Paul Rolland Bonneau was the first child born to Rolland Bonneau and Joan Temple of Brighton, Ontario, Canada. He was a brilliant boy whose zest for life was apparent even as a small child. His father sold Ski-Doos (Canadian for “snowmobile”) in the winter and boats and outboard motors in the summer. Paul and his young siblings operated these whenever they could. With free rein in his father’s shop, Paul began building electronics before his adolescence. One of his first purchases was an encyclopedic TV repair manual.
Paul excelled in math. In junior high, his teachers sent him over to the high school for math class. At age 16, eager to grab life by the tail, he broke his mother’s heart and dropped out of school. He realized before long that this was a dead end and returned to his studies.
Paul enrolled in the faculty of engineering at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada and delighted in part-time work with the particle accelerator on campus. It wasn’t exactly his niche. Ultimately he enrolled at the University of Waterloo and studied math and computer science.
Upon graduation in 1987, Paul was recruited by a young upstart company called Microsoft. His projects at the company included Picture It! and later Expedia, which Microsoft spun off into a separate company. Paul’s work as a programmer entitled him to stock options, which allowed him to retire in his early 40s before the dot-com crash. Restless, Paul returned to work a few years later, with subsequent careers in real estate, at start-ups and most recently, at Groupon.
Paul loved adventure, be it driving fast vehicles (like his cherished Tesla), leaping off of cliffs in a paraglider, jumping out of airplanes with a parachute or traveling south to Mexico to do all three, often with friends—and sometimes with fireworks. He loved love as well, marrying three times. At the time of his death he hoped to bring his beloved fiancee Pilar Picasso, whom he met in Peru, to the US where they would spend his final days together.
Although Paul’s lust for life led him onto alcohol and drug use, he had been sober for the last nine years, thanks to AA. He was a stalwart member and was much loved by his AA community.
In 2013 Paul developed malignant melanoma. He poured his trademark determination into conquering the disease, researching everything he could find, flying to the other side of the country for experimental treatment. This gave him two years of remission and he continued to live life large. Late last year Paul’s cancer returned with a vengeance. Despite heroic efforts, cancer took his life on February 17. Paul’s daughter Danielle, his sister Anne Marie and his paragliding friend Mike were with him at his home in North Bend when he died.
Paul also leaves behind his parents, daughters Kendra and Heather (Dennis), sister Michelle, nieces Erin, Katie, Mary Katherine and Charlotte, nephews Chris, Cole and Julian and many dear friends. He is predeceased by siblings Robert and Mary.
A service for Paul will be held on Saturday, February 25 at Pine Lake Covenant Church, 1715 228th St., Sammamish. Time to be announced. Sometime in March, a funeral will take place in Paul’s home town of Belleville, Ontario, Canada, where he will be buried.
Donations in lieu of flowers may be sent to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, P.O. Box 19023, Seattle WA 98109-1023. Checks may be made payable to SCCA with indication that they are in memory of Paul. Or call (206) 288-2070 or (877) 308-3117 to make a donation by phone.