Paul Francis Arata III
May 19, 1930 – August 18, 2019
Paul Francis Arata III, 89, was born in Yardley, PA on May 19, 1930 and passed away August 18, 2019 in his beloved Colorado Springs, CO.
After an outstanding career as a swimmer at North Carolina State University, Paul graduated in 1954 and was commissioned in the Air Force.
He was stationed at Langley, VA; Burtonwood AFB, England; Sandia AFB, NM; Goodfellow AFB, TX; the Air Force Academy, CO; and Cam Rahn Bay AB, Vietnam. While in Vietnam, he received the Bronze Star. Stationed at the Air Force Academy for 19 years, he served in many roles in the Athletic Department including the head coach of the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams and the first Senior Women’s Administrator.
His success as a coach resulted in his teams compiling over a 95% win percentage, best in Academy History. In 2017, he was inducted into the Air Force Academy Athletic Hall of Fame.
Paul retired from the Air Force in 1983 after 28 years of service and worked for Product Development Corporation for ten years before retiring a second time.
Paul was an avid outdoorsman and loved fishing, camping, skiing, and hiking. He climbed all the 14,000+ ft. mountains in the lower 48 states and all the ones in Colorado at least twice.
He is survived by Jewel Parker Arata, his wife for 65 years, six children—Julie (Karl) Greenhill of TX, Ruth (Roger) Rechsteiner of TX, Jenny Arata of CA, Alan (Kim) Arata of CO, Wendy (Michael) Gott of MI, and Cheryl Labrum of CO; fourteen grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, his sister Joni Burkey of FL, and 6 nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his sister; Rosalie Henry, and nephew; Brad Shue.
A Celebration of Life is planned for 1:00PM Saturday, Aug. 24th at Crossroads Chapel, 840 North Gate Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80921.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Grace to You Ministries, PO Box 4000, Panorama City, CA 91412.
- Jewel Parker Arata, Wife
- Julie (Karl) Greenhill, Daughter
- Ruth (Roger) Rechsteiner, Daughter
- Jenny Arata, Daughter
- Alan (Kim) Arata, Son
- Wendy (Michael) Gott, Daughter
- Cheryl Labrum, Daughter
- Joni Burkey, Sister
- Rosalie Henry, Sister (deceased)
- Brad Shue, Nephew (deceased)
- Paul is also survived by 14 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren and 6 nieces and nephews.
Grace to You Ministries
P.O. Box 4000, Panorama City, California 91412
- Celebration of Life Service Saturday, August 24, 2019
Paul Francis Arata III
August 23, 2019
He makes me smile! Now and then (37 years ago)..... Love you Col Arata! So appreciative of your mentorship and guidance over the years. Loved you like a father and will miss you! Until we meet again, Love you to heaven and back!! Sandy
August 21, 2019
I am sorry to hear of Coach/Col. Arata's passing...many loving thoughts & prayers to the lucky ones who can call themselves "family" of this great man! I was a 2 year cadet/swimmer under his leadership & in that short time he inspired me in many more ways than just to swim thousands of laps in the pool! He counseled some of us on his team when he saw us pursuing relationships that HE believed were not in our best interests (!), ...only to reflect months or years later that he was absolutely right in speaking up! Our trips were so much fun!; climbing the Colorado 14K peaks as a team, flying to NAVY & turning their Academy upside-down, watching the cliff divers at that Denver restaurant (which MAY have inspired us to Cliff Dive from the Natatorium rafters!) & so many more! He fostered such a loving relationship on our mens'/womens' team that kept us all running, lifting, stretching, swimming & growing together! EVERYONE I know from USAFA Swimming continues to TRAIN their bodies to be strong & flexible today! Swimmers are a rowdy bunch & I am willing to bet that Jasper/Sam/Sambo has already greeted Coach into the Kingdom of Heaven & they are making mischief together! I did not know Coach swam at NCSU! I've had 4 sons graduate there, one playing Football....Go Pack & Go Falcons! Blessings to all!
August 20, 2019
Paul is responsible for many skills that I have learned. A relentless teacher, he taught me to play to win and be the best that I could be. Good enough was never good enough; I had to excel. As a young impressionable girl, Paul helped me hone my swimming technique, how to catch blue crabs, and best of all, we used to play jack rocks for the championship of Evergreen Avenue, where I grew up. I thank God that my sister, Jewel, married Paul. He made so many rich memories for me and made me feel that I was worth his time. I will miss him so much.