Paul Borr?had just finished playing basketball with a friend and waited, as he did every weekday, to pick up his daughter from Sonoma Mountain School in Petaluma.

After meeting 8-year-old Jacy at the campus on Rainier Circle, Borr?turned north onto Sonoma Mountain Parkway where police and family suspect he suffered a major medical event and drove his car into a tree.

Borr? 41, was pronounced dead just before 3 p.m. Monday. His daughter and the family dog, a black Labrador named Sally, survived without a bump -- a touch of grace Borr?s wife, Christina Brandenburg-Borr? said her husband would have wished for.

"She came out of that without a scratch. That would have been the one thing he would have wanted," she said.

Borr?was born March 31, 1971, in Petaluma, where his family has deep roots.

Borr?s grandfather Paul A. Borr?came to Petaluma from Italy in 1912 and eventually became a partner in the old Petaluma Sanitary Disposal Co. That company was later purchased by Redwood Empire, which later gave way to Empire Waste Management, Petaluma's longtime garbage hauler.

The family briefly moved from Petaluma and Paul Borr?graduated from Lower Lake High School before enrolling at Sonoma State University, where he studied criminal justice. Borr?had his sights set on becoming a teacher but when Jacy was born eight years ago, he focused on fatherhood and became a stay-at-home dad.

Borr?carried his young daughter everywhere in an infant pack, said Brandenburg-Borr? a longtime English teacher at Rancho Cotate High School.

"He handled play dates since she was 6 months old," she said. "They had a very close relationship."

"He would play with her and her friends. He was always the person to say, 'Have a sleepover; Have a Halloween party,' " she said. "The one thing he did the best in the world is he was a great dad."

Borr?was also a sportsman.

He met his future wife in a volleyball league. He played basketball, swam miles at a time and was a regular tennis player, according to his wife.

"This comes completely out of the blue," she said of any condition that felled her husband. "He hadn't been complaining of any symptoms."

An autopsy is scheduled for today, according to Petaluma police.

A great afternoon consisted of gathering with family and friends to play soccer or just being together, family members said.

"He was very outgoing," said his sister-in-law, Robin Borr?of Elk Grove. "He had a huge personality and he was passionate about things."

He liked to engage in debates and was engaged in life, Brandenburg-Borr?said.

"He was a good arguer," she said. "He would just do that because he was like that; he liked to discuss things. He was very interested in politics and world events."

Counselors were made available at the Sonoma Mountain School campus Tuesday and will be on hand to help students deal with the loss, said Old Adobe School District Superintendent Cindy Pilar.

A memorial service has not yet been set.

Staff Writer Kerry Benefield writes an education blog at She can be reached at 526-8671, or on Twitter @benefield.