Relatives and friends are advised of the sudden passing of Capt. Paul Raymond Knestrict Jr. of St. Thomas on Sunday June 27, 2021, at age 73.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Paul Sr. and Josephine Knestrict, also close friend Marty Tuohy. Paul is survived by Judith Plair (spouse);, his stepdaughters, Rebecca Montgomery, Amanda Geyer, Tina Carey; and stepson Robert Plair, and their families; his five siblings, Ron (Cathi) Knestrict, Rose (Ernest) Boehm, Sharon (Dave) Jennings, Robert (Cris) Knestrict and Delores (John) Tenedine; also loving nephew and nieces, Kevin, Becca, RoniPaul, David, Eric, Brian, Sean, Sarah; plus great-nieces and nephews; friend and karate instructor as well as many friends from the Virgin Islands, Costa Rica, Wales and Trinidad. Do not forget “Ira,” the parrot and several cats.
Paul grew up in Hammond, Ind., until moving to Connecticut. After his service as an aircraft/helicopter mechanic in the Vietnam war, he was employed by Sikorsky Aircraft while attending Southern Connecticut State University. After graduation he attended boat-building school in Woods Hole, Mass. Paul eventually earned his captain’s license and traveled extensively before settling in the Virgin Islands.
He made friends easily and was always willing to help anyone. Paul was a member of the West Haven Connecticut American Legion Post No. 0071. Coming from Connecticut in 1988 to St. Thomas, V.I., Paul found a damaged yacht and proceeded to buy his beloved “Sail Marilee” a 39 ft. Sloop, not for racing, but a comfortable live aboard. Capt. Paul worked in construction on land and boats, boat charters and deliveries. He was an adjuster after Hurricane Hugo for the Small Business Association.
He captained the 76ft. Catamaran “Spirit of St. Christopher,” day sails, as well as sailing “Sail Merilee” to Grenada and Trinidad and back, making land fall in St. Croix and on to St. John, USVI. Paul loved to travel; he visited Tucson, Ariz., St. Martin, England, Wales, Iceland and Costa Rica. Capt. Paul was a happy, funny, thoughtful, kind, witty guy with a crazy laugh. He loved music. He liked to jam out on his harmonica. He will be very, very missed.
A special thank you to the staff of the VA Caribbean Medical Center in Puerto Rico.
A ceremony at sea will be announced soon. Donations may be made in Paul’s memory to the Lucky Paws Foundation of St. Thomas, P.O. 8209, St. Thomas, USVI 00802