Paul Hallgrimson: 1945-2020


Paul Hallgrimson passed away peacefully at his home on Offutt Lake Tuesday, May 19, 2020, surrounded by family and care giving friends, having succumbed to Merkel cell carcinoma and multiple myeloma.

He was born to Ben and Loreen Hallgrimson July 6, 1945, in Seattle, Wash. He attended grade schools in Cheney, Larson Air Force Base, Lakewood, Washington DC and Seattle. He played organized football, basketball, baseball and the trombone before moving to Centralia, where he attended junior high and high school graduating in 1963.

Paul attended Centralia College, was a member of both the basketball and baseball teams and he was honored as a member of Centralia College Sports Hall of Fame. Paul graduated from Western Washington State University. After graduation, he played in the summer league with the Seattle Sonics, which produced a lifelong relationship with player coach, Lenny Wilkins and general manager, Les Habegger.

Later, he would organize a tour throughout Europe for the Sonics including homestays in Germany, a first for an NBA team. Paul taught German and coached basketball at Mt Si High School in North Bend and Sehome High School in Bellingham before moving to Germany where he coached, worked for an electrical connectors company and began involvement in student exchange.

Paul married Maureen Madden June 8, 1968. They had three children, Daniel, Markus and Kristina. As a married couple, student exchange became a full-time business and over the years they had a powerful affect upon the lives of many students and families. Maureen died of non-smokers lung cancer in 2014.

In these last years, Paul bought and sold a 47 ft. yacht, organized a new student exchange organization Global Horizons, played in an over 70 basketball league, blew out his achilleas, went on kidney dialysis, attended his 55th high school class reunion and presided at his own celebration of life on Zoom three days before he died.

Paul is survived by his children, Daniel, Markus and Kristina; grandchildren, Tamiya, Jaden Jaylyn, Tim, Sienna, Summer Rose, JJ and Eli; brother, Dan and wife, Molly Madden Hallgrimson; niece, Anna; nephews, John and Tom; and cousin, Roberta Kelly

A memorial service was held on Zoom May 23, 2020.