On April 7, the world lost a true light when Paul Tschudi, former Executive Director of the St. Francis Center (now the Wendt Center), tragically died in a house fire. Paul Tschudi was a truly spectacular human being. He was a Vietnam veteran who dedicated his life to working in the space of grief/loss, death/dying, and meeting the mental health needs of veterans. Paul was also a man with a great capacity to love and laugh. He always seemed to have a glimmer in his eye, either planning his next great move or his next naughty move, maybe both.
From 1993-1997, Paul served as the Executive Director of the St. Francis Center, renamed the William Wendt Center for Loss and Healing in 1999. Paul’s dedication to our work never wavered, nor did his dedication to the Center. He was a tireless champion of the Wendt Center until the day he died. In fact, Paul worked very closely with me as the Center worked to rollout our mental health services to the military early in my tenure as Executive Director. He was a cheerleader and a stabilizing source of support as I worked to find my footing and my own voice as a new Executive Director. It is truly on the shoulders of titans that other leaders are born, and I was incredibly lucky to have had Paul’s big, broad shoulders.
All who knew Paul will miss him dearly. Our hearts are with his family, friends, and colleagues as we all navigate this tragic loss.