Paul Stephen Jaster, 70, of Holbrook, left this world on June 1, 2022. Paul was born on Feb. 23, 1952 in Detroit. Michigan where he was the eldest of six. He met his wife Linda in 1971 at the flower shop where he worked with her mother. While in college he played guitar in a rock band called “The Changing Sound”. Paul & Linda were married in 1974, shortly after he graduated from Michigan State University. Their first daughter, Kim, was born a couple years later. Paul & his young family relocated to Arizona in 1979 when he accepted a job as a park ranger at Clear Creek in Winslow. A few years after their arrival in Arizona they welcomed their second daughter, Sherri, to complete their family.
Paul’s favorite place was the wilderness. He loved to go camping and hiking in remote areas, so remote that his family had to outfit him with a GPS tracker. He had an adventurous spirit that sent him on many adventures all over the world. From the desert to the mountains to the forest, he loved all nature. His love of nature drove his career choices.
Paul worked as a park ranger for several years before becoming the Navajo County Parks Director. In this position he helped to create wonderful parks so all could enjoy the nature he loved so much, including transforming Cholla Lake into a recreational area with a beach and boat docks. His favorite park was Tall Timbers in Heber-Overgaard, which he designed and helped build. Paul also served as the Navajo County Emergency Services Director. He was in this position during the Rodeo-Chediski Fire and was instrumental in the management of this disaster. This experience inspired him to be a wildland firefighter for a few years. Paul also worked for Holbrook EMS for over 20 years: as an EMTand a certified CPR and first aid instructor. One of his favorite things to do was teach first aid to his daughter’s elementary school students.
Paul was a huge asset to the community of Holbrook, holding many volunteer positions. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus and very active in Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish. Paul served on the board of directors for Holbrook Catholic Charities and the Bread of Life Mission. He was also a volunteer for the American Red Cross. Paul was always helping others, evidenced by his post retirement jobs of medical assistant, teacher’s aide at the Rainbow Accommodation School, teacher at the juvenile detention center, and lastly as substitute teacher for HUSD. If you ever met Paul you probably heard him say “to make a long story short” which led to a much longer story. He loved telling tales of his adventures, we loved hearing them.
Paul is survived by his loving wife of 48 years, Linda, their two strong-willed, adventurous daughters Kim and Sherri, and his 4 younger siblings: JoAnne (Perkins), Mary (Jenkins), Ron, and Cathy (Drescher). He is preceded in death by his brother Mike and his parents, Paul & Marguerite. Some of Paul’s ashes will be interred with them in Michigan, while more will be scattered in some of his favorite places in nature.
Paul will always be remembered as a kind-hearted, funny, adventurous guy who loved nature, music, his community, and God. He was the best friend, husband, father, son, and brother anyone could have asked for.
In lieu of flowers please make a donation to one of Paul’s favorite charities: The Nature Conservancy, Holbrook Catholic Charities, or the Arizona Parks Fund (ARPA).
A funeral mass will be said for Paul on Saturday, June 11,2022 at 11:00am at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, followed by a celebration of life.