Paul was born January 26, 1984 at St. Joseph’s hospital in Bellingham, WA. He passed away in his home in Lummi, Washington on April 30, 2021. He was the only child of Paul and Barbara Roberts. His maternal grandparents were Ted Plaster, Sr and Vivian Paul Plaster. His paternal grandparents were Ralph Roberts Sr and Beatrice Moya Roberts.
Paul was home-schooled for the first two years and he got to travel with his mom to Washington, DC and visit the Smithsonian Museum and see the art he was studying about. He loved a wide variety of music from a very young age. He attended Baker View Christian School until 7th grade then transferred to Skagit Adventist Academy through Sophomore year of high school. He was not challenged enough by many of his classes so he quit early and obtained a GED so he could jump right into college. He studied Tribal Environmental Natural Resources Management at Northwest Indian College under the great leadership of the late Philip Duran. The “Leave no student behind” motto taught students to care for and support each other. Dr. Duran believed that one is more successful when you learn to work collaboratively toward a common goal. Paul developed life-long friendships with his classmates from this program.
When NWIC became accredited as a 4-year college, Paul enrolled and completed the Bachelor of Arts degree in Tribal Governance and Business Management. His advisor, Dr. Laural Ballew, helped him secure and internship in the Institutional Effectiveness Department. That was such a good match that he was offered a full-time position as the Institutional Research Analyst. He enrolled and completed all the courses for the Master of Science degree in Management and Leadership at WGU. He had one last report to complete to qualify for graduation. He already purchased his cap and gown and was looking forward to the graduation ceremony.
Paul loved his job and especially enjoyed working as a team with Carmen Bland, Institutional Effectiveness Director, Debbi Mele Mai, Office of Sponsored Programs Coordinator, John Glover, Institutional Advancement Director, and Stacie Jefferson, Administrative Assistant. This dynamic team gathered data for college reports, assisted with Strategic Planning, and provided data for grant applications. He connected with students by seeking their input on their experience with courses and instructors every quarter. He served on several committees including: Events Committee; Data Management Team; Accreditation Core Theme Team; and a Taskforce partnering with the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and AIHEC tribal colleges. NWIC President, Justin Guillory, commented: “Paul was kind, dependable, hardworking and had a easy-going personality. I did not hear him complain once. He was a model employee—he was steady and consistent coming to work over the years and faithfully doing what he was asked to do.”
Paul was an enrolled Lummi tribal member, living his entire life in Lummi, except for a brief job in Arizona. He was a firm believer that Higher Education impacts a person in a positive way by opening up greater opportunities to serve our communities. He developed a resource book for outreach to tribes. He loved his work and did his best to be helpful to others.
He also had Native Hawaiian ancestry from his father’s side. He thoroughly enjoyed visiting Hawaii—its music, culture, and mixed plate humor. Growing up in the Roberts family included lots of family dinners, music, loud lively conversations, and lots of love among aunties and uncles and cousins that were as close as brothers and sisters. Many happy memories center around camping with family and friends, hiking and playing in all the local parks, especially on Sabbath. Lots of love, laughter, music, and good food and good conversations shared with Paul will be cherished for years to come.
As a precious son, friend, nephew, cousin—Paul will always be remembered with love and pride for his kindness, generosity, joyful spirit, and love for learning. We are comforted with the blessed hope that we will be reunited when Jesus comes. God bless all that knew and loved him.
A visitation will be held at Moles Farewell Tributes Ferndale on Wednesday, May 5, at 9:00am until 11:00am. Graveside services will follow at Lummi Nation Cemetery.
Please visit the online guestbook at www.molesfarewelltributes.com.