Paul passed away at RJH after a brief battle with cancer. Writing was his medium of choice and he took enjoyment penning this obituary.

Born in Yellowknife and raised in Calgary, Paul was still working on the growing up part with his last breath.

Pre-deceased by his parents, Walter and Eileen, his brother Bob and a whole lot of friends, Paul leaves to mourn the joy of his life, his family: three children, seven grandchildren and five great-grandkids, as well as innumerable friends across the continent; oh, and several ex-wives.

Most of his childhood was spent living in or very near the open country of NE Calgary, which he and his friends wandered with abandon, bows in hand.  He contracted most of the childhood diseases, including polio in 1953 which involved a fairly extensive recovery process.

A Little Leaguer as a kid, Paul would go on to play fastball, skydive (34 jumps), mastered skiing (face plant, turn, face plant, turn) and even a bit of tennis and golf, practising the four basic elements: swing, swear, search, repeat.  Fish seemed to stop biting whenever Paul was in the boat, so the invitations eventually dried up.

Paul joined the navy the morning of his 17th birthday, spending half of his nine years in submarine service on HMCS Grilse and Rainbow, a stint that became one of his great passions in his later life. He was a volunteer firefighter and ambulance attendant with Langford before his release from the Navy.  He drove off-highway logging trucks for a short time after his release before getting on with the Victoria Fire Department where he spent five years, becoming Secretary-Treasurer of IAFF Local 730.  He then moved on to the HR/LR business full-time, first with BC Systems Corporation, then a variety of roles and positions on the mainland, including contracts with BC Rehab, Red Cross Blood Services during the transition to Canadian Blood Services and a cherished five-year stint with the manufacturer Teleflex Canada Ltd.

A volunteer throughout his life, Paul served with a wide variety of organizations including, the GV United Way, Victoria YM/YWCA (chair), GV Christmas Bureau (chair), BC Country Music Association, and more recently, the C&CC Gutsy Walk, Tour de Victoria, and Symphony Splash. He spent countless hours with the Submariners Association of Canada executive, for which he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Rather than a poet, Paul maintained he was a biographer for poems who wanted their story told in the old fashioned, plain-talking, storytelling, end of line rhyming style he called Cappuccino Cowboy Poetry.  Some of them were written in lyric format and some of those were turned into songs by music friends.

Paul wanted to ensure that his most sincere appreciation was conveyed to the myriad of Doctors, Nurses and Lab Staff whose compassion was always evident.  And to the many, many family and friends who shopped for him and took him to appointments and listened patiently as he went on and on.  And, to the countless friends who provided such wonderful support throughout his final waltz around the dance floor.  When asked for a summary of his life he responded, “I was blessed”.

A celebration of life will be arranged at such time that regulations allow.

Condolences to the family may be offered to the family below.

McCall Gardens




  • Mark

    Wishing Family and Friends our Deepest Sympathies.

    United Way Greater Victoria

  • Keith Nesbit

    Paul was a great shipmate who was full of life and uncompromising in his support of a team.
    He never lacked humour, imagination and kindness. He was a major contributor to Canada’s Submarine Service and will be sorely missed.

    For Paul: Dolphin 72A.

    Sincere condolences to Paul’s family from Keith and Joan Nesbit.

  • Phil Easton

    Sad to hear of Paul’s passing. Paul was a real pleasure to be around and work with during our times at BC Transit. He and I shared a fondness and appreciation for the great debate. The great number of enlightening and robust discussions were thoroughly enjoyed by both parties. I miss you already Paul.
    See you later…Phil Easton

  • Sandra Hall

    Paul, you were a great neighbour to have across the hall for the last few years. When our paths crossed we’d always share a few laughs, or rants about our health issues, family, all your exes and our shared love of dog walking. You were always kind, witty, supportive and I will miss your daily sneezes from across the hall that were so loud that I’d jump off my couch! He got me AGAIN!

    It was a pleasure meeting your granddaughter and sharing a few memories with her.

    Mind your bubble
    Sandra in #203

  • Lloyd Barnes

    Lloyd Barnes
    I have been associated with Paul for the last 20 years as members of the Submariners Association of Canada (West). Paul gave his all to the Association serving as President, Treasurer, Newsletter Editor and a Reunion Chairman. In all these positions, he gave outstanding service – he shall surely be missed. I shall personally miss his friendship and unique sense of humour. Farewell my friend.
    Lloyd Barnes
    Commander (Ret’d)

  • Rob Kennedy

    Though we never stayed in touch, I still think about our days way back in the Langford Fire Department. They were good times and your good sense of humour and your dedication made it even better, Rest in peace my friend.

  • Jane Brett

    Jane & Skip Brett

    Paul was passionate. About wives, about kids, about dogs, and a variety of human beings. He poured himself into his projects, whether it was the voluminous sub-mariners’ newsletter or fundraising for the Gutsy Walk for Crohn’s & Colitis disease.
    His real talent was for Cappucchino Cowboy poetry, a genre all his own. Fellow poets were amazed at his memorized delivery at Planet Earth Poetry readings. “I Never Heard a Carrot Call My Name” was a party favourite.
    Paul always had a quote or a quip, like his new 2015 “disease”:
    Electile dysfunction: The inability to become aroused over any of the choices for PRIME MINISTER put forth by any party.
    He was as serious as he was fun and will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Our sincere sympathy to family and friends everywhere.
    As Paul would say so often:
    “Take care & mind your bubble.”

