Langley rocked over loss of community leader Paul Schell

Langley resident and former Seattle mayor Paul Schell has died.

His death was announced by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and reported by the Seattle Post Intelligencer Sunday morning, and later confirmed by Langley officials and family friends. He was 76.

"It's a very sad piece of news for Langley," Langley Mayor Fred McCarthy said. "I can't think of a lot of people who have had a more profound effect on this city."

Peter Miller, a Langley resident and family friend for nearly 40 years, said Schell died at about 6:30 a.m. Sunday morning. He had a quadruple bypass heart surgery on Wednesday and developed complications.

"At first he seemed fine, but it never settled," Miller said.

He described Schell as a man who loved all of Puget Sound, but Langley in particular. The owner of the Inn at Langley, Schell was devoted to the town's success at all levels, he said.

"He wanted the town to work, he wanted the shops to work, he wanted the movie theater to work — he just loved Langley," Miller said.

Sharen Heath, who runs the Facebook page I Love Langley, echoed those sentiments, saying Schell and his wife Pam had an impact on the city like few others. Along with being business leaders, they were great supporters of the arts community and played key roles in the founding of the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, or WICA.

"For Langley, this an utterly profound loss," Heath said.

"Gorgeous people, we're so lucky to have enjoyed their presence and their friendship," she added.

Along with being a prominent community leader, Schell was a former Seattle mayor, serving one term from 1998-2002. He leaves behind his wife Pam, and his daughter Jamie Schell.

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