Paul Matthew Hebert

Paul Matthew Hebert

October 8, 1951 – March 27, 2011

Sadly, for all who knew him, & even those who didn’t, Paul died peacefully in his sleep Sunday night, March 27th, 2011.

Paul was born in St. Louis, MO on October 8th, 1951. The eldest of nine children born to Doreen C. Hebert (Seattle U. grad) and then medical student (soon to be orthopedic surgeon) Dr. Victor F. Hebert. He spent his childhood in South Bellevue terrorizing Little League pitchers with the lumber he swung before moving to Clyde Hill in the mid 60’s and living on the ‘Ponderosa’. He attended Chinook Junior High School and Bellevue High School where he cultivated many lifelong friendships and touched many lives. It is there Paul earned the moniker ‘Big Citizen’.

‘Big Citizen’

Paul was a child of the 60’s, who hitchhiked cross country to attend Woodstock.  His tales of adventures there and other epoch (and not so epoch) gatherings:  Altamont, Sky River Festival, Van Morrison and ‘Them’ at Crossroads Roller Rink, Led Zeppelin (with Vanilla Fudge!) at the Greenlake (floating stage) AquaTheater, countless Eagles Auditorium events, et al, are legendary.   He was a connoisseur of music.

‘Big Citizen’ and his posse

Paul was an expert fly fisherman, often saying his ideal day was to “Fly Fish ‘till I hallucinate.”  He was a member of the 20/20 Club (a 20” fish, caught on a #20 fly). The Missouri River in Montana was his pantheon; It is on the mighty Missouri River where his ashes will be spread.

Paul’s talents were as varied and eclectic.  Back in the day, his bite was every bit as big as his bark (as the protector, he would rumble if you messed with his family or friends.  ), but he could turn on a dime and cradle a baby with hands soft as down.  Articulate and ‘educated’, Paul could go toe-to-toe with the degreed and pedigreed (GED tucked neatly away, you’d never know), and wax philosophic arguments with anyone.  He was active in the Wisdom Marionette Theatre on Capitol Hill.  One thing about Paul, he was true to his ideals, did what he thought was right, and was unabashedly shameless about informing any/all within earshot.  Civics lesson #1, as recalled by his then ten year old brother (and pupil): “Don’t ever forget: it’s not a sin to be poor. Not against the law either. Don’t let ‘em tell you any different.”  And #2:  “No, no, they got it all wrong.  When you first greet someone, it’s not ‘Hi, what do you do?’, the first thing you say is, ‘Hi, how do you do?’).  You never had to wonder ‘why’ he ‘did’ something; because he walked the way he talked.  To top it all off, Paul could dance.

Paul was genuinely kind and generous. He was as relatable a soul as you will find.  Whether it be late night gazing out the window at the Christmas lights in south Bellevue with his younger brother Barney,  walking down the dock at ‘Nola with his nephew, or taking a brain walk with you on any number of topics of interest,… you knew he was with you, there for you, fully present, in the moment.

At his best, Paul was loved by all.

Sadly, for all who knew him, & even those who didn’t, Paul died peacefully in his sleep this past Sunday night, March 27th, 2011.

Paul is survived by:

  • Mother Doreen (still kickin’ solo in West Seattle) & eight brothers and sisters (& spouses): Barney (Nancy), Dave, Ken (Linda), Mary (Tony), John (Zoe), Julie (Kelly), Kris (Bob), and Joe (Jennifer).  All currently reside with their families in the Puget Sound region.
  • Kate. His love for her was old-school devotion; the strong roots necessary for when the winds blow strong. Their daughter Heather & husband Bobby, and son Ben,
  • Nieces and Nephews:  Rosie, Allysen, Jordan, Anthony, Shauna, Chad, Aaron, Emily, Margaret, Monica, Audrey, Ben.
  • The thousands who attended Woodstock with him.
  • Every member of the 20/20 Club, every fish he’s ever caught and those he didn’t.
  • His co-workers; prideful people who deserve our humble nod and respect.
  • And, as sure as you were born, he’s survived by you.

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Paul Matthew Hebert

October 8, 1951 – March 27, 2011

R.I.P  ‘Big Citizen’

Donations can be made to three organizations Paul believed strongly in:Planned Parenthood, Salvation Army, and the Yellowstone Park Foundation

4 Responses to “Paul Matthew Hebert”

  • Sally "Randall " Thiessen says:

    I was best friends with his sister Mary and grew up with the family. Paul was our protector and nobody messed with his little sister or her friends. We visited him when he lived in Santa Cruz, California when we were 18 years old, what fun we had, and great memories. I cut Paul’s hair for many years until I moved and lost touch with him. He was a straight shooter, honest, good listener and I will miss his louder than life, laugh. My condolences to the family.

  • jane harrison says:

    Little Mare and family

    So sorry for your early loss of Paul

  • Pattie Dinner says:

    To the Hebert Family,
    My thoughts and prayers to all!
    When I was young and spent to much time at the Ponderosa with Mary, I’ll always remember Paul. He scared me because he was older, bigger and louder, but underneath it all, he seemed wise!
    Pattie

  • olivia corthell says:

    To Kate and all the family, Paul used to visit me at Hectors when I worked on the weekends. He was always a sweet and considerate big brother and friend. I was always happy when I looked up and saw him come into the restaurant as we’d usually share a few jokes or often more serious one on one discussions. Paul was truly a person you could share a secret with and know it remained just that. I look back into time and know he is one person I’m happy to have known. Much sadness for your loss. Olivia

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