In Memoriam – Dan Paulien and Carl Geiger

The IPMS McKinstry chapter lost 2 long-time members in 2021, Dan Paulien and Carl Geiger. Both will be sorely missed.

Friends we’ve lost – Carl Geiger, Mike Titre, and Dan Paulien

Daniel Jay Paulien – Mar. 9, 1970 – Sept. 5, 2021

We lost Dan in September to a freak accident in his home. He left his parents, a son and a daughter, as well an extended family and friends, who will surely miss a gentle and loving soul. Dan was truly a warm and generous person, and though he sometimes presented a gruff demeanor, there was never any doubt that it came from a kind heart.

His interests in modelling were wide, including both aircraft and cars. He was the closest thing we had to a ‘car guy’ in the McK group, where most of the members’ interests run to aircraft. That’s hardly surprising, since he was also a skilled auto mechanic. He loved driving and working on cars (Subarus, in particular) as much as modelling. But Dan was always one to ‘go wide’ when the monthly meeting topic called for a missile or some other less common subject.

If Dan had a particular skill it was in painting and finishing his models. His cars positively shined from careful polishing and spraying. And the metallic finishes he was able to achieve on some of the aircraft he built were incredibly realistic. He was always ready to answer a question or offer advice on painting and finishing, and he did how-to presentations on the subject more than once at the monthly McK meetings.

One of Dan’s passions was to show that, in these days of sometimes ridiculously expensive kits, it was possible to build excellent models from inexpensive beginnings. In these days when many grumble about the cost of materials discouraging new blood from entering the hobby, Dan took many a $3-5 bargain he found somewhere and built something from it that anyone would be proud to have.

Dan was just a great guy, and a valued McKinstry member. He was much too young, and he will be missed.

Carl Albert Geiger – Mar. 30, 1957 – Jan. 20, 2021

Like many organizations, the usual McK monthly meetings were on hiatus for over a year due to the pandemic. From early 2020 to the summer of 2021, members kept in touch sporadically, primarily through email, and phone calls to a lesser extent. Some people are ‘better’ at keeping in contact through one or both of these, and some aren’t. So it wasn’t particularly surprising that we didn’t hear from Carl for a while – he was one of those who might not respond to an email.

However, when we started having monthly meetings again last August, Carl never appeared. He was a fairly regular attendee, but it wasn’t unusual for him to miss the occasional meeting, so we just assumed that he wasn’t able to attend, or something of the sort. However, after no one had heard from him after Dan’s services in September, Norris and Lee checked online and found Carl’s obituary. Our shock at losing Dan made Carl’s passing – and the fact that it occurred so many months earlier – just that much more distressing.

Carl died in his sleep. If there’s any comfort to be taken in his passing, it’s that he died peacefully. He left 5 siblings and many nieces and nephews, as well as many friends, who will miss another kind and generous soul.

Carl was a craftsman. He was a skilled carpenter and made his living with his hands. In addition to building models (particularly aircraft) he was a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association. Aviation was a passion for Carl, at any scale.

Carl’s models were simply exquisite. He was another modeler who could make a silk purse from a sow’s ear. He built older kits that were more toy-like into beautiful scale replicas of the actual airplane. And he took new kits that offered state-of-the-art detail and built models that were up to and beyond their potential.

Carl was generous to a fault, always ready to offer advice, help finding materials, or just good conversation. He always had a smile for you, at the very least. McKinstry meetings will be diminished by his absence. Carl, too, will be sorely missed.

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