Horst Walter Arnold Paulssen

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Service Information
First Presbyterian Church
230 W Rusk St
Tyler, TX 75701
Obituary

Services for Horst Walter Arnold Paulssen, 91, formerly of Tyler, Texas, will be held on Saturday, February 9, 2019, at 2:00 pm at First Presbyterian Church of Tyler with Dr. Stewart Baskin officiating. An informal reception will be held immediately following the service.

Walter died peacefully on January 27, 2019 in Tyler, Texas. He was born in Dessau, Germany on October 12, 1927 to the late Ottokar Georg Ferdinand Paulssen and Charlotte Erika Horrwitz Paulssen.

Walter loved his family and was much loved by them. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, brother and uncle. He will be fondly remembered for his kindness, his adventurous and indomitable spirit, and for his inventive nature. For Walter also loved physics. Exploring the mysteries of the universe was his hobby and his passion. Throughout his various careers he built many models and wrote theories in a quest to explain the disparities of relativity and Newtonian physics. He strove to advance his and the world's understanding until the end, completing, but not perfecting his last model in 2018. He never gave up.

Life was not always easy for Walter, but it always was full of adventure and new undertakings. In 1938 he and his family escaped Nazi Germany to the island of Java, a Dutch colony. However, when WWII broke out, the Dutch sent all German adult men (his father and older brother) to a prisoner-of-war camp in northern India, where they remained for the duration of the war. His mother, younger sister and he were held in a surrendered-personnel camp in Java. Java was later taken over by the Japanese where he learned to speak the language. At fifteen he was recruited by the German navy and stationed at a U-boat base in Singapore where he became an interpreter for the Japanese Admiral and German naval officers.

When the war ended, Walter, at age 19, went to India and reunited with his parents in Bombay. His father was an architect and structural engineer and Walter joined his father's engineering firm where he received engineer training. At 22 he was asked by a northern Maharaja to build and run a new lightweight steel factory in Delhi, India. It was there he met Pamela Emerald May Smith, they were married on January 4, 1951.

In 1954 he and Pamela immigrated to the US and settled in Muskegon, Michigan. He was hired by Manning Maxwell and Moore (later bought by Dresser Industries) as a draftsman, with skills in steel construction. Due to the war, he had very little formal education, however, he soon worked his way up to engineer and eventually chief engineer of the Crane and Hoist division. He received many patents and through his company he worked on projects for the military and NASA. He participated in engineering the lift mechanism to retrieve the first space capsules from the ocean. He served on the National Nuclear Safety Commission.

The family started a windsurfing business in 1974, at 55 he retired from engineering to run the business and in 1982 they opened a retail windsurfing store, in Spring Lake Michigan. They became the largest windsurfing retailer in the Midwest, introducing and fostering the sport throughout the region and even hosted the National Windsurfing Championships. The windsurfing business allowed him and Pamela to become snowbirds and escape to Galveston, Texas every winter, which became their winter home. After selling the business, they moved to Hot Springs Village, Arkansas for several years, and in 2011 they moved to Tyler, Texas to be near their only daughter, Anita. They loved living nearby to enjoy their grandchildren and great grandchildren. Walter was looking forward to celebrating the marriage of his grandson, Andrew, and fiance Molly Finlay in the spring.

Walter was preceded in death by brother Hans Paulssen. He is survived by his wife Pamela Paulssen, daughter Anita Paulssen, granddaughter Brynn Breimayer Rankin and her husband Ryan Rankin of Richardson, Tx, grandson Andrew Breimayer of Littleton Co., great granddaughters Rylee Rankin and Elliana Rankin, sister Ilse Naj of Minneapolis, MN and many nieces, nephews, cousins and close friends too numerous to mention.

Memorials in honor of Walter may be made to Potter House and Tyler Day Nursery
Published in Tyler Morning Telegraph on Feb. 8, 2019
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