It’s not often that we are faced with the loss of one of our own, but this week that is exactly what happened with the unexpected passing of longtime Reeder Media employee Paul Bandong Sunday, Jan. 8.
While Paul’s official title was VP Sales and Marketing, he was always willing to do whatever was needed, and oftentimes could be found reporting on events or with a camera in his hand documenting events as they occurred.
We all know that Paul truly loved the communities he served and was happiest while reporting on the accomplishments of people doing great things locally, as well as our students and student athletes.
He was a passionate advocate for the commission of the founding fathers to be a watchdog for government and took it seriously as well. The communities in Southwest Riverside as well as the Fallbrook/Bonsall area are better today because of Paul’s hard work and commitment. He was a true professional who will be sorely missed by everyone whose life he touched through his work with Reeder Media and his tireless volunteer efforts.
Once word of this terrible tragedy began to spread, numerous phone calls, text messages and emails were fielded by Reeder Media staff. Each one touched us in so many ways as we mourn the passing of our coworker, confidant and most importantly friend.
We thought it would be appropriate to share some excerpts of those messages here with readers.
“We heard the Sad news about Paul today. Paul was loved by the Tourism Industry and we know he loved us! He worked tirelessly and passionately to cover all our beauty and special events. We are broken hearted.” – Kimberly Adams, President and CEO Visit Temecula Valley.
“I am sitting in shock as I am sure the rest of us are. He certainly has been a very dear friend and a huge value to our community.” – Gillian Larson, founder Reality Rally.
“This is truly terrible news. Paul was a true ambassador of your news organization and seemed to appear at events all over the valley, big and small. His passion for journalism was apparent to all. He will be missed for certain.” Steve Manos, Lake Elsinore City Councilman.
“What a terrible loss to all our communities. Sympathy and prayers to all his family and community family.” – Linda Krupa, Hemet City Councilwoman.
“This is so sad, I not only considered Paul a business associate, but a friend as well. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and the team at the Valley News! Paul will definitely be missed” – Andy Anderson, President & CEO Hemet San Jacinto Valley Chamber of Commerce.
“We are all grieving with you and your Reeder News family.” – Diane Stump, director of marketing SRCAR.
“I too am truly heartbroken by this news. Paul was a longtime friend, basketball partner and consummate professional in his journalism and amazing, positive supporter of ALL City coverage. He will be missed.” Aaron Adams, city manager, City of Temecula.
“We talked about this tragedy with our executive staff this morning and we all are feeling terrible that this happened. Please let the family know Paul was a joy to work with – although I’m sure you all knew that. Again, our thoughts and prayers are with you.” – Grant Yates, city manager, City of Lake Elsinore.
“I am deeply saddened for everyone. This is a huge loss for our region. Paul was amazing and so kind. He was always very friendly and enthusiastic. We will miss him.” – Nicole Dailey, senior management analyst, City of Lake Elsinore.
Paul Bandong touched so many lives in his short time here on earth and perhaps Murrieta City Councilman Rick Gibbs, said it best.
“The Region lost a wonderful friend with Paul’s untimely passing. He was a gentleman, who always had a smile on his face and a kind word for everyone he came in contact with. His professional and personal demeanor were one and the same. Everyone was treated with respect, dignity, and warmth. I will always remember how many times over the years Paul came up to me with an outstretched hand and a polite inquiry about how I was doing. I think he was so good at what he did because you could just feel his sincerity in every conversation. If we all had a bit of Paul in our hearts, it would be a much better world. I know he is resting in peace within God’s light.” – Rick Gibbs, Murrieta City Councilman.
At this time, we would ask you all to keep Paul, his loving wife Tammy, his son Anthony and the rest of his family in your prayers.
We will all truly miss Paul, his passion for the news and the light he brought into each of our lives.