In Memory

Paul Converse

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03/05/19 05:05 PM #1    

Peter Eberhardt

Paul was a muscular and colorful member of our CHS Swim Team.  His freestyle was something to behold surging through the pool waters like a crazed barracuda!   We crossed paths many times after graduation, lived in the same house in west Corvallis for awhile, worked for his father who did strawberry research at OSU.  I was at his wedding in TerreBonne, eastern Oregon when Paul and Judy got married.  I remember Paul had a very direct way of speaking his Truth, sometimes offending people or startling them.   We were good friends.  Miss you Paul!

05/28/19 05:51 PM #2    

Karen Wheeler (Taylor)

Here is the article from The Oregonian.  I was honored to know Paul from high school.

Former Corvallis city councilor killed in Iraq

A former Corvallis city councilman has died from injuries sustained when rockets pounded Baghdad's U.S.-protected Green Zone on Easter, according to a story in the Corvallis Gazette Times.

Dick and Leona Converse of Corvallis said they learned Sunday that their son, Paul Converse, had been injured and likely wouldn't survive. On Monday, two officers from the Oregon Army National Guard arrived at their door.

Converse, 56, was a financial analyst who audited contracts in Iraq, said Kristine Belisle, a spokeswoman for the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, part of the U.S. Department of Defense.

Leona Converse said her son telephoned from Iraq a week ago to wish her a happy 80th birthday, and sent e-mails almost every other day. She said he was proud of the work he was doing for the war-ravaged country.

Paul Converse graduated from Corvallis High School in 1969 and later earned a degree in agricultural engineering technology from Oregon State.

Converse, who also had a master's degree in finance, served a brief stint on the Corvallis City Council in 1995, resigning six months into a two-year term amid frequent clashes with fellow councilors and the city manager.

He then went to the University of South Dakota law school, making national news in 1999 when the Nebraska State Bar Commission wouldn't let him take the bar exam because of his "turbulent" behavior in law school. Among other things, he had created T-shirts displaying an obscene caricature of the law school's dean.

"He was a guy who went for it. He had strong beliefs and he acted on those beliefs," said John Muska of Corvallis, who knew Converse for 30 years.

Said Dennis Day of Corvallis, who went to school with Converse: "It was never boring to be around Paul. Everybody who knew him will tell you that."

Converse had worked in Iraq for about four years, first for private contractors and then for the government, his father said.

The Converses said that although they're heartbroken, they know they aren't the only American family experiencing pain over the war. They said they also have compassion for the families in Iraq.

"(For) every family like mine here, think about how many Iraqi families..." Dick Converse said. "I don't think we can even grasp what their suffering is."

-- The Associated Press

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