Von Paul Patu was known to the community as “The Chief” or “Von Paul.” Von Paul has faithfully served the Seattle Public Schools for 30 years and was a pioneer of the first South Pacific Islanders Coalition in Seattle. He helped Pacific Islander immigrants navigate resources and establish stability in the Pacific Northwest with the hope of a better life for their families. He lead the fight for equality for all South Pacific Islanders so their children would have the opportunity for a better education and to become U.S. Citizens.
Von Paul Patu served on the U.S. Air Force and quickly landed a job with Boeing after his term. In 1974, Von Paul served as a Community Liaison for the City of Seattle. He was assigned to Seattle Public Schools to mediate a riot at Sharples Jr. High involving South Pacific Islander students. He was successful in bringing the two groups together to form a truce, which would eventually lead him to his career as a Director of Intervention Services for the Seattle Public Schools. Von Paul dedicated his life as an advocate for the South Pacific Islander Community in Seattle and throughout the State of Washington.
Remembrances may be sent to the Von Paul Memorial Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 78317, Seattle, WA 98178, or online at http://www.gofundme.com/vonpaulscholarship.