Paul Richard Christensen passed away at home on January 29th, 2023, due to complications from congestive heart failure, while surrounded by his beloved family. He was 63 years of age.
Paul was born in Salt Lake City, Utah on October 7, 1959, the firstborn of Richard Drew and Lynda Love Christensen. He graduated from Highland High School in 1977, where he served as H.A.M. secretary, and captain of both baseball and football teams. He was a two-sport letterman and was awarded Deseret News All-State Athlete Honors for outstanding athletic ability and sportsmanship.
He attended the University of Utah his freshman year, where he played baseball for the Utes. He then continued his undergraduate education at Westminster College, where he received an academic scholarship and earned his Bachelor of Arts in English Literature in 1984. His education was completed at the University of Puget Sound School of Law, where he received his Juris Doctorate in 1988.
He enlisted in the Utah Air National Guard as a Forward Air Controller with the 106th Tactical Control Flight and graduated from basic training in the top ten percent of his flight, earning the title Honor Graduate.
He served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in São Paulo, Brazil from 1978-1980, where he learned Portuguese, a gift he used every single day of his life.
Paul married Sylvia Erbolato in the Salt Lake Temple on December 16, 1983. They are the parents of Richard (Rocky) Oscar, Henry Thor, and Greta Ann.
Following the tragic death of their son Rocky, they moved to St. George, Utah, where Paul was simultaneously the Washington County Deputy Attorney and Washington City Prosecutor. Upon returning to Salt Lake City in 2007, he was a Summit County Prosecutor in Park City, Utah prior to entering private practice as a criminal defense attorney until his retirement.
P.C. was a highly regarded attorney of the law, whose accomplishments and accolades spanned over 25 years. His reputation preceded him in every courtroom where his expertise as both a prosecutor and criminal defense trial attorney were known by all those fortunate enough to witness him enact his sacred art. He was a member of the Utah State Bar, Association of Trial Lawyers of America, Utah Trial Lawyers Association, Phi Alpha Delta Legal Fraternity, board member of both the Washington County Children’s Justice Center, and the DOVE Center of St. George, Utah. He was an instructor of the Police Officer Standards and Training Academy, and in 1996, he served as president of the Southern Utah Bar Association.
He was a voracious reader with an overt passion for 20th century historia and literature, which rooted his love and admiration for American history and the men and women who serve his country. His relentless quest for knowledge was only surpassed by the undying love he held for his wife and children.
Paul was a devoted and lifelong Democrat, whose beliefs in civil liberty, freedom of speech and equality of opportunity led to his daily patronage of the Public Broadcasting Service and National Public Radio.
He was an excellent communicator with a keen wit and a remarkable sense of humor, whose laugh was infectious and distinguishable by all who heard it. He loved golf, football, baseball, the Indianapolis 500, The Kentucky Derby, Newport Beach, Disneyland, film, the theater, and the works of William Shakespeare.
No grammatical error passed without correction, no fallacy without rectification and until the end of time, he will be silently judging our grammar.
Paul was preceded in death by his father R.D., his brothers Tom, Dave, Chris and his son Rocky. He is survived by his wife Sylvia; children Henry Thor and Greta Ann; his mother Lynda Love; siblings Jennifer Love (Brian), William Fredrick (Nanci) and Annie Jane (Jason); loving nieces and nephews.
A service celebrating Paul’s life will be held Friday, February 10, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. at Larkin Sunset Lawn, 2350 East 1300 South, Salt Lake City, Utah.
A special thank you to the medical professionals for the outstanding care they provided through the end of his life.
“It has been a grand journey - well worth making once.” -Winston Churchill
Celebration of Life
Life Story Info
Sylvia, I am so sorry to hear of Paul's passing. Some great memories of both of you, our little house and Salt Lake! Wish we could take a step back in time. I must say as a realtor for 25 years my favorite story will always be selling Paul on the idea of buying our house on the golf course! Sending you and your family Much Love! Pat