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Paul Zwior

August 01, 2009|By MARLO BARNHART

Editor's note: Each Sunday, The Herald-Mail publishes "A Life Remembered." This continuing series takes a look back -- through the eyes of family, friends, co-workers and others -- at a member of the community who died recently. Today's "A Life Remembered" is about Paul Zwior, who died July 15 at the age of 65. His obituary was published in the July 21 edition of The Herald-Mail.

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A very fortunate man, Paul Zwior had a number of passions in his life, all of which he pursued with vigor.

He taught school in Berkeley County for 33 years, a job he loved and one that allowed him the luxury of pursuing his second passion -- golf.

Paul also was a car enthusiast ... his own and top models of the past and present.

So where did his wife, Carolyn, figure into the mix?

"Paul told me it was golf, cars and then me," she said, sporting a smile indicating she really knew where she ranked in their 40-plus years of marriage.

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Paul died July 15 at the age of 65 while on a trip to Berlin, Md.

A New Jersey native, Paul was a sports standout in high school. He earned his secondary education degree in physical education at Shepherd College in Shepherdstown, W.Va., where he roomed with Anthony "Tony" Senecal, both during college and in their postgraduate bachelor days.

"We've been good friends since the early 1960s," Senecal said from the Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida, where he has been a butler for billionaire real estate magnate Donald Trump for many years.

For a time, Senecal worked at the country club in Martinsburg where Paul was golf pro. It was known then as the Martinsburg Country Club and now is Stonebridge Golf Club.

"I first met Paul in 1967 on the putting green," said Edward "Buzz" Cole, another longtime friend and fellow golf enthusiast.

A couple of young guys, Paul and Buzz hit it off right away.

"Nobody would ask us to play with them because we weren't part of the regular players," Buzz said. "So we played together."

Carolyn said she struck up a friendship with Buzz's wife, Sharon, as the two of them spent a lot of time together waiting for their husbands to finish practicing their swings.

Through the years, they remained a close foursome in many aspects of life.

In the mid-1960s, there was no real instruction on how to produce a good golf swing, Buzz said. The two of them practiced and practiced, but it was apparent they needed more than just diligence to get better.

"Paul found out through a friend in 1974 about a teacher in North Carolina named Paul Bertholey, who had a method," Buzz said.

So Paul went south, took the lessons and came back to Martinsburg, convinced he had cracked the secret to a good golf swing.

The Bertholey method involved seven positions of the golf swing coupled with isometric exercises swinging a 24-to-30-inch lead pipe instead of a golf club, Buzz said.

"All the other golfers thought we were nuts," he said.

Paul went to the PGA Tournament in Washington, D.C., in 1976 and followed golf legend Jack Nicklaus around for 18 holes. Paul was able to spot the seven positions in Nicklaus' swings, so he came back home and incorporated the method into his own lessons.

"Paul didn't believe in the quick fix," Buzz said. "It was practice, practice, practice."

Sitting around the kitchen table in the house she and Paul shared for many years, Carolyn agreed with Buzz when he said Paul was at peace when he was playing golf or giving lessons as a golf pro in Martinsburg.

"He wanted to be on the golf course, not behind a counter in the pro shop," she said. "That was my job."

Though Paul was teaching school, he was able to arrange his schedule so he could be on the golf course in the afternoons.

"He also excelled in club repair and club making and he could do that at night," Carolyn said.

On May 1, 1993, Paul semi-retired when he became a life member of the PGA of America. In March 1997, Stonebridge Golf Club asked Paul to once again assume the head PGA professional position, which he did for eight months.

Henry "Beau" Kayes joined the family 15 years ago when he married Amy, a daughter of Carolyn's sister, Colleen Masker, and husband, Mitchell.

"The first time I played with Paul, he said he wasn't interested in finding my golf balls, so I'd better take lessons," Beau said. "He took an interest in me as well as all those kids he taught."

Carolyn first met Paul when she was teaching at Musselman High School and Paul was a roving teacher assigned to several schools.

"I sacrificed a top drawer in my desk and a filing cabinet to him," Carolyn said.

They started talking, then came dating in 1966. Paul and Carolyn were married a year later.

"Paul loved everything about golf," she said. "I respected his passion and he respected mine, which was theater."

When the weather didn't favor playing golf, Paul spent his off-hours painting. Even then, he would revert to the teaching mode as he imparted his artistic techniques to his two great-nieces, Meredith and Caroline Kayes.

Each of the girls created a special art piece for Paul when he died, Carolyn said.

"They called him 'Golf Guy,'" she said.

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