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In Memoriam: Paul Dedi
[Photo] Paul Dedi collection
When Paul returned to Canada with Im Mei, they put down in Vancouver for a holiday. It was love at first sight with the mountains and the city, and instead of returning to eastern Canada, they moved to Vancouver. With the economic downshift of those times, their first few years trying to establish themselves in the city were hard, and Paul decided to go back to school to learn computer animation. He then started working part time at MEC. With animation jobs scarce and horrendously underpaid, Paul opted instead to go full time at MEC and to pursue more climbing.
Dedi showing some leg. [Photo] Paul Dedi collection
Working at the Vancouver store of Mountain Equipment Coop, Paul was known among colleagues as a no-nonsense worker with a rapier sense of humor. Co-workers and customers alike received brutal honesty from Paul, and woes betide anyone who was disrespectful to him or to a fellow co-worker. One sucker foolish enough to pluck a hair from Paul's head was picked up, one hand in the crotch, one on the arm, and tossed into a rack of product.
In 2002 when Christian Beckwith was starting Alpinist, he asked me if I knew of any illustrators. I suggested Paul. Pleased with the reception of his work in Alpinist, Paul was also working on graphic novels at home and vetting them with MEC co-workers. His work "The Vegiterrorists" was one such work, illustrated in Dedi's signature style. It was a saga set in an abattoir that explored the "unavoidable void of wrong and right. Clash together in a bloody frightful fight. Over who eats who and what tastes right."
Paul was a rare personality, and the tragedy of his passing is the loss of his ready humor, his love for his wife, his deep respect for the people he cared for, his readiness to go climbing, his brutal honesty and his creativity. Paul was an original, an only-one-from-this-mold kind of guy. He is one who won't be forgotten.
Would you all please take great care when out climbing, and continuously ensure your safety at all times. Never cease to be vigilant and mindful of every step you take in the mountains.
Paul Dedi walking toward his mountain. [Photo] Paul Dedi collection