Paul Yashiro Shinoda Jr.
December 11, 1937 – July 20, 2021
Paul Yashiro Shinoda Jr., 83, passed away peacefully at home on July 20, 2021. He leaves behind his daughter, Kimi Anne (Shinoda)Ingalls, her husband Brad, and grandchildren Allyse (John), Maxwell, Quinlan, and Grant; sisters Carol Tateishi (John) and Irene Thornton (Robert), brother Mike (Charlene), sister-in-law Norma (brother David predeceased 2004), brother-in-law Wade Nomura (sister Roxanne predeceased 2017); beloved companion Anna Ricketts; and many nieces, nephews, and other loved ones who were part of his “chosen family.”
Paul was born on December 11, 1937, to Paul (Sr.) and Alice Shinoda who preceded him in death in 2009 and 2010, respectively. He was a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley in 1959 with a degree in Plant Pathology. He joined the ROTC at Cal and in 1959 was enlisted into the U.S. Army Artillery division where he was promoted from 2nd Lieutenant to Captain between active duty and his retirement from the Army reserves in 1966. Paul also worked with his father at the family’s San Lorenzo Nursery locations in Torrance and Santa Barbara, CA.
In 1970, Paul & wife Barbara (nee Shintaku) founded Shinoda Floral in Snohomish, WA. For over three decades Paul innovated the horticultural industry with new ideas and products. Shinoda Floral’s crops varied over the years, but the nursery was best known for African violets. At its peak, Shinoda Floral was the second-largest producer of African violets in the U.S. — the largest west of the Mississippi. Paul was active locally with the Flower Growers of Puget Sound and nationally with the Society of American Florists, where he was elected to serve as president and represented Washington State as an annual delegate for Congressional Action Days. Internationally, Paul was honored to be an invited judge at the prestigious Ghent (Belgium) Floralies three times in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s.
Paul was elected to the Snohomish City Council in 1971 where he served for 12 years. He also became the first Japanese American member of the Washington State House of Representatives in 1976. Paul also served on both the Providence (Everett) Hospital and Association of Washington Business (AWB) Boards of Directors, the Puget Sound Council of Government, and was an active member of the Washington State Farm Bureau.
A lifelong entrepreneur, Paul founded Saintpaulia Vintners, a boutique commercial winery, in 1994. Saintpaulia (the botanical name for African violets) was one of the first 100 bonded wineries in Washington State.
Although his retirement was slowed by Parkinson’s disease, Paul refused to let it get the best of him and continued to be a pioneer. He spearheaded, participated in, and promoted an experimental and highly successful “Pedaling for Parkinson’s” exercise program with the YMCA of Snohomish County. Their Mill Creek-based pedaling group was featured nationally on the NBC Nightly News.
Paul was an avid wine collector, enjoyed cooking for friends and family, traveling, and was always finding the best “eats” at each place he visited. He continued to enjoy the Seattle Symphony, attend Mariners games, fly fish Kelly Creek every fall, and attend as many of his grandchildren’s sporting and musical events as possible.
A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, September 11 at 11:00am at The Bridge Church (500 Lake Ave, Snohomish, WA) followed immediately by a Celebration of Life Open House at the Snohomish Senior Center (506 4th Street) from noon-3:00pm.
There are so very many people that Paul would have wanted to acknowledge and thank for helping him have such a full and wonderful life. Paul LOVED flowers, and he loved sharing flowers with the world. In that light, he directed his family to write a last request that will make those who knew Paul smile and perhaps giggle: “In lieu of contributions, please send flowers.”
For a more detailed obituary and to post remembrances, please see: https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/snohomish-wa/paul-shinoda-10275123
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