Cover photo for Paul Watson Vanderstelt's Obituary
Paul Watson Vanderstelt Profile Photo
1934 Paul 2024

Paul Watson Vanderstelt

May 5, 1934 — May 8, 2024


Paul Watson Vanderstelt, 90, of Comstock and formerly of Muskegon, Michigan died peacefully at Rose Arbor in Kalamazoo on Wednesday, May 8, 2024.

Paul was born May 5, 1934, in Muskegon, Michigan to Peter and Olive Jean (Nickett) Vanderstelt. He grew up in Muskegon, was a 1952 graduate of Muskegon High School and earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Western Michigan University. He spent his career in education. He began teaching school as a history teacher at A Steel Junior High School and retired as the Director of Adult Education for the Muskegon Schools Skilled Training Center. His goal was to collaborate with local employers and young and mature students to give them a chance to develop skills and be successful in life. He retired, loving his career, after 36 years in 1996.

He grew up next door from the love of his life. Paul Watson Vanderstelt was united in marriage to Gayla Dawn Baron on August 14, 1970, at Lake Harbor Baptist Church in Muskegon. Surviving are his wife of nearly 54 years; two daughters, Candace Vanderstelt (Amy Elizabeth) Bare of Charleston, SC, Shannon Lynn (Matthew Donald) Wintz of Kalamazoo; two grandchildren, Carter James (Kaia) Wintz of Rexburg, ID Karis Jennifer Wintz of Kalamazoo; a niece, Cheryl Jean (Greg) Anderson of Portage, MI and his “babies” the dogs, Zoey and Ivy. Paul was preceded in death by his parents, Peter and Olive; a sister, Betty Jean Daniell and a nephew, Cliff Daniell.

Paul was a member of Northeastern Baptist Church. He loved looking at coins and was very knowledgeable about their history stretching back to the first millennium BC/BCE. Paul was well known for his comments and one-liners he sent to the Kalamazoo Gazette commenting on political articles. The Kalamazoo Gazette recognized him for his political savvy and sense of humor with his one liners. More than anything, Paul loved his family, his wife could do no wrong. He loved food, hamburgers and the Lord. He will be remembered as the greatest man ever by his family, always present, whether at the breakfast or dinner table and at most every sporting event and activity for his girls, grandchildren and niece.

 As per Paul’s wishes, he will be cremated and no public service will be held. 

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude’s Children's Hospital and Paralyzed Veterans of America. Arrangements are by Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Cremation Preneed Care Richland Chapel. Personal messages for the family may be placed at


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