LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

LANGLEY, Wash. -- Many see the town of Langley as a weekend getaway, with quaint shops and restaurants. But Paul Schell, developer and former mayor of Seattle, fell in love with it.

In every sense, in every coffee shop, every storefront, said his longtime friend and Langley resident Peter Miller.

I think the thing that people most identify with is the guy they saw at the coffee shop every morning, someone they could chat about local issues and get his thoughts and his input, said Jeff Arango, director of Community Planning for the City of Langley.

Schell loved Langley so much he made it his permanent home.

There is the beauty of the place and the intelligence of the people, said Schell's wife, Pam.

Schell and his wife were just moving into their new house on the waterfront when he passed away.

At the end of his role as mayor, we wanted to leave. We wanted to have a clean break. We already had a weekend house here and it just seemed he could make a difference here, said Pam Schell.

What a difference he made. He built the Inn at Langley which became a destination for travelers and foodies alike, along with numerous buildings throughout town.

His latest project was an elevator that would transport harbor visitors up the bluff to stores and restaurants. The private public partnership is still in its planning stages, but the Schell family hopes it moves forward.

Like a lot of people who come here, we realized it is a wonderful place, but there is untapped potential and he saw that potential, said Arango.

As his wife Pam prepares for life without her partner of 51 years, the town of Langley too will move forward without its visionary. From the coffee shop he visited every day, to businesses throughout town, many are mourning Schell's passing.
You miss everyone, said Miller. But Langley will miss such a sweetheart.

Read or Share this story: http://www.nwcn.com/story/news/2014/08/18/14025866/