Northwest NEWS

August 23, 1999

Valley Special

Obituary: Paul Anthony Simburger

Paul Simburger

Paul Simburger and "Judy." Upon Mr. Simburger's death, Judy was adopted by neighbors Glen and Valerie Gilberts.

   On February 7, 1999, Paul Anthony Simburger died peacefully of heart failure at his home at Lake Joy. He was 83.

   Paul was born in Mt. Olive, Illinois, on October 6, 1915, the youngest of 11 children. At an early age, he came to Washington and began a long career as a merchant seaman. When not sailing the world's oceans, Paul maintained a cabin on the shore of Lake Joy, and ever the sailor, kept a small fleet of canoes, rowboats, and other "vessels."

   A lifelong bachelor, Paul was a devoted hunter and fisherman who spent much of his time ashore roaming the fields and forests of Washington in search of game. A colorful, unique, eccentric, humorous, kindly, and generous man, Paul was, at his request, cremated and his remains returned to the natural world he loved.

   Though Paul was not formally educated, he was an avid reader and was prone to quoting philosophers and poets. Perhaps he would identify with the following in his epitaph:

Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.
This be the verse you grave for me:
Here he lies where he longed to be;
Home is the sailor, home from sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.

"Requiem," by Robert Louis Stevenson (1884)