Horseman, Pilot, Enthusiastic Conversationalist, Natural Born Salesman, Relentless Jokester.
Paul was born on December 16th, 1931 in Richfield, Minnesota, to Clyde and Emma (nee Gilbertson) Hemming. He was the third of five children. He is preceded in death by his parents, older sister Connie, and younger brother Mick. He is survived by his loving wife of 66 years, Carol Joyce, his older brother Carroll, his younger sister Beverly Lonnquist, six sons and their spouses, Dan (Jan), Mark (Sherry), Steve (Martha) David (Lynne), Eric, and Jess (Shilani), 17 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
In November of 1940, when Paul was eight years old, his father Clyde died while hunting after being caught in the infamous Armistice Day Blizzard. Paul spent the rest of his childhood teaming up with his brother Carroll helping to provide for his mother and family, running traps in the woods to sell the furs and later starting a tree-trimming business.
In high school he excelled in track with the pole vault, and gymnastics in the high bar and floor exercises. He also enjoyed snow skiing and water skiing, and joined a water-ski team one summer performing tricks and shows.
After high school, he was drafted into the Army during the Korean War. Soon after on January 7th, 1952, he married Carol Joyce Haugen (Haugen), from Northfield, Minnesota. Then he and Carol left for boot camp stationed in Camp Pickett, Virginia.
After his Army service in 1955, Paul and Carol settled in Anoka, Minnesota and had the first four boys. Then to Bloomington where he operated several businesses including laundromats, gas-stations, and a boat dealership. He was quite often his own best customer buying fishing and ski boats. He continued his sense of adventure by getting his pilot's license and buying a plane.
Since childhood, Paul was drawn to horse stories, such as The Black Stallion.
In 1961, he bought a weanling Arabian colt, who would be named RAFFON. As Raffon grew, it was evident he was extremely athletic and displayed show qualities. The Cinderella story about a boy and his horse began. Lacking a horse trailer, Paul began taking Raffon to horse shows in the back of his pick-up truck. They won several championships and qualified for the Nationals. Paul was far from a professional trainer, but this horse didn't need much help, so he took Raffon into the show ring himself. Raffon was crowned the coveted U.S. National Champion Stallion in 1965. Offers rolled in requesting Paul to bring Raffon to breeding farms around the country, and the family picked up and moved to Wilsonville, Oregon in 1966. During this time, Paul and Carol added to their family with Eric and Jess.
The family moved to Santa Ynez in 1969 and built the Hemming Arabians Ranch in 1972. Raffon then won his second National Championship in performance; English Pleasure. Many following years were spent in the horse business fueled by their champion's success and by the multitudes of champion offspring.
After Raffon passed, Paul dabbled in the horse business a few years longer to a smaller degree. He then enjoyed selling cars and trucks for many years at Jim Vreeland Ford. Retired but not slowing down, he kept himself busy on the ranch with the horses and working with his sons in their endeavors. He loved people and always made new friends everywhere he went. It was known around town that if you don't have 30 minutes to spare, don't strike up a conversation with Paul Hemming.
Paul leaves behind a legacy and memory that will endure forever in the lives of his family, friends and those that he touched with his generous and unbridled spirit. He will be missed greatly and celebrated always.