never letting go of enjoying life. He even began a new hobby; picking up pretty rocks he found during the many walks he and Michelle took together. He was very proud of his rock collection, and you would find them displayed on the many windowsills of the house. Michelle’s love and dedication to Paul knew no boundaries. She was his fierce advocate and champion, making sure he received the best possible care. For this love for Paul, his daughters and family will be forever grateful to Michelle.

His wife, Michelle, survives Paul. In addition to Michelle, Paul is survived by his daughters Kellie (Amy) Shaner, Brandie Shaner, Michelle Barnes, and Brooke (Joe) Ponte, and grandchildren: Gloria, Anthony, Anika, Yazmine, Jacob, Calen, McKenzie, Emma, Lincoln, Lorenzo, Anthony, Cameron, Hunter and Patrick.

Paul is also survived by his sister, Peggy (Frank) Camilli, brother, David Shaner, parents-in-law Ted and Barbara Hansen, brother-in-law Lance (Carmen) Hansen and several good friends.

Paul was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Douglas, and, devastatingly, his youngest daughter, Heather. Also preceding Paul in death was his life-long friend, Russell Dellabalma.

Since the time of his passing in September, his ex-wife and mother to Heather, Holly Niclai Theuerkauf, has passed away (November 18th, 2022). At Paul’s request there will not be a funeral, but rather a Celebration of Life will be held in the spring of 2023 – Paul’s favorite season.

While we will miss Paul, we know that he’s reunited with his daughter Heather in heaven, where he is whole and happy again.


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