, Gloucester, MA

July 17, 2013

Paul Sterling McPherson, 56

Gloucester — Paul Sterling McPherson, 56, of Gloucester, passed away peacefully the morning of July 10, 2013, at home, surrounded by his wife and children, after a seven-week journey with cancer. He was a loving, supportive father, an adoring, loving, husband, and always looked for opportunities to teach what he had learned about life.

Paul was a self-employed woodworker with his own fabrication shop. He could build just about anything anybody needed with pride and fine craftsmanship. He loved seeking, learning, teaching, sailing, exploring the world, both alone and with his wife.

Paul was always available and always willing to help with the skills he had. He was a giver, always generous with his time, energy, and resources. He was a great volunteer, whether helping to build retreat cabins in the desert of Arizona, rebuilding roofs on homes destroyed by hurricane in Granada, fabricating ceremonial pieces for the Buddhist group he belonged to, or helping out friends and family. He was selfless, thoughtful, kind, considerate, compassionate and loving.

His family was first and foremost his priority in life, as was helping people. For several years he had done an annual 10-week tour around the U.S. to visit family in far off places, as well as spend great chunks of time volunteering and attending Buddhist teachings. He greatly touched those who were fortunate enough to spend time with him. Paul had a dedicated meditation practice and studied Buddhism for eight years, though he considered himself a spiritualist, not a Buddhist, and was always seeking higher knowledge and deeper understanding. He was fond of saying, "we’re here now," and, "it is what it is."

He was the son of the late William and Katherine McPherson and is survived by his wife, Brenda Malloy; son, Dale McPherson and his wife, Jennifer Greene McPherson; grandsons, Devin Montville and Maxwell McPherson; son, Shawn McPherson; daughter-in-law, Leah Collery; brother, David McPherson and wife, Debbie; brother, Mark and wife, Carol; as well as several adoring, admiring nieces and nephews. He had a surrogate son in Nepal, Til Bahadur Thapa Magar, who called Paul "Dad."

Paul’s weeks and final days since diagnoses in mid-May were spent exactly the way he chose - in a mindful, peaceful, accepting place, surrounded by and cared for by loved ones, at home.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Paul’s name to The Rocky Neck Art Colony (RNAC) Building Fund, 6 Wonson St., Gloucester, MA 01930 or Wisdom’s Heart, 154 Granite St, Rockport, MA 01966. He lived and loved in the community that is the Art Colony and he met some of his greatest teachers and friends through Wisdom’s Heart Buddhist center.

ARRANGEMENTS: A celebration of Paul’s life will be held on Saturday, July 20, 4:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 10 Church St., Gloucester, with a going-away party immediately following at Maritime Gloucester, 23 Harbor Loop, Gloucester. All are welcome.