Paul James Wilbur, returned to his heavenly home on Feb. 17. He was welcomed home by his mother Ada James, his father Earl B. Wilbur, and his sister Karen Jones. Paul was born Nov. 8, 1937, in Ogden, Utah. He and Twyla Ann Beck were united for eternity on June 8, 1960.
Paul is survived by his wife Twyla; children, Wendy (Randy) Peterson, Yorba Linda, CA; Dagny (Shawn) Mallory, Peoria, AZ; as well as five grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.
Paul has been an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and has served in many positions i.e.; Boy Scout leader, counselor, (twice as) Bishop, teacher, missionary and High Counsel.
Paul received his Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Utah, and was commissioned an Ensign upon graduation due in part to a Navy scholarship. After serving four years in the Navy for Admiral Rickover and receiving the rank of Lieutenant, he returned to school in Princeton, New Jersey, to obtain his doctoral degree in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering.
In 1968, the family moved to Fort Collins, where Paul began teaching mechanical and aerospace engineering and established a research program at Colorado State University. He has impacted the field of ion propulsion and space exploration as a phenomenal researcher and world-class educator. He also received one of the most prestigious awards in his field, the Medal of Outstanding Achievement in Electric Propulsion.
Friends and family viewing will be from 6-8 p.m., Friday, March 8, at the Allnutt Funeral Home, 650 W. Drake. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, March 9, in the LDS Fort Collins Stake Center, 600 E. Swallow Road, Fort Collins. Immediately following services there will be a light lunch gathering in the room behind the chapel. Everyone is invited to come and remember Paul and talk to the family. Paul will be laid to rest at the Resthaven Cemetery with full military honors.