Obituary: Paul Thomas, 65, of Chester

Paul E. Thomas, 65, of Chester, passed away at his home on Monday, May 11 after a courageous battle with lung cancer. He was an artist, naturalist and stone artisan.

Paul was born in Syracuse, N.Y., on Aug. 16, 1954, to mother Georgette Poehland Thomas and father Paul Thomas Sr. His mother was the late owner of the Hugging Bear Inn in Chester. He was raised in Rome, N.Y., and later, Guilderland, N.Y., with his three sisters. He attended Paul Smith’s College in the Adirondacks.

As a boy, Paul discovered a deep passion for nature and science. The woods and swamps of upstate New York were his favorite places, and this connection to the outdoor world remained with him throughout his life. He studied it tirelessly. Paul loved to share this knowledge with his wife, children, sisters and friends. “He was closer to the earth than anyone I know. To go into the woods with him was to experience it at an entirely deeper level,” writes his sister, Kris. 

In his 20s, Paul spent years exploring the northern Rockies and wonders of the west, where he met his wife, Diane. Together they went on many adventures. They lived in Jackson Hole, Wyo., and later in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was a consummate skier, swimmer, kayaker and hiker. He created beautiful art with antlers and later discovered a talent for stoneworking. After their children were born, the family moved back east to Vermont, where he founded his business, Vermont Stoneworks. He enjoyed his work, spending time with his family, and watching Jeopardy.

Paul will be remembered for his kindness, his intellect and his selfless nature. He was adored by his family.

He is survived by his wife, Diane; sons, Skyler and Brendon; sisters, Sue, Kris and Laura; and many friends who will miss him dearly.

A memorial for Paul will be announced at a later date to be determined

Davis Memorial Chapel of Springfield is assisting with arrangements.

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  1. Tim Roper says:

    Paul, you are missed. Thank you for being the quintessential, calm, caring, positive minded, hard working, symbiotic citizen of Earth and community. You made things a little better and set the bar for others. May we all have the fortitude to rise to your example.

  2. Carlita and Steve Saunders says:

    Dear Diane,
    We send our deepest sympathy. Our hearts and prayers are with you and your family.
    Carlita and Steve

  3. John & Tara FitzGerald says:


    We are saddened to hear of Paul’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

  4. Kristen says:

    I enjoyed every moment spent with Paul. I miss sitting at the kitchen table with him having breakfast after serving the guests.Grateful to know the family.We lose some of the best people on earth and it is very sad. Paul is very much missed. xoxoxo