Paul Pedroza, long-time resident of Gardnerville, Nevada, passed away on April 19, 2020.
Paul was born in Azusa, California, to Ralph and Marta Pedroza. While growing up there, his life-long passion for sports began. He became a talented athlete under many years of his Father’s tutelage and dedication as a coach for the Little League organization.
Paul graduated from Bishop Amat High School in La Puente, California in 1970. He set long-held track records, played baseball, and helped the Lancers win multiple-year football league championships. He enjoyed sharing those memories that included playing along side team mates Pat Hayden and John McKay.
After graduation from high school, He attended Citrus College in Glendora, California. Continuing on his football path, he played for the Owls and fondly recalled his “walk-on” role in the Richard Crenna film “Footsteps” that was filmed there. He went on to attend the University of Montana where, while playing for the Grizzlies, he suffered a career-ending injury that brought him back to California.
From working in an Alaskan cannery, to a coal mine in Colorado, to waiting on tables at the Ahwahnee in Yosemite, Paul’s ability to relate to people and his desire to experience all life had to offer was the foundation for many of the life-long friendships he enjoyed.
His love of the Sierra Nevada prompted his decision to settle here. An avid bicyclist, he had no problem riding up Spooner Summit or around Lake Tahoe. He was a scratch golfer and loved playing in various local charity tournaments and golfing with his son, Nicholas.
Paul had two children with his first wife, Joann. A son, Matthew and a daughter, Jessica. They moved from the Lake to Gardnerville, NV in the mid- 80’s where Paul continued a bartending career. He settled at the Carson Valley Inn and over the course of 13 years, Paul shared sports stories, his love of music, laughs, and his take on the weekly football odds with his patrons. He earned the nickname “Swamie” from his loyal followers.
Paul and Joann later divorced. She and the children moved from the area and Paul went on to marry Lori. They had one son, Nicholas in 1999. Paul and Lori divorced in 2005.
Paul went on to work for the Douglas County School District as Janitorial staff at Whittell and Douglas High Schools, which he retired from in 2018.
His desire to keep busy brought him back to the CVI in 2018. He worked as a valet/bellman. He enjoyed welcoming visitors and sharing his knowledge of the area and being a member of the CVI “family” again.
Paul lived a full life. He will be dearly missed by all whose lives he touched. He is survived by his son, Matthew Pedroza (Denise), Salina, KS, daughter, Jessica Thompkins (Ash), Hill City, KS, son Nicholas Pedroza, Minden, NV, brother Peter Pedroza (Bea), Prunedale, CA, five grandchildren, numerous nephews and a niece. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Michael Pedroza.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date.