Edward T. Paukert
September 26, 1934 – March 5, 2019
CHAPIN - Edward Thomas Paukert was born in 1934, in St. Paul, Minnesota. He was one of five children born to Frank and Jeannette Paukert. He grew up poor, and relied on himself for the entirety of his life. He injured his elbow at a young age, limiting the use of that arm, yet the life he went on to live, from such humble beginnings, is nothing short of extraordinary. From graduating from high school to being the first person in his family to attend and graduate from college - The University of Minnesota - with Magna Cum Laude honors, while working as a janitor to support himself, to traveling to the nation’s capital to embark on a long and adventure-filled career in the Foreign Service, it was his keen intelligence and this self-reliance that literally opened up a whole new world to this man of humble beginnings. His lifetime would see him living in Africa, Japan, Burma (now Myanmar), Cambodia, Thailand, Nicaragua, Peru, Lebanon, and later, visiting many more American Embassies throughout the Middle East, Asia, and Europe, as his role as an Inspector. This spirit of adventure continued upon his retirement from the Department of State, when he embarked on a years-long exploration of the United States, where he visited nearly every state and countless National and State Parks, a solo traveler of this beautiful country. He purchased land with a mountain in Colorado, and from his personal slice of heaven, would consult his Rand McNally road maps and set out precise routes to see for himself parts of this country that most people have only read about. All the while, he served as the helm to a family with three children, a son and two daughters, who had the good fortune of being a part of his life and his great adventures. He served his country well as a true representative of the United States overseas, embodying the hard work and ingenuity this country was made from, and left lasting impressions with those he encountered from different cultures. He served his family well by providing a steadfast anchor and a safe haven and, with his generosity, his children were given the ability to grow as adults with the knowledge that they were never on their own. Edward Thomas Paukert passed away on March 5, 2019, at the age of 84. He passed with thousands of memories of a life lived to the fullest, of a life lived on his terms, and with the love of those who knew him. He is survived by his ex-wife, Jill Dianne Hinson; his son, Daniel Ned Paukert; his daughters, Mara Nicole Paukert Wooddell and Kyra June Paukert Sulkowski, and his grandchildren, Benjamin Lee Wooddell, Sarah Nicole Sulkowski and Emma Rose Sulkowski. The family asks that you hold your loved ones close as, at the end of one’s life, all that matters is the love that is left behind. May it be plentiful.