Paul W. Colarich, Jr. of Pinetop, Arizona passed away on Saturday, May 1, 2021, at the age of 80.
Paul was born in Morenci, Arizona on June 18, 1940, to father Paul W. Colarich, Sr. and mother Helen
Stover Colarich, and was the eldest of three children. Paul lived in several Arizona mining towns before
his family settled in Ajo. It was there he met his wife, Sheila, while attending Ajo High School. After
graduation, Paul joined the Marines, earned the rank of Lance Corporal, served aboard the U.S.S.
Lexington, and was a Captains Orderly. Following his honorable discharge, Paul used his G.I. Bill
benefits to attend the University of Arizona and earned both his undergraduate and law degree.
Paul's successful law career spanned over 50 years. He was a member of the Arizona State Bar
Association, and operated thriving private practices in both Tucson and Pinetop. A highlight of Paul's
esteemed legal career occurred in 1993 when the governor appointed him to serve as a Navajo County
Superior Court Judge.
Paul lived his life with dignity, grace, and humility. He was an attentive and understanding listener, and
his advice was deliberate, intentional, and all-encompassing. Additionally, he was a leader in his
community and dedicated his life to helping others. Paul served as a legal consultant on several boards
including the Ponderosa Water Improvement District and supported two scholarship programs that
enabled small-town youth to attend institutions of higher learning. Although people considered Paul to be
a quiet and serious man, his sense of humor was unmatched. His witty comments were exquisitely well-
timed and elicited anything from a sly grin to boisterous laughter, depending on the situation.
Paul was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Sheila Lumley
Colarich; sisters Pat Colarich Schroeder (Roger) and Cindy Colarich Abril; children DaNeil Colarich Olson
(Jon) and Jason Colarich; and grandchildren Erik Olson and Corinn Olson.
A private service will be held at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona. In lieu of flowers, people
wishing to honor Paul's life-long dedication to family and community may donate to the University of
Arizona Foundation P.O. Box 210109 Tucson AZ 85721 in memo section on check #40-01-85003 Ajo
Alumni Club, The Blue Ridge Scholarship Fund (blueridgescholarship.com), St. Jude Children's Research
Hospital, The Salvation Army, Community Presbyterian Church of Pinetop or any of the numerous
charities supporting Veterans.