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Paul Louis Sladek, Jr.

1950 - 2009, Santa Maria

Paul Louis Sladek Jr passed away on Thursday, May 14, 2009 in Santa Maria, California.

Paul was born on July 24, 1950 in the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas where his father farmed land along the river. Paul's dad left farming for work in the aerospace industry and moved the family to California -- first to the San Fernando Valley, then to Santa Maria where Paul graduated from Santa Maria High School in 1968. Paul spent several years in Austin, Texas, where he attended the University of Texas, before returning to Santa Maria.

Paul enjoyed reading historical nonfiction, especially about the American West, spending time with friends, and being outdoors. Paul shared in the family enthusiasm for cycling, touring the California Coast and Central Texas. In recent years, Paul commuted via bicycle between Santa Barbara and Santa Maria where he owned and operated "Messages in Motion", a mobile sign advertising business. Paul's engaging smile and disarming sense of humor accompanied a resourceful and entrepreneurial outlook. His loving heart and protective instincts will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

Paul is survived by his siblings Phyllis Sladek of Santa Barbara; Phillip Sladek of San Marcos, Texas; and Paula Le Gros of San Diego; his niece Katharina Hathaway of Austin; his nephews Kevin Sladek of San Marcos, Texas, Elliot Le Gros of San Diego, Patrick Le Gros of San Diego, and Will Sladek of Pasadena, California; and his great-nieces and nephew Athena Hathaway, Arias Storm Hathaway, and Roan Kelly.

A gravesite memorial service to celebrate Paul's life will be held at the Santa Maria Cemetery on Friday, June 5, 2009 at 4:00pm. Donations designated "In memory of Paul" can be made to the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition, PO Box 92047, Santa Barbara, CA 93190, for promoting driver education and bicycle safety. (http://www.sbbike.org/).

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