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Paul VanWyk

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Paul VanWyk Obituary
Paul Herbert Van Wyk, psychologist, sex educator and therapist, chemist, and musician, died on Wednesday, October 16, 2013, at the Champaign County Nursing Home in Urbana, IL. He was 74 and had rationally and gracefully coped with the symptoms of Lewy Body Dementia since at least 2006 for as long as the illness allowed.

Born in Fond du Lac, WI, Paul grew up in Pella, IA, New Brunswick, NJ, and Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo, MI. He attained a Bachelor of Arts in English from Hope College in Holland, MI in 1960, and completed all the requirements for a Master's of Science in chemistry except for a thesis at Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL in 1969. After working as a chemist for several years, Paul dramatically changed his career path.

Paul earned a Master's of Art's in Human Sexuality from Goddard College, Plainfield, VT in 1975, developing a sex education curriculum for developmentally disabled adolescents and adults as a part of that study. He was one of the first sex therapists and sex educators certified by the American Association of Certified Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists in 1979. Paul developed and presented innovative courses in psychology and human sexuality, taught and trained others to teach the Unitarian Universalist sexuality education program.

Paul earned a PhD in Psychology from Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL in 1982. He later began working in prisons in Missouri, and was mental health director at prisons in Alabama and Indiana where he utilized EMDR to help people resolve trauma and PTSD.

Paul loved music and taught himself to play guitar, providing hours of enjoyment to those who heard and sang with him. He loved watching car racing, working crossword puzzles, and reading on a wide range of topics.

Paul was the son of the late Reverend Doctor Herbert Van Wyk and Julia Walvoord Van Wyk and the brother of the late Bruce M. Van Wyk. He is survived by his wife of almost 30 years, Pamela Collins Van Wyk, his children and their spouses, Mark Paul Van Wyk and his wife Linda of Tampa, FL, Laura Elizabeth Van Wyk and her husband Bob Wyzykoski of Tampa, FL, and Pamela's children, daughter Kathryn Wilford and her husband, Jim Spangler, of Oak Park, IL, and a son Dr. Matt Jager and his fiancée Monchie Blanco, of Peoria, IL. He is also survived by one brother, Carl Van Wyk and his wife, Carol of Tall Timbers, MD, his sister-in-law, Mikki Van Wyk of Potomac, MD, and his uncle, Raymond A. Walvoord and his wife Lorraine of Williamson, NY. His three grandchildren, Lily Van Wyk, Zitlaly Wilford Acosta, and Janine Wilford Acosta.

Paul was active in Unitarian Universalist churches and fellowships including the Montgomery UU Fellowship.

A memorial Service will be held on Sunday, November 10, 2013 at 5:00 PM at the Unitarian Universalists Church of Urban-Champaign, IL, 309 W Green St, Urbana. Friends of Paul are invited to contribute their remembrances during the service. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Paul's memory may be made to the Lewy Body Dementia Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood Foundation or the Unitarian Universalists Service Committee. Condolences may be offered at

Published in the Montgomery Advertiser on Oct. 19, 2013
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