Paul “Pop” Soroken-beloved husband, father, and friend-passed away on May 19th at the wee age of 80.
Born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts in 1943, his lifelong, boundless curiosity eventually led him to Tokyo, Japan where, at a youth hostel, he met his future wife and love chicken, Chiyo Masaki. The happy pair returned to New England and, with at least a foot of snow falling around them, were married on the college campus in Brattleboro, VT. After receiving MAT-degrees for teaching English as a second language, they returned to Tokyo to work as ESL textbook writers for Time-Life Japan. In their free time they explored the country’s different regions, cities and towns accruing experiences and influences that would shape the rest of their lives.
Paul and Chiyo relocated to Lenox, Massachusetts, where Paul opened his first business-a contemporary art gallery focused on the Japanese pottery they both loved. It was here the couple’s journey as parents of three children-Maana, Eva and Alexander-began.
A shopkeeper at heart, Paul, with Chiyo always alongside him, continued opening a diverse range of retail stores throughout the Berkshires. Each of their three shops-Yamato House, Present Perfect and 925iSilver-sold products that reflected their experiences as world travelers. Mr. Personality, as Paul was often referred, possessed a rare mix of keen intelligence, enthusiasm for everything and an absolutely unparalleled sense of humor. Pop was widely known for his optimistic, loveable nature and his ability to lift the spirits of seemingly anyone who walked into one of his shops. In later years, you could catch Pop cruising Pittsfield, never without his “hat”, always bidding farewell to everyone he met with a cheery, “have a shitty day.”
Pop leaves behind a family that vows to carry on his colorful journey full of rich, worldly experiences. As Helen Keller once said, “What we once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes a part of us.”
Funeral services for Paul “Pop” Soroken will be private. Please visit www.dwyerfuneral.com to leave condolences and remembrances.
Published by The Berkshire Eagle on May 27, 2023.