Obituary: Paul William McVey

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Posted at 6:49 AM, Aug 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-18 08:49:59-04

Paul William McVey, 72 years old, left this world much too soon after a year long struggle with brain cancer (Glioblastoma). He passed away on July 27th at home while surrounded by his loving family and friends. He was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on August 13, 1949, to John William McVey and Ruth Klose McVey. Paul spent his formative years in the suburbs of Cincinnati. Paul excelled in basketball while attending Greenhills High School. He played varsity all four years and held the title for the most rebounds for many years. He went on to attend Ohio University where he joined the Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity and received a B.A. in Journalism in 1971.

After graduation from college, Paul worked several jobs but soon became restless and developed a desire to see the world. So he joined the Peace Corps in 1975 serving as a volunteer in Tunisia. While in Tunisia, he picked up some Arabic, a love for travel, and the woman who was to become his Peace Corps bride, Kristine Fagrelius McVey. After the Tunisia assignment they relocated to Bangladesh where they were married in Dhaka on December 10, 1977.

Over the next 40+ years Paul and Kristine lived in Bangladesh, Congo, Yemen, Sudan, Egypt (4x!), Russia, West Bank/Gaza, China, India, Afghanistan (3x), Indonesia, Mexico and capped it off with a stint in Germany. In addition, Paul did short term contracts in Haiti, Malawi, Romania, Jordan and Moldova. While overseas, Paul and Kristine had three children: Alexa, Kaitlin, and Galen, along with a healthy number of dogs. Paul spent his working career in International Development with a focus on Operations, Finance and Grant Management. He was a true Nomad (or World Traveler).

Outside of work, Paul filled his time learning the local culture and exploring the countries in which he resided. He did hiking with some of the highlights being Nepal’s Annapurna Sanctuary and Gokyo Ri, India’s Ladakh region, Peru’s Inca trail, China’s Great Wall and other Beijing Hiker trips. He also enjoyed scuba diving Egypt’s Red Sea, Kenya coast, Indonesia’s Raja Ampat islands, and many other locations. Paul was an avid reader and could always be found with a non-fiction book by his side. He also was very engaged with his children helping with the kid’s hobbies, sports, Boy Scouts, etc. Paul had a lifetime love of plants and in each new neighborhood would establish himself as the neighborhood “plant-whisperer”. He would cultivate and fill their homes with as many of the local plants that he could fit in.

After retiring back to Bozeman, Montana, Paul became an active member of the Unitarian Church and the Buddhist Dharma Center. He loved to spend time up at the family cabin on the Gallatin River, visiting with friends and family, walking his lab Bella in the many parks and hiking trails, and BBQing, always charcoal - never gas, for friends on his back porch.

To his credit Paul had many lifelong friends. These included his brother and sister, people he went to high school with, fraternity brothers from OU, and the many people whose path he crossed throughout the years. Everyone enjoyed being with Paul. He was a good listener who enjoyed engaging with people on any topic and could employ his wonderful sense of humor to keep things interesting. One of his real talents was story telling. Between his travels to remote and exotic locations and his general knowledge of the world through his extensive reading, Paul was a talented storyteller. He could keep people entertained for hours with his many stories and adventures. Paul will be greatly missed.

His greatest love and passion was his family. He was a good husband to his wife Kristine who he shared a lifetime of adventures with. And his three children; Alexa, Kaitlin and Galen who all looked up to him not only as a loving father but as a trusted mentor.

Paul is survived by his wife, Kristine; his three children, Alexa, Kaitlin, and Galen; sister, Susan Bien; and his brother, John McVey, and their families, as well as by his many friends across the world who miss him greatly. He was preceded in death by his parents.

A Celebration of his Life will be held on October 1, 2022, at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Bozeman. A time will be set at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a gift to the Heart of the Valley Animal Shelter, Bozeman Dharma Center, or to the Gallatin Valley Land Trust

Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service.