On February 13, 2020, Paul Aaron Schuster, of Vashon Island, WA, lost his life unexpectedly. It was a peaceful end, at his home at Alpental - a place he loved. We are reeling still.
He was a dazzling light. A bright star. He felt fortunate to have a bounty of close and long-term friendships, and always kept a lookout for new ones. He chose with care and put the work in.
He was the guy to call if you were in a pickle, seeking adventure, or needing an ear. He was an insightful, perceptive and creative teacher, an ardent questioner and a great devil’s advocate. He was kind.
He could not drive past a yard sale.
An Eagle Scout, he never seemed to tire of learning new skills and always knew the right knot for the job.
Service to community was central to his being, lending many hours and days of focused, deep attention and labor to whatever he was taking on. His work with Vashon Island Fire Department, as an Officer, Fire Fighter, EMT, Instructor and Support, was deeply satisfying and engaging. He had looked forward to many years more.
His approach to life seemed fearless. You could see it, say, at Whitman College, when he played ultimate frisbee on Ankeny Field with the Intuitive Leapers. He had, I’m told, an unorthodox, graceful and confounding style, and he played hard. Quite a sight too - with his gangly deer-legs and striking white-blond Prince Valiant hair shining.
He called it “The Sport of the Gods”.
He graduated Whitman with a BA in Math/Physics conferred, in 1983, with minors in Computer Science and Chemistry.
Following that, he worked in the computer software/hardware industry, formed yet another lasting band of brothers, and discovered a new interest - kayaking.
Once retired, he signed on as a full-time ski patroller at Alpental, where he had volunteered since high school. As demanding as it was beautiful, it was work he truly loved.
He had many great adventures.
A Buddhist ceremony was held by his side on Friday the 21st.
A Celebration of Life gathering will be held at Alpental Ski Resort at Snoqualmie Pass on Saturday, April 4, at 4:00p.m.
All friends are welcome. Bring a dish to share if you like.
He is preceded in death by his father Ernst Schuster and is survived by his mother Ann Schuster, brother Mark, sister-in-law Mandy, nephew Lucas, niece Katie, as well as his partner for nearly 20 years, Tracy Barrett; her parents Martha and Arthur L. Barrett Jr. and her brothers Steven and John.
He leaves behind too many friends to count.
Our hearts ache with love and loss.
Should you wish, donations may be made in his honor to the Conservation Northwest, ACLU or KUOW
To plant a tree in memory of Paul A Schuster, please visit our tribute store.