Paul Eugene Kyllonen, 57, of Fort Collins, CO dies

Paul Eugene Kyllonen, 57, of Fort Collins, CO passed away suddenly at Palmer Station Antarctica on October 23, 2018. He was born on June 11, 1961 to Eugene and Ellen Kyllonen in Ely MN. He graduated from Ely High School and Staples Vocational Technical Institute heavy equipment diesel mechanics program. Upon graduation he moved to W Palm Beach FL where he worked as a mechanic until 1991. His love of adventure and the environment led him to work for the next 27 years in Antarctica and Greenland supporting the work of scientists from around the world studying climate change and the effects of pollution. He had the unique distinction of working at every station on the continent of Antarctica and the nickname MacGyver for his ability to fix anything with little at hand. He crossed some of the most forbidding terrain on Earth as part of the traverse team that drove supplies to remote stations. Paul loved his close-knit family of Antarctic coworkers and the remote and challenging lifestyle.
Being an avid explorer, Paul backpacked in New Zealand and Europe and traveled with his kayak to Hawaii and any body of water he could find in Colorado. He drove endless miles on his motorcycle in the back roads to photograph nature and then share stories of his rides. Paul is greatly missed by his family and friends both near and far.
He is survived by two sisters, Amy (Tony) Tauzell and Gail (Gary) Himmerich, five nieces and nephews and 12 great nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, Eugene and Ellen Kyllonen.
A celebration of Paul’s life will be held on Friday, April 26, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at Crossroads Church in Woodbury MN, 5900 Woodbury Drive, Woodbury MN 55129. In lieu of memorials, we encourage you to donate to a cause of your choice.
Paul’s family would like to express our most heartfelt thanks to the doctor and Paul’s family of coworkers and friends at Palmer Station who worked so hard to save him and for being by his side and providing love and encouragement to his last breath.