Paul Robert Van Sickle 11/23/1938 – 10/25/2021

Remembering Paul Robert Van Sickle.

A loving husband, father of three, and a proud grandfather. A brother, a teacher, a gifted musician, gardener, and woodworker.

And our beloved cousin.

Cousin Paul R. Van Sickle, photographed June 2017

We’ve just returned home after celebrating Paul’s life during a Memorial Service at Trinity Episcopal Church in Lenox, Massachusetts last Saturday the 20th. Paul would have loved all the music- the singing, the playing of the organ. It was beautiful. Poignant.

The cousins drove in from Vermont, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. After the service we gathered together at his home to share stories and memories.

Paul built his workshop

I felt moved as I entered Paul’s workshop, behind his home, and inhaled the scent of wood. He could repair things, too. See his tools all lined up? His grandfather’s toolbox on the bench. There’s a wooden toy box in my home that Paul crafted for my son, Mark.

A panorama of his workshop

Paul was a master musician, organist and vocalist. He had a beautiful singing voice. I remember his playing our family piano when he’d visit our home. J.S.Bach was a favorite composer.

Paul’s favorite cookies were my mom’s recipe for Sour Cream Cookies. His wife Susan baked them for the family gathering after the service. My mother baked them for a Paul in the sixties when he’d visit our home. That kitchen was in Morris Plains, New Jersey and he’d visit when he was on leave from the US Army -Ft. Dix, New Jersey.

A sprinkle of cinnamon sugar on top, a pinch of nutmeg in the dough. A soft sugar cookie, moist from the addition of sour cream.
Here’s a photo from June 1974.
Paul and his daughter Amy at my wedding.

It’s hard to sum up a life in a few words. Paul was a blog follower and told me one time I was a little heavy on the photos showing decay. You know those abandoned buildings and discarded furniture pieces, the garbage I post? 😂 We’re going to miss his laughter, his kindness, his generous heart- full of love for all of us.

Here’s a link to his obituary in the Berkshire Edge.

Hymn of Promise Author: Natalie Sleeth (1986). pianist Evan Alperone sung by Tim Silva

26 thoughts on “Paul Robert Van Sickle 11/23/1938 – 10/25/2021

  1. What a beautiful tribute, Ruth. And a lovely obituary as well, for a seemingly kind and gentle man who bears resemblance (in looks, values, and talents) to many in your family.

  2. This is a beautiful tribute, Ruth. Paul would be pleased to be remembered with so much love.

  3. What a beautiful tribute to Paul. So happy everyone was able to travel and be together to celebrate Paul’s life. He sounds like a loving, caring and talented man. Thank you for sharing this beautiful memory with us! Paul would have been so proud.

  4. You described him lovingly. I can tell you were proud of his talents. Sorry for your loss.

  5. Ruth, my deepest sympathies to you on the loss of your cousin Paul, who seems a remarkable soul. After reading your tribute and viewing your images, I feel like I know him. What a gifted and loving man, who shared his talents. I can feel how much you loved him. Thank you for this reminder that we need to cherish and appreciate those we love.

  6. So beautiful, Ruth; thank you for sharing your perspective which, in its love and vivid details, paints another picture of my Dad to enhance the memories I hold. 🙏🏼❤️

  7. Dear Ruth…We are sending our sympathies to you and your family. You have captured the essence of Paul with your writing and your photos. We feel like we know him although we never met. We are in awe of his skills. He was a true gentleman.

  8. The family resemblance is striking, and your tribute is wonderful. He sounds like a wonderful man who had a positive impact on many. A powerful legacy.

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