Paul Harley Maniaci
unknown - March 11, 2007
Paul died doing what he loved most - skiing the Teton backcountry with his brother Pete, his wife, Jessica (Gray), and their dog, Mica, who loyally stayed by Paul's side Saturday night, March 10, 2007, until Sunday morning, March 11, 2007, when Search and Rescue crews were able to retrieve him from the mountain. He was 24.
Paul graduated from Air Academy High School in Colorado Springs in 2000, where he ran cross country and track and was an honors student. Paul then went to Western State College in Gunnison and graduated in 2004. He excelled both academically and athletically.
He had a passion to teach his plentitude of knowledge to the world. He taught math and science at alternative high schools in Steamboat Springs, Fort Collins and Gunnison. He cherished his students while sharing his passion for knowledge with them. Some of his favorite projects were making rockets and leaf blower-powered hovercrafts and encouraging original thinking in his students. He was a great teacher and friend in all aspects of life. He touched many lives forever.
One of his greatest loves was the challenge of sports. He loved the outdoors. As an adventure racer, he grew to be an avid bike rider, swimmer, rock climber, kayak paddler and runner. He became a great cross-country and telemark skier in his passion to spend time with Jess. Paul excelled in every sport he tried.
Last fall, Paul fell in love with hunting. He always said he didn't mean to shoot "Larry" the elk three miles from the trailhead, but we know better. He loved to try new adventures.
His family and friends considered him to be the best backcountry and climbing partner.
His favorite place to mountain bike was Hartman's Rocks in Gunnison. While he was attending Western State College, he was an incredibly active member of the Search and Rescue team. He later became a leader and trainer for the team.
Paul and Jessica were married June 17, 2006. In their short time together, they shared their love of life, sports, coaching kids and learning. Jessica's description of Paul is "passionate and loving, and he made you a better person every day."
From the time he was born, he was a happy and optimistic "old soul," and he was willing to try anything. He made a difference and would share what he knew with everyone. He was grateful for life and lived it to the fullest. He loved with all his heart and was a loyal and committed husband, son, brother and friend. Paul always saw and expected the best in people. His great dreams were tragically shortened by his premature death. He is dearly loved by his family and friends and will never be forgotten.
Paul is survived by his wife, Jessica; his mother, Scherry Rodermund Maniaci-Smith; his father, Pete Maniaci Sr.; brothers, Pete and Joe Maniaci; and grandmother, Lois Maniaci.
Paul and Jess had planned to move to Driggs, Idaho, where they had just purchased a building lot in order to be near his brother Pete and girlfriend Kaela to raise kids together.
In lieu of flowers, please send memorial donations to Wells Fargo Bank in memory of Paul Maniaci to benefit Search and Rescue of Teton County, Idaho; Teton County, Wyo.; and Gunnison. Make checks payable to the Paul Maniaci Memorial Fund at Wells Fargo Bank, P.O. Box 774888, Steamboat Springs, CO 80477.
An open house was held March 14, 15 and 16, 2007, at the home of Nancy and Gary Gray, 48 Maple St. All were welcomed to come remember our lost friend.