In loving memory of Paul Harold Sjelin
February 13, 1924-February 12, 2014
Paul Sjelin was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Feb. 13, 1924 of Swedish immigrants Carl and Alma Sjelin. After completing his eighth grade year in a one room country school in rural Minnesota, he transitioned to full-time work on the family farm.
Shortly before his 18th birthday, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Upon completion of his training as a marine motor diesel mechanic, he rose to the rank of Chief Petty Officer before the conclusion of World War II.
Shortly after Paul’s discharge from the Navy, he met Juanita Brubaker. They were married on June 28, 1947 in Egeland, North Dakota, near her home town of Cando, North Dakota. Together they had four children: Kenyon, Paula, Kevin, and Kerry. The family settled in Los Alamitos in southern California. While perusing the daily newspaper, Paul noticed an advertisement for the combined sale of a country grocery store, a 10,000 chicken egg farm, a large stockyard and slaughter house, and two homes. The properties were located in the beautiful valley of Rockland, Idaho. Paul, along with partner Bill Greene, pooled their resources and made the move with their families to Rockland in July of 1971. Paul later sold those businesses and started up his own, Paul Sjelin Construction. Paul began to specialize in masonry, backhoe work, and steel building construction.
Living in Idaho also allowed Paul to also pursue his love for the outdoors. Paul’s adventures included: big game hunting, archery, fishing, horseback riding, snowmobiling, traveling cross country and sight-seeing with Juanita as they pulled the Airstream trailer. After a semi-retirement, Paul remained quite active into his late 80s, personally operating his backhoe and dump truck for the City of Rockland. Paul was a faithful husband and church leader, an innovative builder, a patriot for his country, and one who enjoyed personal conversations that ranged from politics to discussing the wonderful message of God’s saving grace.
He is survived by his wife Juanita and his two sons Kenyon (Woodbridge, VA), Kerry (Riverbank, CA), and daughter Paula (Coto de Caza, CA). A memorial service will be held at the American Falls Christian Fellowship, Saturday, April 5, at 11 a.m. (Mail can be sent to the church address, 329 Harrison St., American Falls, ID 83211).