Paul Kershaw

Obituary of Paul Raymond Kershaw

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Born in the Toronto region, Paul resided there until he departed for college along the Hudson River of New York State. Before the Trans-Canada Highway was complete he had already hitchhiked across Canada in the late 1950s to attend teachers’ college at UBC. A chance golf game when passing through Cranbrook drew him to settle here shortly after with his first wife Carole where he enjoyed his role primarily as a drama and stagecraft teacher for over twenty-five years, inspiring countless appreciative students to reach beyond often self-imposed limitations toward the discovery of their true potential not just as actors, but more importantly as human beings.


As his life progressed Paul extended his theatrical aims toward many Cranbrook Community Theatre productions, bringing his sharp and often rigorous insights into play with local adults eager to perpetuate the gifts of theatre. Paul was named Citizen of the Year in 2002 for his contribution and commitment to the performing arts in the Cranbrook area.


Essentially a private man, Paul was often in the vanguard, self-creating both a hydroponic greenhouse and a solar heating system for his home in the mid-1970s. He singlehandedly built a twenty-four foot fibre glass single mast sailboat which he took out upon the waters of Kootenay Lake and among the Gulf Islands. Paul travelled to Central and South America, Australia, Europe, Turkey, Egypt, Kenya and China. Though not often overtly articulate, even in his final days he did not shy from correcting people’s spoken grammar. He was known to quote Victorian poetry, that of Robert Frost, John Donne, and of course, fittingly, Thomas Gray’s Elegy. He was a robust yet tender man who dreamed the impossible dream, who fought the unbeatable foe, who bore with unbearable sorrow and who ran where the brave dare not go.


Paul is survived by Sara, his wife of 21 years; sons David and Mark; foster daughter Jani; and by his siblings John, Alan and Ruth.

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