|Paul and Sook Schlessinger|
Paul passed away on March 22, 2009, at a Tyler, Texas, hospice after a battle with Parkinson’s and dementia. In remarks prepared for ‘The Book’ and our 50th Reunion, Paul commented that he had “enjoyed a happy life with a personally rewarding, if not unusually distinguished, career in film and television, a career which began at Amherst.”
The beginning was with Dean Wilson who prompted Paul as a freshman to take movies of the Amherst football games. After Amherst, two years in the army honing his photographic skills and a master’s in cinematography from the Univ. of Houston, Paul was instrumental in creating America’s first public broadcasting station, KUHT-TV, and went on to produce and direct radio and television commercials such as the Hamm’s beer ads.
His beloved wife of 37 years, Soak, died in 1993. After our 50th, Paul moved from Burnsville, Mich., to Tyler, Texas, to be near his daughter and her family. Paul’s son, daughter and his sister survive him, and they have our condolences.
Paul was not an active College alumnus, but his final remarks in ‘The Book’ are quite telling. “Amherst, thanks for showing me how to appreciate life’s challenges and opportunities, how to be comfortable with the differences I could make and preparing me to accept the problems, the disappointments and the tragedies that life hands to all of us. In short, Amherst, thanks for the attitude!”
—Everett E. Clark ’51