May 4, 1922 ~ July 12, 2019

Born in: Glenns Ferry, Idaho
Resided in: Denver, Colorado

William George Paukovich, age 97, passed away on July 12th, 2019. Born in Glenns Ferry, Idaho on May 4th, 1922 he was the 11th of 12 children. Bill was raised in Rock Springs, Wyoming and attended the University of Wyoming. He joined the Army Air Corps in 1943. As a B-25 pilot in World War II, he flew numerous risky and life threatening missions in the Pacific Theater for which he received three Air Medals. Upon his return, he settled in Colorado where he met and married Jo Steinke in 1949. He was recalled to the Air Force for the Korean War where he flew both F-80 and F-86 fighter jets. He continued his military service in the reserves and ultimately retired from the Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel. He joined the Brannan Sand and Gravel Company in 1950 and retired as the Corporate Secretary in 1988. During his career, he was a founding member of the Colorado Asphalt Producers Association and inducted into the Colorado Asphalt Hall of Fame. He was also a member of the Board of Governors of the National Asphalt Pavement Association. Bill had a great love for the outdoors and the West. He loved to fish, golf, bowl and ski and was active late into his life. Bill and Jo had three children: Susan, Greg and Jon. They were active members of the Christ the King Catholic Church and Notre Dame Catholic Church in Denver. Bill is survived by his wife of 69 years Jo, children Susan (Russ) Joseph of Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, Greg (Judy) Paukovich of Denver and Jon (Lisa) Paukovich of Colorado Springs. They also have seven grandchildren. Visitation Monday, July 22, 2019, 4pm followed immediately by rosary at 7pm. Both at Horan & McConaty Family Chapel, 3101 S. Wadsworth Blvd. Funeral Mass Tuesday, July 23, 2019, 10:30am, Notre Dame Catholic Church, 2190 S. Sheridan Blvd. Interment follows at 2:15pm, Staging Area C, Fort Logan National Cemetery. Donations may be made to Bridge Community, 3101 W. Hillside Place, Denver, CO 80219, Attn: Sister Mary Katherine. He will be dearly missed by family and friends. 


Visitation: July 22, 2019 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Horan & McConaty - SW Denver/Lakewood
3101 S. Wadsworth Blvd.
Lakewood, CO 80227

Rosary: July 22, 2019 7:00 pm

Horan & McConaty - SW Denver/Lakewood
3101 S. Wadsworth Blvd.
Lakewood, CO 80227

Funeral Mass: July 23, 2019 10:30 am

Notre Dame Catholic Church
2190 S. Sheridan Blvd
Denver, CO 80219

Burial: July 23, 2019 2:15 pm

Fort Logan National Cemetery
3698 South Sheridan Boulevard
Denver, CO 80236

(303) 761-0117

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The family greatly appreciates donations made to these charities in William George "Bill" Paukovich's name.

Bridge Community Attn: Sister Mary Katherine

3101 W. Hillside Place
Denver, CO 80219

Memories Timeline


  1. Had a great evening w/Uncle Bill…just him and I ….had a great talk…..war story ,his and mine ,his adventure as a pilot,my as a divemaster…..and other stories…..loved the one in which he had to belly land on the beach ….watched a little tv…share thoughts to deal w/ pain…..and life……..☀️👍🌹🐲😎

  2. To uncle Bill, whom I’ve only interacted with on a few occasions. His smile did stand out. The most memorable occasion was when he came out for his sister’s funeral. A warm, kind, generous soul. An American hero, although his humility probably would not categorize himself as such. Part of the Greatest Generation, WWII pilot, liberator, courageous at a very young age. Hard to fathom what that must have been like during that era. He answered the call.
    Loving father, husband with a legacy that Colorado is no doubt, very proud of. R.I.P. Uncle Bill…

    Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
    And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
    Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
    Of sun-split clouds, –and done a hundred things
    You have not dreamed of –Wheeled and soared and swung
    High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there
    I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
    My eager craft through footless halls of air…
    Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
    I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
    Where never lark or even eagle flew —
    And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
    The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
    Put out my hand, and touched the face of God. – John Magee Jr.

  3. Bill was a great golfer with eyes of an Eagle. He could find my lost golf balls along with many others that didn’t seem to have owners. He was my golf partner and friend. I will miss him. He is now at peace I salute you Bill

  4. We have been blessed to have a hero like Uncle Bill to inspire and guide us in our lives. He was always so interested in how we were doing and willing to share his amazing stories of life, love and the pursuit of happiness. When you were with him he made you feel like the center of attention. His kindness and generosity will be missed, but forever remembered with fondness. May his next journey be as spirited as this one has been!

  5. I never got enough opportunities to be with Uncle Billy, but I did get a bundle of amazing and wonderful stories from my father who absolutely admired him. Every time Bing Crosby would come on the radio or see him on TV, my dad would be reminded of uncle Billy telling me stories of how he would sing and look like him. Uncle Billy loved a place called Scotch Cabin,( above Rock Springs) My father, grandfather and he would all go there to get away and hunt sage chickens and enjoy the beauty of Wyoming.Uncle Billy brought that up to my dad and I the last time we were all together a couple years ago.I have many stories of this wonderful man that I will always keep in my mind and heart.l Love and miss you Uncle Billy,tell your brothers and sisters hello for us, as you were the last to go.They really don’t make them like Billy anymore. God bless you and rest in peace Uncle Billy our “HERO.”..

  6. My family and I just got back from the National Museum of the USAF when I received the news of this great and kind man. And like every visit to this museum, I think or him and other relatives who had served and sacrificed and l am so honored to have this legacy and to continue it.

    My contribution of four years in the Air Force was minor in comparison, but I wanted to carry on the tradition of service of which “Uncle Billy” was the inspiration for. Never a bad word or criticism was ever spoken of him. My grandmother, father and brother spoke of him as larger than life for he was, but he was also the most humble and kindest man ever to grace one’s life.

    My love of the military and passion for the opportunity to record my relatives time in service was a dream I so desperately wanted. I have a deep regret not being able to talk with Uncle Billy as I would have loved to have listened for hours to this living history of a man. I have and will continue to use his extraordinary example of a life as the type of person one should aspire to be for my own son and daughter. Thank you and “god bless”.

  7. Grateful for his contributions to the asphalt industry of Colorado. He was an industry leader and has left a lasting legacy.

    Tom Peterson
    Colorado Asphalt Pavement Association


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