Paul Joseph “PJ” Sterk, Jr., of Colorado City, Colorado and former long-time resident of Alamosa, Colorado entered into rest at the Spanish Peaks Veterans’ Community Center in Walsenburg, Colorado on Saturday, July 28.
Paul was born on November 21, 1931 in Tioga, Colorado a CF&I mining camp near Walsenburg, to Paul Joseph Sterk, Sr, and Mary Elizabeth Slobodnik. He was 86 years of age.
After graduating from Huerfano County High School in 1949, he joined the United States Air Force and honorably served four years in several locations around the globe, including north Africa where he was assigned to Cryptography with a top secret clearance. He attended Western State College in Gunnison, then transferred to Adams State College in Alamosa to be near his ailing mother. It was there that he met Rose Estella Hohweiler, who impressed him with, among other things, her mad skills at softball. They were married in Hooven, Ohio, September 1, 1956. He completed his studies at Adams State, earning a B. A. in Education, History, Biology, Political Science, and Physical Education and a M. A. in Psychology, Guidance and Counseling.
Paul taught History, Geography and American Government as well as an assortment of electives such as Russian History, African-American History, Psychology, and Contemporary American History at Alamosa High School from 1958 to 1990. During his time at AHS, he also served as Athletics Director, coached track and cross country, was a guidance counselor and became the first teacher to serve on the local school board. He was known for being a tough teacher and was well respected by his students. He liked being around young people and never lost his enjoyment of teasing and joking with them. He would be found in his spare time listening to music, reading, gardening, and watching Western movies.
After retirement, Paul and Rose moved to Colorado City, Colorado. Paul was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and served in several leadership positions, as well as in the Denver LDS temple.
Paul is survived by his wife Rose and his daughters Lynne (Frank) Harter, Melissa Sardoni, and Amy Sterk Roach, ten grandchildren, nieces and nephews, his brother James Lee Sterk, sister-in law Ruthlee G. August Sterk, and sister Paula Jo (Frank) Conder. Paul was preceded in death by his son Paul Michael Sterk.
The family would like to thank the staff at the Spanish Peaks Veterans Community Living Center and all friends and family who provided help and support to his family during his illness.
Services will be held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints at 2211 Coolidge in Rye, Colorado August 2, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. with a viewing to be held one hour before the service. Internment and graveside memorial will take place at the Alamosa Municipal Cemetery at 2:00 p.m.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the loving care of the Johnson-Romero Family Funeral Home.
Online Condolences and Shared Memories can be made at johnsonromero.co.