(01/09/2006)
By Bob Weaver

Folks may remember a unique man who once graced the Calhoun hills - Paul Sternfels, who lived at the head of Walker Creek.

The 54-year-old Sternfels was killed by a falling limb in Westminster VT on Dec. 23, 2005.

Margaret Hasse Cheaney, a former Calhoun resident, said Paul was an old friend from Floe, even though she had not been in touch with him for many years.

The newspaper account of his death said Paul "lovingly mentored children, colleagues and adult friends". Cheaney said he always had time for children and for "adult" friends, both young and old.

"His neighbors on Walker Creek loved him dearly. In those days, he was an unpretentious young man who delighted in life and in his friends and neighbors," she said.

Paul was a missionary of sorts himself, networking among diverse people before it was known as networking.

"He was one of the kindest and most generous souls I have ever known, sharing time and energies. He touched many lives in a positive way. Paul was loved by "hippies" and local people alike. He helped us all. After Paul had moved on, I still saw many of his neighbors from Walker Creek. All of them remembered him fondly," Cheaney said.

"Paul was the first person I met when I first came to the Upper West Fork in the spring of 1972. He was a kind and thoughtful young man. I remember him picking blackberries barefoot, also going barefoot through the woods in January and February."

"At the time I knew Paul, he tried to live in the light as he perceived it," she said. "He was only 21."

"The world is not a better place with Paul gone. Wherever the journey of his soul leads, it will likely be pretty good. Paul was a good guy," said another acquaintance.

He was born in New York City. He lived in Calhoun and Florida, before moving to Westminster VT last year.

Survivors include his wife, Lies Sternfels of Westminster; a daughter, Erin Sternfels of Westminster; a sister, Lynn Sternfels of Bowdoinham, Maine; and his father, George Sternfels of Gainesville.

Arrangements by Eternal Flame Crematory in Brattleboro, Vt.


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