Sunday, August 12, 2007

Community Mourns the Death of Karl Paige

Our community is mourning the passing of Karl Paige who died suddenly this Sunday morning, August 12, 2007, at his home on the 1700 block of Quesada Avenue at age 69. While details are still coming, it appears he died in his sleep sometime between 3am and 9:30am when he was found by his son, Rene. An informal celebration of life is scheduled for this Tuesday at 6pm to 8pm at the mural site on Quesada’s 1700 block.

Neighbors gathered at the sound of emergency vehicles this morning, and were stunned by the news that such a beloved and respected community leader had passed. Just the day before, this man everyone knew as “Mr. Karl” had worked with his usual vigor during a volunteer day in the community garden he started with Annette Smith in 2002.

After the morning’s labor, a social gathering at the home of Shane and Denise King brought Karl and the community together one last time for a conversation about expanding the work and reach of the Quesada Gardens Initiative which he co-chaired with Annette. He was excited about the future of the effort he helped ignite, and which he led through daily contributions and by example.

As the gathering ended, Karl shared that he was tired of growing flowering plants, for the time being, and that he looked forward to producing food in QGI’s main garden and other gardens he and others were developing in the Bayview.

The beautiful median strip garden where Karl spent part of every day is a blossoming legacy of what individuals and communities can do to create change. It has garnered widespread media attention and many awards including a Robert C. Friese Neighborhood Conservation Award in 2006, and a Crissy Field Center/Golden Gate Conservancy Community Heroes Award earlier this year.

Karl received a Jefferson Award last year for his remarkable community service, and was proud of this acknowledgment. He loved giving tours of the garden, and could speak knowledgably about the plants that grew there. He spoke often of his family, his military service, and growing up on a farm in Belzoni, Mississippi.

Karl Paige was an action-oriented, inspired community leader who will be as missed as he will be remembered through the visible legacy he leaves behind. Contact neighbors through or 822.0800 and explore this site for images, videos and news items about Karl and his work.


Ranee said...

Karl was a delight to have in my life. He was one of the first indivisuals I met when I moved on Quesada. He introduced me to Ms. Smith and stated anything in the garden welcome myself too. I will miss Karl. He always had my favorite flowers to me once they bloomed. I just spoke to him yesterday and still in disbelief. My prayers go out to his family as well as his friends and love ones in the community. Please inform me of the services if possible. Lets keep Karls love and dreams for Quesada Garden alive...

Many Blessings,
Ranee Hindsman
email address

Gretchen said...

I am so saddened by the news of Karl's passing. He was a real and sweet inspiration to me during and after my brief time as his neighbor at 1765 Quesada. He embodies the true meaning of a good neighbor. He will be missed, and is in my thoughts and prayers. My heartfelt condolences to his family and our community. Long may his efforts bloom and nurture.

Gretchen Vogel

AmyP said...

My name is Amy "Paige" Alexander and I am his older sister and the last remaining sibling of Karl. It is truly a blessing to see all the warm and pleasant comments about my brother. I can remember me and my siblings working on our parents farm in Belzoni, Miss. where we were all obligated to complete the chores. It is wonderful to know that our Mississippi upbringing was well received by Karl and shared with so many. I only hope the values and hard work that my brother has demonstrated doesn't go in vain. Afterall, we clearly live in a time where not many carry the traditional value system. My brother Karl was always a loving and sensitive child, a caring brother, proud parent as well as a devoted military man.

He will truly be missed!

His loving Sister,
Amy P. Alexander