Paul Sterling II

Paul Sterling II

October 24, 1934 ~ August 30, 2019

Paul Sterling II, affectionately called “Uncle Pete” by his loved ones, was born October 24, 1934 to Mr. Paul and Mrs. Eva Floyd Sterling in Jonesville, Texas. He was the third child born to this union and was the only son.  

Early in life, Paul joined the Old Border Baptist Church of Jonesville, Texas under the leadership of Reverend S.H. Howard. His schooling included graduating from H.P. Pemberton High School and Bishop College, both of Marshall, Texas.

In 1961, Paul started his career on the Navajo Indian Reservation in Chinle, Arizona as a teacher. Later, he moved to Alaska where he continued his teaching career at a one-room school at Northeast Cape, on St. Lawrence Island in the middle of the Bering Sea. After a year or more there, he took a position at the school on Little Diomede, a community of just over 100 at the time. The island sits in the Bering Sea between the U.S. and Siberia. He enjoyed his time there and made lifelong friends there. For years thereafter, when those from Little Diomede came to Nome, they would always visit with Paul.  

After several years teaching on Diomede, Paul moved to Nome having taken an administrative position at the Bureau of Indian Affairs office there. That office was in the Federal building and Paul’s office looked out on the lobby that Nomeites would visit each day to retrieve their mail. No visit to the Post Office could be made without a visit with Paul whose warmth, smile and laughter brought joy to hundreds each day.  

Paul was very active in the Baptist Church in Nome as well as with the Iditarod Sled Dog Race Trail Committee. Paul organized many of the activities at the Nome end of the race including the Mushers Banquet and Awards Ceremony attended by anybody and everybody.  

Paul was active in the successful campaign for Governor of Tony Knowles and upon retirement from the BIA, he took a position in the Knowles Administration as a budget analyst, moving to Juneau, the state capital, for the last several years of his time in Alaska.  

Eventually, Paul moved back to Texas, making Houston his final home. His love of teaching prompted him to resume his career at Atherton Elementary School of Houston Independent School District, under the leadership of Principal, Dr. Albert L. Lemons. He remained at Atherton ES until his permanent retirement from teaching. 

Sadly, Paul Sterling, II passed away on August 30, 2019. He was proceeded in death by both parents and one sister, Mary “Aunt Nancy” Eliza Sterling Lester.

He leaves to cherish his memories five sisters: Sammie L. Evans of Glendale, Arizona, Hazel M. Lattin of Houston, Texas, E. Jean Hinton of Shreveport, Louisiana, Alberta Jones of Houston, Texas, and Rebecca Turner of Houston, Texas; four nieces: Joyce Sterling of Houston, Texas, Cynthia Smith (Ricky) of Houston, Texas, Tracy Alexander of Shreveport, Louisiana, and Eva Fields (Timothy) of Houston, Texas; four nephews: Erwin Lattin (Delores) of Houston, Texas, Darren Lester (Joanna) of Shreveport, Louisiana, Stanley Lester (Felicia) of Shreveport, Louisiana, and Paul Lattin (Shawn) of Houston, Texas; as well as a host of great nieces and nephews, great-great nieces and nephews, cousins, other relatives, and close friends.

He was buried on Sept. 7 at the Old Border Cemetery in Jonesville, Texas.

The Nome Nugget

PO Box 610
Nome, Alaska 99762

Phone: (907) 443-5235
Fax: (907) 443-5112

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