In Memory of




Obituary for Paul Anthony Rotar

Paul Anthony Rotar

Paul Rotar, 91, passed away peacefully on October 9, 2022, at The Gardens of St. Elizabeth in Denver. Paul was a loving husband, father, and witty friend to many, a man before his time in myriad ways. He was born on January 9, 1931, in Omaha, Nebraska to parents Peter Rotar and Mary Helen Mevzek Rotar. In his early years during the Great Depression, Paul’s family moved frequently with stops in St. Paul, Minnesota, and several locations in Washington state, including Onion Creek (Northport) “The Farm”, Lacey, Mount Vernon, and then Seattle during WWII and through high school. Paul attended O’Dea High School in Seattle graduating in 1949. He joined the U.S. Army in 1950, attaining the rank of Sergeant while serving as a radio operator/repairman stationed in West Germany.

Upon his return stateside in 1953, Paul took a job with the Boeing Company in Wichita, Kansas supporting the B-47 bomber program. In 1954, he moved to Arvada, Colorado to attend Regis College where he received his B.S. in Mathematics in 1958, graduating Summa Cum Laude. He briefly attended the University of Colorado in Boulder in 1958-59. In 1959-60, Paul worked for a short time at the U.S. Naval Ordnance Lab in Silver Spring, Maryland. He returned to Colorado in 1960 and was employed by the Martin Company (now Lockheed-Martin) at the Waterton Canyon facility supporting the Titan missile program. In 1963, Paul accepted a position as a Computer Systems Programmer at the recently formed National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder where he would remain until his retirement in 1995. During his time at NCAR, Paul held several high-level positions in the Scientific Computing Division. In 1986-87, he took leave from NCAR to lead a section of the National Science Foundation’s Office for Advanced Scientific Computing in Washington, D.C. Under the radar – so to speak – he and his colleagues of the time were instrumental in providing computational support for the study of atmospheric dynamics, a vanguard component of the term “climate change” that we hear so often today.

Following a whirlwind romance, Paul married Marilyn Elizabeth Redfern on November 25, 1961. The couple initially resided in Arvada, eventually relocating to Boulder in January 1968 to be closer to Paul’s work at NCAR. Paul and Marilyn would remain in the same home in Table Mesa for over 54 years! They welcomed their first child, Michael, in 1966. The family was blessed with two more boys, Mark (1968) and Daniel (1969). Paul was active in the boys’ Cub Scouting adventures and enjoyed tinkering with his cars and amateur woodworking. At the age of 50, he took up a new hobby – flying, first in gliders and then powered aircraft. He held a private pilot’s license for several years.

Paul was an active member of St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church for over 50 years. He was devoted to his Catholic faith and served St. Martins in many ways over the years, including religious education, parish administration, and activity groups. Paul journeyed far and wide for both work and pleasure during his lifetime. He traveled extensively with his family across the western U.S., Hawaii, Alaska, Canada, and Mexico. He also visited several countries in Europe as well as Central and South America, China, and Japan.

Paul had only recently lost his wife, Marilyn, in July of this year after being married for over 60 years. He is survived by his children Michael (Holly) of Bozeman, Montana; Mark (Andrea) of Ione, California; and Daniel (Jennifer) of Berthoud, Colorado; and his grandchildren Rachel and Christa (Mark), Tyler and Sara (Dan), and Harrison (Mike). He was predeceased by his parents, brother Peter, and sister Apollonia Rotella.

A funeral mass will be held in his honor at St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church in Boulder, CO on Wednesday, October 19, 2022, at 11:00am. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Paul’s name to Catholic Charities of Denver.