Albert Paschall, 58, co-founder of the Lincoln Institute of Public Opinion Research, Inc. passed away on Memorial Day, May 28, 2012, in Melbourne, Florida where he recently moved after his retirement as President of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce.
After showing early leadership abilities by becoming one of the youngest boys in the region to earn his Eagle Scout Award, Al spent his early career in newspapers. From that point on he was hooked on writing eventually penning a hundreds of commentaries for the Lincoln Institute and becoming one of the most widely syndicated columnists in the nation.
Having founded the King of Prussia Chamber of Commerce, Al undertook one of the biggest challenges of his career when he sought to move a Revolutionary War era inn, reputed to have been the headquarters of General George Washington, which stood in the path of a major highway project leading into the King of Prussia Mall.
Al spent years raising money and plodding through a challenging maze of government bureaucracy to secure ownership of the inn for the chamber, gaining the permits necessary to move the structure, and finally overcoming the logistical challenges of moving the inn to its current location several miles from its original site. The inn became the chamber's headquarters and Al promptly declared himself "superintendent" of the inn taking personal responsibility for its renovation and care.
The idea for forming the Lincoln Institute came about while Al and I sat at a diner in Chester County in late 1992 talking about how the voice of the people in Pennsylvania seldom is heard in the halls of state government. We sketched out a business plan for the Institute on a napkin and then set out to make it a reality. Al became a founding member of the Lincoln Institute's board of directors and remained an integral and active participant in the Institute's activities until the time of his death.
In 1995, the Lincoln Institute debuted a half hour public affairs radio program, Lincoln Radio Journal and Al Paschall became the program's first commentator. Lincoln Radio Journal grew from a monthly radio program airing on six radio stations into a weekly broadcast airing on 81 stations throughout Pennsylvania by the time of his retirement. His commentaries, under the titles of We the People, The Circle Game, and Somedays were often written in an Andy Rooney style that were simultaneously humorous, biting, and educational. He eventually collected many of his commentaries into a book, I haven't Found Laura Yet, which was published and sold briskly in the King of Prussia area.
Al leaves behind to celebrate his life wife, Dianne-Ryan Paschall and sons Calvin and Graham Paschall. A memorial service is being planning in the near future in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.
Many years ago, Albert Sindlinger, a pioneer and legend in the polling field who worked alongside us on Lincoln Radio Journal passed away. At the time Al Paschall wrote a heartfelt commentary in which he observed that Mr. Sindlinger was not the sort of person whose shoes you fill. Said Al, "Mr. Sindlinger was the type of person whose shoes you hang on the wall and look at every day as a reminder of what you should strive to be."
With the passing of Al Paschall we have one more pair of shoes we cannot fill.
But we will hang them on the wall.
And we will strive every day to live up to the high standards of personal and professional excellence which he embodied.
Rest in peace, my friend.
- Lowman S. Henry, May 28, 2011