Paul William Bachan J.D. ’51 was a loyal and true friend to many. His generosity, care and willingness to help out when needed were deeply appreciated by all who knew him. He was born at the family ranch in Watsonville on May 8, 1926, to Luke G. and Marie P. Bachan. He attended Watsonville public schools and graduated from Watsonville High in 1944. At 17, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corp. After serving in the Pacific Theater during World War II, he enrolled at SCU and received his law degree in 1951. Bill married Karen M. Hansen after a three-year romance on June 20, 1950. They soon moved back to Watsonville to set up their home and begin raising their family. He practiced law in Santa Cruz County from June 12, 1952, through April 30, 2008. He was the senior partner of Bachan, Skillicorn and Marinovich, and then became “Of Counsel” with the firm of Allen & Allen.
Dedicated to public and community service, Bill was a past president of the Watsonville “20–30 Club,” served as chief assistant district attorney, 1956–59, was a past president of the Santa Cruz County Bar Association. Bill served on the board of directors at Watsonville Federal Savings and Loan Association and its successor, Monterey Bay Bank, from 1954 through 2001. He also served on the board of trustees of Watsonville Community Hospital, Santa Cruz County Community Foundation, and the board of fire commissioners of the Salsipuedes Fire District. He was a life member of the 32rd Marine Division Association, a perpetual member of the Marine’s Memorial Association, and a member of the Military Order of The Purple Heart. He served on the Santa Cruz Board of Education and on the Santa Cruz County Parole Board. He was a board member of the Pajaro Valley Historical Association, and he served on the Landmark Restoration Corporation, which facilitated the restoration of St. Patrick’s Church after the 1989 earthquake.
An avid hunter, Bill was also active in Duck’s Unlimited and the California Waterfowl Association of which he served on the state board of directors for six years. He derived great joy through all his years of hunting with friends as well as his sons and grandsons. Bill enjoyed playing tennis for many years and was a founding member of the Tennis Club of Rio Del Mar. Besides the joy of sharing life with their four children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, Bill and Karen also enjoyed the company of their four-legged family members, including black Labrador retrievers, “Yorkies,” and a papillon. Bill was a member of the Knight’s of Columbus, and he and Karen are members of St. Patrick’s Parish. One of his great passions was the San Francisco Giants. His kids and grandkids loved going with their dad and grandpa to Giants’ stadiums to cheer on the “orange and black.” Karen and Bill also shared a love of travel. They explored the United States extensively, including annual trips to Hawaii with friends and family. Highlights include trips to Europe, Canada, South America, Mexico, and South Sea Islands.
Bill died peacefully at home on June 15. He was a devoted husband and loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He was predeceased by his parents, his sister Catherine “Kate,” and his brother, Luke. He is survived by his beloved wife, Karen; his four children: Paul (Betty), Ginny (Scott) Taylor of Watsonville, Kris (David) Franceschi, and David (Valerie) of Aptos; his cherished eight grandchildren: Tina (Matt), Ryan (Andrea), Jaime (Patrick), Matt, Blane, (Kylie), Joel, Brad, and Jarred; 10 great-grandchildren: Avary, Kyalie, Gabby, Tiernan, Taylor, Jack, Cruz, Charlie, Brooklyn, and Weston; his sister, Allis Marie (Bob) McCormack of San Mateo; nieces and nephews; and by numerous beloved cousins, including Joanna Jurich, Luane Vidak, and Cathy Schimpler. The family would like to extend their gratitude to Bill’s caregivers, including Lucy, the Visiting Angels, particularly Maureen, Roberta, Jennifer, and Crystal. Also, Hospice of Santa Cruz County provided much appreciated and caring end-of-life support to Bill and his family.