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In his career, Paul Sobolik helped put Americans on the moon. In his retirement, he helps save children on Earth.
The former engineer for Boeing says his top priority is to help children in need. He does that by supporting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and other charities that benefit young people.
“I guess I’ve always had a rapport with children, even though I’ve never had any children of my own,” he says, “so helping them is important to me.”
For most of the last decade, Sobolik has set up a charitable gift annuity through St. Jude each year. He plans to continue to use retirement savings to create additional charitable gift annuities in the future.
“They help me achieve two objectives,” he says. “They are good for St. Jude, and they pay me healthy dividends.”
Paul also has chosen to include St. Jude in his will, as a percentage of his estate, with the goal of providing for his siblings and the causes he cares about.
Born and raised in the Midwest, Paul went to work for Boeing in Seattle immediately upon graduating from Purdue University in 1951. After initially working on the B-52 bomber, Paul was transferred to Huntsville, Alabama, in 1962. For the next five years he helped design and develop the first stage of the Saturn Moon Rocket. He was then sent to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, where he worked with astronauts and others in monitoring the moon missions. Later in his career, he was transferred to New Mexico to work on a secret airborne laser system. Paul liked the area and chose to make it his home when he retired in 1982.
Hiking all day in the nearby Sandia Mountains and playing golf were his favorite pastimes, but recent heart problems have caused him to curtail physical activity. However, he still enjoys short walks on some of his favorite trails.
Paul has never toured St. Jude, and now does little traveling. But he says the information he receives as a donor strengthens his commitment to support the hospital’s research and treatment of children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases.
“Learning about the children who are helped—and those who don’t make it—makes me even more interested in helping St. Jude,” he says.