Paul W. Schuch passed away the week after his 87th birthday. Despite diabetes and a long time heart condition, he lived an active life up till near the end. He is survived by his wife, Joan Schuch, his son, Steve Schuch and daughter-in-law, Marilyn Wyzga. He requested his ashes be placed alongside those of his daughter, Kathy Ann Schuch, who died in 2008. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a gift of time for someone in need, or a donation to a local food pantry, world hunger group or environmental organization.
A Cincinnati native son, Paul attended Walnut Hills High School. He graduated from Denison University, and later received his law degree from the University of Cincinnati. Paul served for many years as an attorney for Anderson Township, along with doing volunteer work in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati. He served on the board of Youth Inc., working with disadvantaged youth. For more than 50 years, Paul was active in the life of Mount Moriah Methodist Church. He also loved the Cincinnati Symphony, the Cincinnati Reds… and anything to do with trains.
Paul’s smiling face could often be seen along hiking and biking trails near and far. His son recalls many memorable caving adventures and backpacking trips, long before the era of cell phones, GPS and high tech equipment. A little wood smoke and “good clean dirt” made supper and storytelling around the campfire even better.
Paul first fell in love with the Smokey Mountains and hills of Kentucky as a child. He later joined many others in a decades-long effort to protect the scenic Red River Gorge area from a proposed Army Corps of Engineers dam. Paul was a long-time member of the Sierra Club, Cincinnati Nature Center and Western Wildlife Corridor. At potlucks and campfires, he frequently told stories from the life of naturalist John Muir, quoting lengthy passages from Muir’s nature writings by heart.
While in his seventies, Paul hiked to within 2,000 feet of the rugged 14,259 foot summit of Longs Peak, Colorado. At eighty, he climbed the 6,593 foot Mount LeConte a final time to behold the sunset and sunrise from the roof of the Smokies. In later years, the family dogs seemed relieved as he began to consider easier trails.
A public “Celebration of Life” for Paul Schuch will be held at the Mount Moriah Methodist Church in Cincinnati on Saturday, October 3, at 1:00 pm. The service will be followed by lunch in the church fellowship hall. Friends are invited to bring a favorite reading, story or memento to share. A potluck dish is optional. A “Memories Table” will be set up to display photos, poems and other mementos. For details and to RSVP, call the church at (513) 752-1333.