Paul Kemberling

Paul John Kemberling

January 13, 1961 - October 13, 2019
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CAMDEN - Paul Kemberling, passed unexpectedly on October 13, 2019 while on vacation in Cancun, Mexico with his wife Vicky Willey and friends Dominique Hoppe and David Ashby by his side.

Paul was born in Tucson, AZ and attended high school at Holy Cross Abbey in Canon City, CO, finishing at public high school in Tucson. He graduated from the University of Arizona at Tucson with a double major in psychology and speech communications. He earned his MA at The California Institute of Integral Studies in Integral Counseling and became a licensed psychotherapist. He met Vicky Willey, his wife, in San Francisco where they married and had their three children: Eli, Jeremiah, and Grace.

Paul was an avid biker, hiker, and cross-country skier. He sang as a Bass I in Midcoast Community Chorus for the past few years. He participated at his children’s schools, attending both events and trips. Paul’s professional life, as a mental health clinician, involved the recovery community, Knox County jail, and his own private practice. He had a passion for politics and debated often with others. This passion accompanied his unique sense of humor that those close to him understood.

He is predeceased by Dr. Sidney R. and Marian (Dunn) Kemberling (84 & 89 respectively) in addition to his brothers, Eugene in 1999 and Konrad 2007.

He is survived by his wife Vicky Willey and their children, Eli, 27, Jeremiah, 22, and Grace, 20.
He is survived by Marian and Bernie Jacobs with children Georgia D’Ella, Randall Jacobs and their spouses and children; Mary Lou Kemberling wife of Eugene, and their children Nathaniel, Christine Stauffer, Amy, Sara Penick and their spouses and children; Randy Kemberling and wife Maureen Vanacore; Chris and Michele Kemberling with their children Laura Olamai, Tim, Kyle, Wuinn and Amber, their spouses and children; Debbie Kemberling (wife of Konrad) their children Matt and Kane, their spouses and child; Frank Kemberling (late wife Lynn) their children Josh and Jacque, their spouses and children; Rev. Andrew Kemberling; Peter Kemberling; Teresa and Chuck Goldsmith and their children Chuck and Mary, their spouses and child.

Paul has several cousins scattered throughout the United States both East and West of the Mississippi. His family is of Pennsylvania Dutch origins and his paternal grandparents founded the Dutch Pantry’s up and down the East Coast which was a big deal at the time.

A very warm thank you for the support of family and friends since this event. The Kemberling/Willey family feels held and blessed to have such a wonderful support system. A celebration of life will be announced in the coming months for those who wish to pay their respects.

Arrangements are in the care of Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock Street, Rockland.
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A celebration of life will be announced at a later date.


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Private Condolence

John Mehrmann

Posted at 01:37pm
Dear Vicky and Grace,

I was so saddened to hear of your terrible loss. I will miss seeing Paul's kind face at MCC concerts, at Grace's concerts, and on about town. Abigail and I will keep you in our prayers. Know that there's a strong community that loves you all.

-John Mehrmann

Jan Baldwin

Posted at 10:16am
Dear Vicky and family, I was so saddened to read of Paul’s passing. What a wonderful man he was. I loved his friendly smile and his warm and caring personality. I know you all must be struggling with his loss. Bob and I both send our loving thoughts your way. Jan Baldwin


Posted at 08:40pm
Paul was my therapist, and he changed my life. I am so grateful to him for who I have become. I will miss him terribly. I remember asking him about what compelled him to become a therapist, and he shared with me that he hoped to make a difference in people’s lives as a therapist. He has - so very much.

He built trust with me and became a person I could share the parts of myself--fears, trauma, and shame--I tried to hide from both myself and the world. I can’t tell you how much I have been healed by his compassion - words can’t capture it. But I can say that the people I know and love notice the difference in me. And I feel freer, more present, and know I am whole.

I know what I will do next, after his passing. I plan to pay it forward. Actually, I have already started doing that while he was alive. Freeing myself of my pain has allowed me to contribute to the world around me in beautiful ways. I am now working on my graduate degree and plan to be a therapist myself. I know his wisdom will flow through me. I will share the gift he gave me with others.

I also plan to have a lot of plants in my therapy office (when I have one) and hope I can channel his green thumb!

His example can be actualized in the greater community. If we can work together to create welcoming, compassionate communities, we can change lives. We’re all in this together! Let’s work to destigmatize addiction and mental illness. Let’s co-create spaces where people who carry heavy burdens in their psyches can know they are loveable and surrounded by love.

To his family, we don’t really know one another but I know he loved you dearly. I am so, so, sorry for your loss. In my regular meditation I will pray for you to be wrapped in healing love. I want to say thank you. I know Paul was who he was because of you. And he was such a gift to the world.


Cornerstone Behavioral Healthcare

Posted at 02:26pm
Please accept our most heartfelt sympathies for your loss... Our thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time.
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Jessie Peck

Posted at 04:33am
Ohhhh Vicky, Grace, Eli and Jeremiah. I just found out this morning. There are no words. I hope to see you soon. I know the actual physical pain of loss can be overwhelming in the first year. May you all receive care for your bodies during this painful transition of integrating the physical loss of Paul. May you experience moments of Grace, relief in the form of experiences that fill you with a knowing...Love lives, a fathers love never dies, and may you feel the light of hope and the love of community as we move deeper into winter and you continue living and integrating this new way of being in the world.
There is a book of digital collages an artist friend of mine made that I will bring over. A few of her pieces capture the confusion in the first few years after such a great and unexpected loss. The way we wrestle with our loyalty for the dead and our deep love as we continue living and integrating how to let go of the physical loss and integrate their life into our own. Life is a river that runs; it never stops moving. It’s the most cruel and beautiful part of living.
May you hold on to one another as a family as you each walk into your individual grief. Life can be so mysterious: your family is strong. You were blessed with many preparations as a family to meet this moment.
Paul. There were lots of mementoes of Paul as a fellow parent of a child at Ashwood but the greatest memory is the sum of them all: Paul’s willingness to take it all in with the heart of observance and humility always holding space but if approached adding just a touch of a twinkle and a giggle of his sardonic humorous edge. I just remember always laughing with Paul and feeling safe because he knew how to hold both realities. Paul was a Great man: you ALL, and his love for his family, made him great. Such. A loss. Big big hug to you all.🙏

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