Mourning the passing of great friend and community advocate, Paul Bandong

Paul Bandong

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.

Shea (right) gives a red carpet interview to Valley News’ Paul Bandong prior to the Temecula Valley Music Awards on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015, at Murrieta Mesa’s Gershwin Performing Arts Center. Kim Harris photo

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.

The award for “Most Participants from a For-Profit Business” went to Reality Rally. Founder Gillian Larson accepted the award from Paul Bandong (left) and Bernie Truax II (right).

“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.

Paul Bandong and Game Flash Sports CEO Robert Rosario join forces to sponsor the first of many Valley athletic events: Annual Inland Empire Multi-Sports Combine, June 30, 2012.

“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.

10 Responses to "Mourning the passing of great friend and community advocate, Paul Bandong"

  1. My Valley News reader   January 9, 2018 at 9:23 am

    Sweet tribute to what seemed like a kind, loving friend and worker to you all there. Many blessings to you all and his family in this time of grieving.

    Reply
  2. Gillian P Larson   January 9, 2018 at 9:26 am

    The entire Valley remains in shock and tremendous sadness. His sudden passing leaves a huge hole in all of our hearts. May we all take a lesson from him as Rick Gibbs points out so well, ;let us fill that hole with what Paul was and we will all be better people. RIP Paul and our love to Tammy, Anthony and his family.

    Reply
  3. Don Skaggs   January 9, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    What an amazing individual. I am not sure everyone understands the impact that he has had on our community. He initiated events that brought our schools together. He looked for opportunities to promote Temecula and the good that was happening. Each Tuesday and Friday Paul would join a group of teachers for a game of basketball. He would be the first to arrive and would begin working on cleaning the court. We will miss the great life conversations that we had with him. What a kind, loving man. We love you Paul and are better for knowing you.

    Reply
  4. BILL   January 9, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    My heart is broken…it’s not often that you’ll meet such a genuine person who spent a lifetime supporting and furthering those around him. It was a great pleasure and honor getting to know him.
    The Valley has lost a favorite son. Rest well and God speed.

    Reply
  5. Rod Fink   January 10, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    What a sad loss to all of us in the valley. Paul was such an example of generosity and support. Rest in peace brother!

    Reply
  6. Shannon - Former CEO Temecula Valley Fair   January 10, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    It is with sadness that I write this post, my condolences to his friends and family. I first met Paul at a meeting down in old town. He was enthusiastic about a new event proposal and wanted to immediately get involved. In the two short years that the event was held, Paul was a strong supporter of the Temecula Valley Fair, he dedicated his time and efforts into a dream and helped it come to life. He spent his weekend handing out Valley News Fair Guides and hanging out with volunteers. He was the first person to greet the community as they entered the gates. I’m forever grateful to have met such a caring and dedicated individual. He was always positive and greeted everyone with a smile.

    Reply
  7. Jeannie Young   January 11, 2018 at 9:40 pm

    Checking in to see if any information about a service for Paul has been announced. We would love to attend to pay our respects to this wonderful man.

    Reply
  8. Ric Mandelbaum   January 14, 2018 at 10:09 am

    Paul Bandong was one of the kindest, smartest, most generous persons I ever met. I cherished the times we met. We talked, laughed and shared ideas about how to make the world a better place in which to live. Paul spoke affectionately about his wife Tammy and son Anthony. He spoke kindly about those he knew and charities he supported. Come to think about it, Paul supported all charities, helping raise money and running features in the newspaper. Paul; I miss you now and always will.

    Reply
  9. Charlie Hoey   January 16, 2018 at 10:25 am

    Paul was a superb Journalist and community advocate whose passing is a real loss. His ability to write beautifully and also conduct the business and community relations sides of his trade were a rare talent. His great attitude and thoughtfulness shone through in every conversation. My sincere condolences to his family and co-workers during this difficult time. He will be missed.

    Reply
  10. Janet Sclar   January 16, 2018 at 8:11 pm

    I had the pleasure of knowing Paul during my college days and haven’t seen him in over 30 years. Reading about his career life in Temecula and the comments above from friends and associates are exactly what I would have expected of him. He was wise, calm, enthusiastic, joyful, loving, and deep all at the same time. What a huge loss to those he loved and served. May God comfort us all in our grief, and be especially close to his family.

    Reply

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