Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013 | 3:35 p.m.
Aubrianna Atwell spoke today of an email her father recently sent to the man she considered her best friend.
“My dad told him how much he loved him and how much he appreciated him protecting me,” a soft-voiced Atwell said during a phone conversation. “It was an overdue expression of gratitude.”
Atwell’s father, David, died Monday at age 63 of complications from throat and lung cancer. The man who received that heartfelt note was Paul Walker, the actor famous for his roles in the “Fast & Furious” film series who was killed Saturday in an automobile accident in Los Angeles.
The 40-year-old Walker was reportedly the passenger in a Porsche driven by his friend Roger Rodas as the two were leaving an event for the charity Walker had founded to aid victims of Typhoon Haiyan, the Reach Out Worldwide foundation. The car hit a light pole and a tree and exploded in a plume of fire, killing both men.
Among those shocked at the tragedy was Aubrianna Atwell, who was still deeply saddened by the death of her father less than a week ago. Walker and she were very close. The two had known each other for a dozen years, having met when Atwell was attending modeling school in Los Angeles. The couple dated on and off for several years, living together briefly in Santa Monica and Santa Barbara.
“I met him at the Hollywood Canteen with a bunch of friends,” Atwell said. “We just became friends and ended up in a relationship. We have been in each other’s lives ever since. We talked every week, at least. We talked a lot about his daughter (Meadow, who turned 15 on Nov. 4), who was everything to him.”
Atwell and Walker had “traveled the world together,” Atwell recalled. For her birthday in April, Walker took her to San Francisco to see a Giants game.
“I raced home from that so my father, who was ill, could see me become baptized,” Atwell said, her voice cracking. “These were the two loves of my life and the most important men in my life. I am devastated.”
When Atwell took the call Saturday afternoon that Walker had been killed, she was preparing for her father’s memorial service set for 2 p.m. Dec. 8 at International Church of Las Vegas.
“Paul was going to be with me on the day of my dad’s service,” Atwell said. “He was the most generous, unconditionally loving person I’ve known. He gave everything. I will live my life to the fullest extent for my father and Paul.”