Former resident Paul Richard Harder died unexpectedly at home in Hawai’i on Dec. 13, 2021 of a heart attack.
Paul was born Aug. 22, 1951, in Seattle to Ole and Mary Harder. Paul was a standout basketball player and track & field competitor and was honored as the Athlete of the Year as a 1969 Kodiak High School graduate. Paul created a sensation at the state track meet the year he volunteered to hurdle, despite having never run them. While his lack of technique amused every coach, they stopped laughing when he placed third.
Paul started commercial fishing in Alaska with his father at 12; they were shipwrecked four days his first season but that didn’t deter him. Paul also worked as a Teamster on Trans-Alaska Pipeline, where he met his first wife and used his earnings to buy his first boat. Together they had a daughter, Jawea, in 1980.
He was a successful fisherman throughout Alaska. One of his Kodiak seining highlights was making a set of more than 40,000 pounds of red salmon; he had to radio his dad to load both of their boats. He taught his craft of fishing to his son, Storm, born in 1990, with his second wife.
Paul spent many years in Port Townsend, but he traveled the world, built three boats, five homes (two in town), and raised his children between PT, the Big Island of Hawai’i and Alaska. Paul returned to his macadamia nut farm in Na’alehu, with his third wife Jisel and their son Ryker, born in 2012. He always enjoyed being a dad and was proud to share news of Jawea and Storm’s athletic talents, career accomplishments and his grandchildren. Paul was a lover of love, adventure, sports, nature, music, long walks, bodysurfing, sweatpants, good weed and delicious cookies. He found great happiness living on the farm with Jisel and playing with Ryker in paradise.
Paul was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by wife Jisel; sons Ryker (Naalehu) and Storm (Kodiak); daughter Jawea and her husband Marcus; grandchildren Zaelee, Arisa, Mason and Omari (Renton); his sisters, niece and nephews; his sweet dog Zinnia; and many good life-long friends. Paul’s big smile and sense of humor will be greatly missed. Paul’s Celebration of Life is deferred to a later date.