Paul Motzer


Reverend Paul David Motzer PhD Lieutenant Colonel (retired), was born on November 5th, 1934, in Dahlgren, IL and died on December 13th, 2019, in Santa Maria, CA.

Paul's father was a Methodist minister. When he was 16 he was asked to pastor a small church, so he gave up his idea to be a pig farmer with his uncle Marian and started a life serving God. Paul served churches in Illinois including Ina and Walnut Hill, Wanda and Benid, Seymour, Centerville, Bunker Hill, Rosiclare, Equality, Hurst and Bush. He earned his BA at McKendree College in 1957, and his Bachelors of Divinity at Garrett Theological Seminary in 1962. He was also appointed an elder in the United Methodist Church in Carbondale, IL in 1962.

Paul felt called to become a Chaplain in the U.S. Air Force out of compassion during the height of the Vietnam war. He was commissioned as a Chaplain in the United States Air Force Chaplains Corps in 1966, and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1987. Duty station assignments included Hamilton Air Force Base, California; Alaskan Air Command; Tinker AFB, Oklahoma; Zweibrucken AFB, Germany; Randolph AFB, Texas; Kunsan AFB, South Korea and Vandenberg AFB, California.

After Paul's retirement from the military he earned a Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of San Francisco and his PhD from National Christian University. He continued to serve in local churches when needed. Paul also joined his wife Fran in her psychotherapy practice for several years. Together they shared a love of painting, swimming and singing in the church choir. He also had a passion for helping the homeless.

Paul is survived by his wife, Irene Frances Motzer; children, Tim Motzer, Julie Loftis and David Motzer; grandchildren, Travis Loftis, Ryan Loftis and Shawn Motzer; great grandchildren, Jacob Loftis, Hunter Loftis and Rosemarie Loftis; his brother, Bill Motzer and nephew by marriage, Michael Bensch.

A Memorial Service with a celebration of Paul's life will be held at 10:00 A.M., on Saturday, February 1st, 2020, at the United Methodist Church in Santa Maria, CA. Reverend Bob Isip will be officiating.

In lieu of flowers and in honor of Paul's devotion to the homeless, donations can be made to

First United Methodist Church in Santa Maria (Showers of Blessings) - 311 South Broadway, Santa Maria, CA 93454