Cover photo for Paul David Sehnert's Obituary
Paul David Sehnert Profile Photo

Paul David Sehnert

d. May 19, 2019

Paul David Sehnert, age 63 of Philadelphia, PA passed away peacefully on May 19, 2019 at home with family and friends. He bravely battled cancer since 2017. Paul was born on June 30, 1955 in Midland, TX and was raised in Calgary, AB and Lima, OH. His parents were the late Ann D. Sehnert and Harold G. Sehnert. Paul deeply loved his family and friends and his most cherished memories are times hiking and biking in the Colorado mountains. Paul graduated from Shawnee High School, Lima, OH before studying Architecture at the University of Cincinnati, graduating with highest honors in 1979. Upon graduation from UC, Paul started his career with the City of Cincinnati and the City of Denver in their Urban Design departments. Based upon demonstrated talent, Paul was admitted with a Fellowship to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and earned a MArch, MSRED degree in 1988 in MIT’s Real Estate Development program. Following MIT, Paul worked at Halcyon Partners, and then Ernst & Young as Senior Manager based in Hartford, CT. He joined the University of Pennsylvania as Director, Real Estate Development in 2000. While working at Penn, Paul served as an adjunct lecturer and instructor at PennDesign in Real Estate Design and Development,and during 2009-2012 a lecturer for Investment and Finance for the Department of City Planning. Paul drew great strength from mentoring students and challenging them to expand their knowledge in the Real Estate profession. Paul was an integral part of the Penn community and contributed his expertise in architecture and real estate finance in dozens of projects developed by the university, including the innovative Pennovation project. His legacy at Penn is his tireless contribution to Pennovation with its unique design and focused mission as a technology incubator for Penn. As Penn’s model for large scale urban redevelopment became the national gold standard in higher education, Paul was known and respected as a leading thinker in design and finance within the real estate business. Paul was considered a natural teacher among his students and colleagues and earned a trusted reputation as a gentleman dealmaker with a collaborative spirit.  Paul led a full life with his family, career, church and community as priorities. He was known for his humor and bold statements, but always delivered with wit and a gleam in his eye. He was an active member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, and served as a Vestry member. Throughout his lifetime, Paul was an avid supporter of his sons, and participated in their many activities as an active single father.Paul also volunteered his time as chairman of the Community Design Collaborative, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in Philadelphia neighborhoods through architecture. Paul is preceded in death by his wife Susan Dean Sehnert, who passed from breast cancer in May, 1999. Paul is survived by his sons, Joshua Paul (Seattle, WA) and Benjamin David (Philadelphia, PA); his sister, Barb Lange (Eric) of Albion, MI; and brothers Steve Sehnert (Carol) of Steamboat Springs, CO and John Sehnert (Jean) of Dallas, TX; as well as numerous beloved nieces and nephews. Special recognition of important contributors in Paul’s life include the Rev. John Francis and his wife, Emmy Francis and special friend Barbara Delacato. A service of remembrance will be held on Saturday, June 1, 2019 at 1:00 pm in the sanctuary of Saint Paul's Episcopal Church, Chestnut Hill, PAwith a reception following in the Parish Hall. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the charity of your choosing. The interment will be in St. Paul’s Columbarium, for eternal glory.
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Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

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