Western Friend logo
Memorials: South Seattle Friends Meeting

Paul Niebanck

Date of birth

Jan. 18, 1934

Date of death

Nov. 26, 2021


South Seattle Friends Meeting

Memorial minute

Paul Lowance Niebanck was born in Ivanhoe in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and grew up in North Tarrytown in the Hudson River Valley of New York State. Legally blind with ocular albinism at birth, Paul graduated from Johns Hopkins University, University of Pennsylvania, and Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley. Paul loved to learn, especially from the people he met.

Paul worked industrial jobs in his youth, then as a YMCA youth secretary, a college professor and administrator, and a government executive. He was celebrated for his inspired teaching, scholarship and strong collegiality.

Religion and life of the spirit was a driving force for Paul. Born into an evangelical family, Paul studies briefly at an Anglican college. He matured among liberal Protestants. He became a lifetime Quaker, active in local meetings and Friends organizations from Chavakali, Kenya, to Philadelphia PA to Santa Barbara and to Seattle WA. He was a member of South Seattle Friends Meeting. Wherever he went, Paul made friends, among Catholics, Hindus, Muslims and Mormons.

Paul and Linda moved to Horizon House when the North Tower was brand new in 2009. From day one, he became an active resident: he expanded the OK Choral, inviting all who wanted to sing to come and do just that; he performed as a soloist and with others; he played poker; he set up a Quaker Meeting; he wrote a book of the stories of his life; he served on committees; and he was a steady force for creative management. Paul loved his life here.

Linda, Paul's partner of six decades, continues to live in Horizon House. His spirit lives on through his children, Paul Frederick, Carrie Susan Niebanck, John Charles Francis, their spouses, and his five grandchildren.

Paul's motto was “Begin Again” , the title of his book. It, along with copies of his professional books, are in the Horizon House Library. His songs were Tom Paxton's “I Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound'' and “Ramblin' Boy.” Those titles sum up Paul's life and character.