In Memoriam: Roger Kermit Paulson (Feb. 13, 1947 – April 28, 2022)

May 2022 Posted in Obituary

Roger Kermit Paulson, who was born at Silverton Hospital on Feb. 13, 1947, passed away calmly and peacefully in his southwest Portland home on the afternoon of April 28, 2022. Until the last moment of this life, he was surrounded by his closest friends and family members. He will surely be remembered for his loyalty, his sense of humor, and his passionate nature. Roger’s absence will be felt keenly by the many who knew and loved him.

From his earliest years, Roger approached life with passion, creativity, and intensity. While these qualities were fundamental to his nature, they were expressed through two defining loves. First and most heartfelt was his love of jazz and the piano. Second and just as fundamental to the unfolding of his career and identity was his nearly 50-year career in the theater and film industry.

Roger began playing piano at three-years-old and his relationship with it remained essential until the end. Over time, his skill as a musician grew, and he completed the first of his countless independent compositions and arrangements in 1962. After graduating from Silverton High in 1965, he attended Willamette University, earning his Bachelor of Arts in Music in 1969. While he never made a profession as a pianist, he performed often in support of friends, fellow musicians, and Portland’s First Congregational Church. Even when he found himself away from his beloved keys, he kept actively engaged with the jazz scene and travelled often to attend festivals far and wide.

Roger’s relationship with the cinema began when he was hired to work at his hometown theater at 15 years old. From then until retirement, he never worked outside the movie business. Over the course of his career, he held many positions, had many titles, and played many parts. He was night manager at Salem’s venerable Elsinore and Paramount theaters during college. Roger and his friend Stu Rasmussen purchased Silverton’s original Palace Theater together in 1974 and operated it as equal partners until they closed it for good nearly two years ago. Of course, his true professional life was built within the world of Portland theaters and film marketing. In this context, he rose across decades to an executive role with Moyer Family Theaters. Eventually leaving this role, Roger struck out on his own, forming Paulson Theater Services, where he finished his career as a successful distributor of independent and artistic films.

After retirement, Roger eased into a life focused on family and friends, music, as well as the curation and sale of vintage movie posters and memorabilia. He participated in social circle which was wide, vibrant, and diverse. He fully embraced his roles as son, brother, uncle, and cousin within his tightknit family. He is survived by his sister, Sonya Linn; nephew, Chris Linn; niece, Wendy (Gary) King; as well as grand-nephews and nieces, Zeke Linn, Max Linn, Paige King, Giselle Linn, and Sidney King.

Memorial services are to be held at Saturday, June 25 at 1 p.m., at Silverton’s First Christian Church.

Arrangements made by Unger Funeral Chapel.

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