" a genuine Corot" [SIGN]
Only this time, it's someone I knew fairly well.
Paul Churchill ("Corot") passed beyond the Reichenbach over the weekend. He had announced earlier this year that he was suffering from incurable cancer; the end came much too quickly for anyone who knew Paul.
Paul received his investiture in the BSI in 2006, but for anyone who knew him, it was a long time coming. He was involved in many Sherlockian societies from the mid-Atlantic states to New England, and his presence was always a jovial and warm one.
Among Paul's many talents was illustration, document creation, and the compilation of "evidence boxes" - his term for artifacts he found, created, and assembled into collections that supported each of the 60 Canonical stories.
In Paul's own words:
I have illustrated several Sherlockian books by authors such as Steve Clarkson, Steve Tollins, Joe Fink, Don Izban Susan Diamond, David Hammer, Patrick Campbell and Chris Redmond, and did covers for a reprint boxed set of August Derleth's Mill Creek Irregulars. With a colleague, I translated the story The Musgrave Ritual into Latin, the first and, so far, only Latin translation of an entire Sherlock Holmes story to be published.He was a longtime friend of Steve Clarkson, another Irregular (author of the 2003 BSJ Christmas Annual) who was taken from us too early by cancer. He spent many long hours with Steve, sharing memories and just being a friend. Paul was like that. He was a friend to many, and was never too busy or too involved to chat with or make time for fellow Sherlockians.
My main specialism is the amassing of Canonical evidence boxes. There is a box for each of the sixty tales. The boxes contain any letter, telegram, weapon, note, receipt, newspaper clipping, or piece of realia mentioned or hinted at in the Canon. My secondary specialism is the creation of genuine faux documents, many of which have seen their way into the packets given out at the annual BSI dinner in NY. Among these documents are Watson's commission, the charter of The Diogenes Club, the citation for Holmes' Legion of Honour Medal, the Bruce Partington plans and a patent for same, the hack licence for John Clayton, the Hotel Cosmopolitan receipt for the Countess of Morcar, the Stapletons' receipt for the Mexborough Hotel in Craven Street, one for the New Street, Birmingham hotel where Hall Pycroft stayed, Watson's chequebook which Holmes kept locked in his desk, the Capital and Counties Woolwich Branch chequebook belonging to Cadogan West and the very naval treaty copied by Percy Phelps.
Jacqueline Morris, Gasogene XIX of Watson's Tin Box shared the details of Paul's memorial service:
Saturday, November 15, 1:00 p.m.This January at the BSI dinner, the task that has traditionally been solemnly and dutifully performed by Irv Kamil will twice as difficult one as the volume of Irregular deaths has nearly doubled. More than that, the prestige, magnitude and general likability of these Irregulars makes these passings that much more doleful.
Burrier-Queen Funeral Home
1212 W. Old Liberty Road
Following the service there will be a gathering at American Legion 223 in Sykesville. Directions from the funeral home will be provided at the memorial service.
Greg has asked that in lieu of flowers you might choose to donate to one of Paul's favorite charities, the ALS Association. Many of you know that Paul's beloved wife died from ALS/Lou Gehrig's Disease many years ago.
For those who would like to send cards of condolence:
Mark Churchill (Mark lives in Nebraska)
3300 Appleton Avenue
Parkville, MD 21234
UPDATED: Paul's obituary from the Baltimore Sun.
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