March 11, 2011
Written by: Vincent McConeghy
Anthony Paulk, native of Buffalo, NY, graduate of the culinary program at Emerson High School, devoted son, brother, husband, father and grandfather passed away this week after a lengthy battle with cancer.
He was 53.
Anthony was also a food service professional.
He joined our nascent bakery/restaurant at the precise moment of need for a reliable and trusted hand to clean and to organize. From that first shift, he introduced a new standard of conduct - not of words or attitude - but execution.
Anthony Paulk out-worked everyone that had the privilege to work along side him.
The sheer force of his actions startled his co-workers into consideration of what it meant to occupy a professional kitchen. The details of his labor revealed themselves spontaneously - an impeccably prepped station, a clean work space and floor, never a cross word for a co-worker, and a schedule of tasks maintained and fulfilled without fail.
The entire arc of his career in food service was but one sub-set of a life completely and exquisitely realized. But since we came to know and interact with him mainly through work, Anthony's departure left us with the haunting prospect that his time here on earth might somehow slip away, never fully appreciated.
This was simply not the case.
From the moment one walked into his Memorial Service at the Pentecostal Temple Church of God in Christ on Jefferson Avenue, the impact of his legacy overwhelmed.
All of the copious amounts of praise to celebrate Anthony's life were testified to; his favorite church hymns reverberated when those words failed; then last came the final gestures of awe and respect for someone who had left no deed - good, difficult, necessary - undone.