JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — On May 15, 2013, Paul Arthur Demshar, age 62, went home to the mansion Jesus Christ has prepared for him.
He was born July 17, 1950, in Ashtabula, one of eight children of Gabriel and Bertha (Bjorkman) Demshar. He graduated from Jefferson High School in 1968 after having attended his first 11 school years in Geneva. He played football, baseball, and basketball and was a star athlete. It was in high school where he met the love of his life, Jenny White.
After high school, Paul received his B.A. degree from Malone College in Canton, Ohio in 1972. He passed the CPA exam in 1976. Following college, he worked for the Department of Army in Joliet, Ill. He was a Revenue Agent with the Internal Revenue Service, as well as a Special Agent in Criminal Investigation with the IRS. Paul was also employed with Ernst & Ernst, then known as one of the Big Eight CPA firms in the country.
He started his own CPA practice in Ashtabula in 1980 under the name of Paul A. Demshar, CPA, Inc. Since then he had become a licensed financial advisor.
Paul had been a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants; on the Board of Directors and Treasurer for Projecto Luz, a Cleveland-based agency providing support for Latinos and African Americans living with AIDS; Past President and Board Member of the Ashtabula Metropolitan Housing Association; former Board Member of the American Red Cross, Youth for Christ, and Samaritan House; Member of the Board of Trustees of Malone College and the Malone College M-1000 Club; a Friend of Boston University; member of Ashtabula City Revolving Loan and Funds Committee; acting City Auditor during the city of Ashtabula’s fiscal emergency era; former member of the Ways and Means Committee of North Central Ohio Church of the Nazarene; member of the NCO Church of the Nazarene Management Group; and served as the CPA for the NCO Church of the Nazarene.
Paul’s service in the life of Ashtabula’s First Church of the Nazarene was characterized by a wide variety of ministries including teaching children, youth and adult Sunday School classes, serving in the nursery, ushering, treasurer, board member, van driver, and a member of the clown ministry. Each December, he and Jennifer host a church-wide Christmas party in their home. He was a genuine encourager, generous in so many ways.
Paul enjoyed life to the fullest being happily married to his wife and doing anything and everything with his children and grandchildren. When his children were in high school and college, he never missed any of their sporting events, and was known for buying pop and candy and handing it out to the school kids at the games. He and Jennifer have been avid supporters of Ashtabula and Lakeside High Schools since the late 80’s.
A close second to his family was his office staff and the families he was honored to professionally serve. He enjoyed taking Brutus, the office dog, to work with him each day. He offered his services free of charge to many and would sometimes trade his services for homemade goodies such as cakes and pies (CPA—cherry, peach and apple.) He enjoyed having his grandson, Garrett, with him at the office. They often wore matching suits and carried similar briefcases.
Paul’s special interests included reading, following the stock market, visits to his Florida home after tax season to be with his grandchildren, secretly paying for someone’s dinner and giving anonymously, eating good food (especially pretzels and root beer), engaging in good conversation and making new friends. He never met a stranger. He loved watching baseball and football especially when the Browns and Indians lost. His favorite teams were the Boston Red Sox, the Cincinnati Bengals and any football team his son-in-law played for. Paul also loved teasing people by tapping them on the shoulder and pretending to not know who did it, saying “Gotcha” each and every time. He is probably in Heaven now tapping Jesus on the shoulder with a huge smile on his face!
His survivors include his beloved wife, Jennifer (White), with whom he would have celebrated 43 years of marriage this August; one son, Matthew Paul and his wife, Lisa (Duff) of Austinburg; one daughter, Rebekah Lynn Zelenka and her husband, Joe, of Braselton, Ga.; five grandchildren, Garrett and Lillianne Demshar and Grace, Benjamin and Abigail Zelenka; two sisters, Betty (Denny) Aultman of Geneva and Pauletta (Lenny) Pasko of Painesville; two brothers, Edward Demshar of Harpersfield and Dennis (Edie) Demshar of The Villages, Fla.; his wife’s family whom he claimed as his own, Donna (Larry) Browning of Jefferson, Doug (Debbie) White of New Lyme, Kim (John) Barker of Conneaut and Jeff (Tammy) White of Ashtabula; many loving nieces and nephews; his precious church family; and the “girls” at the office, whom he considered part of his family, too.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Vincent Demshar and Gabriel Demshar; sister, Pauline Williams; and grandson, Clayton Garrett Demshar.
Calling Hours will be from 3 to 8 p.m., Thursday, May 23rd, at Gateway Church, 2300 Austinburg Road, Austinburg.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held 11 a.m., Friday, May 24th, at the Gateway Church, with the Rev. Michael Legg, Pastor of Ashtabula First Church of the Nazarene, officiating assisted by the Rev. Wendell Kizzee. Those unable to attend the funeral service may watch it via webcast through a link at www.ducro.com or at www.ducrowebcast.com. Burial will be in Ridgeview Cemetery where he will rest beside his grandson.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Animal Protective League, 5970 Green Road, Ashtabula, Ohio 44004, Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland, 10415 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, Ohio 44106, or Ronald McDonald House of Jacksonville, 824 Children's Way, Jacksonville, Fla. 32207.
DUCRO FUNERAL SERVICES AND CREMATORY, 4524 Elm Ave., Ashtabula is in charge of arrangements.
Obituary at www.ducro.com and starbeacon.com.