Paul McKenzie

Paul McKenzie
(City) State or Country Mt. Angel, OR
Military Service Air Force  

July 2005

Most of what I have been doing has been consistent over the last 30 years or so. I’m still employed at Columbia Helicopters of Aurora, Oregon, as an Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic. I have been overhauling and repairing helicopter engines for most of that time. Columbia has helicopters all over the world these days; occasionally I get to travel to exotic places like Canada, which is truly enjoyable. Canadian loggers are nuts!

For fun I’ve been a volunteer firefighter for almost the same length of time. I started with the Gervais Fire Department in 1976. They merged with Woodburn Fire District in 1984. We moved to Mt. Angel a couple of years ago, so without thinking I joined that fire department. What was he thinking at almost 60 years young? These guys are great people and fun to be around. We succeeded in burning down a house today (intentionally of course). I was honored this year by the Oregon Fire Chief Association for developing a computer format for Pre-Incident Planning, which included residential as well as commercial structures. We are looking at something for those retirement years. Lots of walking and poking one’s nose into other peoples’ lives. Cool huh?

I married Suzanne Rosemary Schoblom in 1973. She is seven years younger than myself and working well as the aches and pains of age are evident in myself. She was an Albany High graduate (really they are ok people too). She has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Portland in nursing and a Master’s degree from Mt. Angel Abbey Seminary in theology. She works at Silverton Hospital as a surgical nurse and administrator and also at Mt. Angel Abbey as the archive librarian and free taxi service for the monks and seminary students. She also was a member of the Naval Reserve and attained the rank of Commander.

I did the usual things after high school. Trying to evade the draft and go to Oregon State University. Like some of us, I wasn’t successful at either attempt. I ended up in the Air Force in Minot, N.D. of all places. Things got better, I volunteered for Viet Nam and the military was only too happy to provide transportation. Phu Cat is lovely this time of year. The GI bill saved me. I graduated from Lane Community College in 1973 and the rest is, well, history.

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Paul McKenzie has been added to In Memory.
Sep 14, 2015 at 8:33 PM