On a bright and sunny morning in August 2022, Paul Carl Michaelis passed away peacefully surrounded by the things he loved best: the outdoors and his adoring family.
Paul was born on February 29, 1944, a leap year. Paul liked to joke that this made him just 19.5 years old, and anyone who knew his sing-song humour and vivaciousness may agree that 19.5 years seems more fitting than his official 78.
Paul was the first child of Carl and Ida (Dunne). Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Paul would briefly leave the GTA to earn his B.A in Sociology and Psychology from Houghton College in New York, before pursuing his work and family life in Toronto.
Launching his career as a social worker for the Children's Aid Society, Paul quickly climbed the ladder to become the acting Executive Director. Eager for a new challenge, Paul decided to switch careers in 1979, becoming an Executive Search Consultant with Woods Gordon (now Ernst & Young) and made Partner shortly thereafter. He moved to Heidrick & Struggles as Partner before retiring in his mid 50s. His retirement only lasted long enough for him to paint his garage before he grew bored and launched his own search firm focussing on the not-for-profit sector.
When he finally retired professionally, he continued to pursue his education and interests at Georgian College in Barrie, where he resided in the final years of his life.
Paul was an avid canoeist, cyclist and skier. He fulfilled his lifelong dream of canoeing the Nahanni River in his late 60s despite battling symptoms of a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy. He never did things halfway and dove into all these activities with gusto, befriending shop owners and outfitters to get only the best equipment possible -- but never at full price.
He developed a keen interest in genealogy and even bought back the family farm lost during the Depression. Alongside his brother-in-law Ron, he combed through microfiche and countless old cemetery records to piece together the stories of relatives long passed. He wasn't opposed to knocking on the doors of strangers who had a distant familial connection and convincing them to sit down for an interview. Despite being an introvert at heart, he had a knack for making others around him feel comfortable and willing to share their stories.
Above all else, Paul was a beloved father, grandfather, partner, brother and friend. He is survived by his daughters Sherry (Hector) and Sarah (Don), his grandchildren Kat (Jairus), Alyssa, Christian and Isabel, and his loving partner Gail Foy. He is predeceased by his brother Philip (Sheila) and will be remembered by his sisters Linda (Ron) and Loralea (Stephen), as well as his nieces and nephews, Tim, Ryan (Michelle), Sean (Kerri), Daniel and Theo, along with his adored great nieces and nephews. Paul will be missed by his best friend of many years, Jim (Linda) Thompson.
The family would like to thank Hospice Simcoe and Paul’s medical team for their kindness and support during the final weeks of Paul’s life. In lieu of flowers, donations to Muscular Dystrophy Canada or Hospice Simcoe would be greatly appreciated. Please find the links to Donations at bottom of page.
A graveside service will be held at 1:00pm on Saturday, September 3, 2022 at the Newton Robinson United Church Cemetery (4386 10 Line, Bond Head, ON).
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