  • Richard & Valerie Braunschweig

    It was a pleasure to have known Paul sadly he left us far too soon. A dear and thoughtful kind man who will be truly missed. He remained an old salt at heart never forgetting his time serving on two submarines HMCS Grilse & HMCS Rainbow later becoming an active member of the Submarine Association of Canada West. Paul shared his enthusiasm for life and brought a special gift with his talent in publication of The Update for his fellow brothers of the phin to enjoy. Our condolences to his family and friends for their loss.

  • Andy Meggitt

    Thank you Paul for getting me in touch with all my old Grilse and Rainbow buddies, and also the work you did keeping us informed of all things good and sad. It was a pleasure knowing you and you will be missed for your cheerful and good to know stuff you passed along. Andy Meggitt

  • Commodore Christopher Robinson

    I only knew Paul for 3-4 years and really got to know him well when I was Commander Canadian Submarine Force 2017-2019. He was an outgoing and friendly person who was a wealth of knowledge and had seemingly boundless energy. He also loved to recount stories or what we sailors would call “spin a dit”. He left a large legacy and will be missed.

    Paul: Shut off from diving. Harbour cotter all main vents. Fall out from watch dived… we have the watch.

  • John “Abe” Abraham

    Fair Winds and Following Seas My Dear Friend. I will miss your wit and laughter. You always made me smile and your memories of the past opened doors long closed. Like last year when you were telling a story of your juvenile life in Calgary and going to Wainwright to curl with Father Fields team and we both realized that we were together on that team and then the memories flowed over an ice tea and a Diet Coke.
    I will miss you my brother!!! DBF

  • Kevin 250-818-5700

    While Paul was not my biological father, he became my dad around the time of my 5th birthday. At the time, he wasn’t much older. I’m 55 now. It has been a 50 year journey filled with countless peaks and valleys. While we became much closer over the last couple of decades, it was his recent illness that tore down all the walls and allowed us to bond in a way that I wish we had earlier. I am more than blessed to have been able to draw closer to him and connect more strongly during his last go around the floor before he moved on to his next chapter. My sister Dana (who was his full biological child) and my other sister Kim (also Paul’s daughter by relationship and not genetics) have received emails from Paul’s many friends from around the globe since he passed. It has amazed us how many people he touched in meaningful ways. Perhaps it shouldn’t. Hug those you love, and mind your bubble.

  • Nancy Issenman

    Paul’s passing will leave a deep hole in the PEP and the poetry community of Victoria. Write on wherever you are!

  • Dwight Grieve

    Paul your friendship will be missed along with the humor.
    Thanks for the memories.
    Dwight Grieve
    HMCS Grilse and Rainbow

  • Wayne King

    A friend forever. Enjoy our many discussions and email conversations. We have many volunteer memories and discussions about firefighting, paramedic and most of all submarines.
    Look forward to our next meeting.

  • Wendy Lovitt Warren

    A Friend whom I will miss! Thanks, Paul, for being you!!

  • Patrick Hunt

    Paul was one of those very exceptional people whose very presence with us, blessed us. He gave freely of his time, talent, and his treasure, and I am saddened that he wasn’t able to serve one more watch. Eight Bells for a fine individual. My heart is with his family and his many other friends. “He was just an old submariner, but we shall remember him.”

  • Geri and Allan Jacques

    Geri and I extend heartfelt condolences to Paul’s family and friends. We met as neighbours and enjoyed dog walking together. Paul taught us well how to appreciate a quiet, friendly chat, especially when it involved learning from what our pets taught us. Rest In Peace, dear friend.

    Geri and Allan Jacques

  • Kerry Jothen

    My sincere condolences to Paul Hansen family and friends. I’m sorry I only had a few FB conversations with him recently. Paul Hansen was a great person with a sense of humor and way with words like no other friend.

    I’ve known him for 20 years starting back in his Teleflex days.

    We always joked about a trip to Toronto to a conference during winter when out hotel fire alarm went off. He always teased me that I was outside ill-prepared with only a t-shirt. Not a submariner he chided.

    I know he touched many people’s lives and made this world and his community a better place. I only wish I had more time with him. May Paul rest in peace. ❤

  • Peter Hanratty

    Paul+Bob were my cousins as their mother was my mothers younger sister and their family would often come up to Edmonton and stay with us when they lived in Calgary. After they moved to the island we mostly only connected by phone although we did on occasion visit with each other from year to year.Paul was kind and visited my Mother when she was in a nursing home in Edmonton for the last 9 years of her life He was very well thought of by her care aid and did not arrive empty handed. I would doubt that Paul ever had an enemy. I am very sad to never have known any of his children well but that may change in the future.

  • Wilf Lund

    Farewell old shipmate. You had a good run and did
    us boatmen proud. Thanks for your splendid service.
    We will remember you.
    Captain Wilf Lund, Submariner

  • Brian Lapierre

    RIP Paul. I always enjoyed our conversations and your professionalism when you did a job and project. I wish I had known you longer. It was a honour to know you.

  • Gord Fish

    A good friend for 3 decades. In the later years we would meet for lunch every few months and chat about life. At some point he would lean over the table and ask, “Why do we do this?”. “Because we make each other laugh,” would be his quick ‘self-reply’. A wordsmith to the end, still finding the humour in life. In short – Paul was Paul. Good-by my friend.

  • Wade Berglund

    Paul was an exceptional man and the purest of human beings. With a flair for humour and wit he will be sadly missed by many. I spent many hours talking to him and learning snippets of information from him. Tragically he was taken way too soon for many to accept. DBF Paul, rest your oars shipmate. Main Motor telegraph to stop.

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