Mourning the passing of Paul Rothberg

Like many who liked and respected Paul Rothberg, I mourn his passing (“From ministry to sales: Paul Rothberg 1944-2018, April 18-24). I want to extend my condolences to his family.

Paul worked for The Independent for nearly a decade. He was instrumental in helping me convert the newspaper from one man’s off-the-wall dream into a solid institution etched into the community fabric of not only its home base, Edgewood, but also Tijeras, Cedar Crest, Moriarty, Estancia and Mountainair. Paul did not just sell ads for the newspaper. More importantly, he established relationships. He cared about the people he did business with, and they reciprocated by caring about him.

For me, Paul was more than an employee. You cannot work with somebody for years, see them every day, listen to their concerns and help them work through their problems without coming to care for them. And I did come to care for Paul.

We sometimes, particularly in later years, had business disagreements, but they never became personal. I never ceased to like and respect Paul, and I believe he felt the same about me.

I want to add a more personal note. Paul had a hard life, in some respects a very hard life. Paul had some personal failings, of which he was well aware and which he sought to combat. He could become depressed, and his anger could be explosive. Yet he always emerged from such episodes even stronger.

This strength enabled him to help those around him who needed his assistance and sympathy, whether prisoners incarcerated in California or his own family. He was loyal, sensitive and unstinting in giving of himself. That he had hard times he converted from a problem into a strength.

Paul taught me—showed me—a valuable lesson that I will never forget: how a person can rise about his frailties to give of himself to those in need.

Paul was a fine man, and like all those fortunate enough to have known him, I, too, mourn his passing.

Wally Gordon, Tijeras