Remembering Paul Sherrell
December 26, 1940 to December 9, 2020
Many of you knew Paul Sherrell. He was a fixture around Eugene birding for many years. Paul passed away in early December.
Paul grew up in Vancouver, Washington, and completed his education to a Masters Degree in biology at Central Washington University. He moved to Oregon to teach, mostly at Jefferson Middle School in Eugene. He became interested in birding in the 1980s. Upon retiring in 1999 his birding increased, and he began traveling on international birding tours with his friends.
Several of his birding friends have remarked how easy it was to have Paul as a companion. He was willing to go anywhere and at any time. When a visitor needed some help finding birds, you could always count on Paul to assist. He traveled with friends to Costa Rica in 2003, South Africa in 2005, Panama, Kenya and Tanzania in 2007, Ecuador in 2008 and Peru in 2009. He was lucky, too. He found a Rustic Bunting in his yard, a Tricolored Heron and a Least Tern at the beach, and, during the Panama trip with his friends, the first ever Crowned Slaty Flycatcher in North America.
His international birding ended after the trip to Peru, but he kept involved with local birding and helping others. He enjoyed helping his friends study for birding trips around the globe, even though he couldn’t go himself. Eventually, multiple sclerosis began to limit his ability to walk. Still, he joined the Wednesday birders regularly and, when that became too difficult, he birded by car. Two years ago, Paul moved from Eugene to Assisted Living near his children and sister in Portland.
Paul is remembered for what he did and for who he was. He was thoughtful and gentle. He never complained; he always found the good parts of any experience. He had a booming voice, a warm heart and a big laugh. He was a friend to many people.