June 28, 1926 - March 8, 2009
Paul Rakisits, loving husband and father, died March 8, 2009 at the RTA Hospice in Payson. He was born June 28, 1926 in LaCrescenta, Calif.
He was first and foremost an aviator. His love of aviation began at a very young age, watching biplanes land at Grand Central Air Terminal in Burbank, Calif. That love continued throughout his entire life, beginning with his enlistment in the Army Air Corps, his ownership of a P-51, and eventually attaining the status of captain. His flying career gave him the opportunity to see exotic locales as a professional and private pilot, with well over 35,000 flying hours in DC3s, DC4s, DC6s, Carvairs, Convairs and many other aircraft.
His travels and adventures brought him and his family to such distant lands as Africa, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas. Some of these travels included: transporting Jane Goodall to her chimpanzee refuge in east Africa; working for the United Nations operation in the Congo in the 1960s; flying for Middle-eastern kings, princes and sheiks and African presidents and prime ministers; and bush-flying in the then Alaskan territory.
He is survived by Marie-Jeanne, his Belgian-born wife of 46 years; Claude, his son; Natacha, his daughter; and Cecilia, his granddaughter. He is also leaving behind an extended family, which includes three brothers, two sisters and their numerous descendants.
As per Mr. Rakisits’ wishes, no services are planned at this time. May he soar the heavens forever in peace.