Donations in honor of Moeller can be sent to the Calaveras Community Foundation’s Martha and Paul Moeller Fund at P.O. Box 1436, Angels Camp, CA, 95222, or to Calaveras County Public Access Television at P.O. Box 2064, San Andreas, CA, 95249.

Paul Moeller, co-founder of Calaveras Community Television, died on Sept. 29 at his home in Avery. He was 90 years old.

Moeller spent the latter part of his life chronicling important events, interviews with government officials, high school sports, and more for the station, now known as Calaveras County Public Access Television.

“He was a very congenial man, very sweet and very dedicated,” said Sarah Lunsford, the station’s programmer for the better part of the past decade. “He got into places with his camera that most people couldn’t in our county.”

Lunsford said the station’s archives contain roughly 8,000 programs, about 80 percent of which she estimated were shot by Moeller.

An article about Moeller published in The Union Democrat on Feb. 22, 2007, stated that he helped launch the station in 1983. He would spend the next three decades working between 30 and 40 hours a week to provide programming, all of which he did for free.

“I like my days, I like my life, I like my jobs,” Moeller said in the 2007 article.

Moeller was born on Sept. 21, 1927, to parents Paul and Hedwig Moeller in Gotha, Germany. He came of age in Soviet-controlled East Germany, which he escaped from in 1946 for better economic opportunities.

“People with their own opinions would be put in jail or vanish,” Moeller said in the 2007 article. “There was no freedom of speech. It was a totalitarian, communistic place that had only one rule and that was what they said.”

After earning a Diplome Photographics Engineer from the Staatliche Fachschule fuer Photography in Cologne, Germany, Moeller moved to the United States in the early 1960s with his wife, Martha Baumbach Moeller.

The couple landed on American soil at New York Harbor and he had a sponsor who secured a job for him at an advertising agency in San Francisco, though the job was no longer available when he arrived.

Moeller eventually got a job at Kodak in the Bay Area and later worked at Lockheed Martin. He and his wife became American citizens in 1966.

The Moellers retired in 1980 and moved to Calaveras County, where they had visited on weekend camping trips since the late 1960s. They bought land on Fullen Road and built a small cabin that they filled with antiques and souvenirs from their annual trips to Germany and other places around the world.

Upon moving to the county, Moeller began volunteering for Calaveras Big Trees State Park and would put out a calendar of events happening in the area that he printed at his own expense.

Moeller formed a public access group when companies began installing cable television lines throughout the county in the 1980s. He retired from managing the San Andreas station in 1997, which helped secure the loans to build, but continued filming events into the mid-2010s.

Moeller also taught videography lessons for students in junior high, high school and community college.

Often referred to as Mr. Calaveras County, Moeller was chosen as the Senior Citizen of the Year in 1997 and earned a number of other awards for his videography. He was also selected as Grand Marshall of the Murphys Homecoming Parade and Grand Marshall of the Arnold Fourth of the July Parade.

After suffering a fractured femur and stroke in 2016, Moeller spent the last months of his life at his home where he could look out the window and shoot pictures of stray cats, squirrels, deer and racoons on his property.

Moeller, whose wife died in 2011, donated a portion of his estate to the Martha and Paul Moeller Fund at the Calaveras Community Foundation. He is survived by two nephews, Michael Lafarre and Thomas Gemein, who both live in Germany.

No services are planned.

Contact Alex MacLean at amaclean@uniondemocrat.com or (209) 588-4530.





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