The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


May 20, 2013

A Don McCormack column: Tributes continue to roll in

Paying a visit to the variety store...

Man of honor

I’ve been flooded with messages, emails and telephone calls about the passing of Paul Demshar last Thursday in Jacksonville, Fla.

The tributes and stories keep pouring in, many of which I had not heard before, and I get the feeling Paul’s tragic/heroic death while saving his 10-year-old grandson, Garrett, will be with those of us who both knew and loved the man forever.

One of the many calls I received was from Mark Woods, a columnist for the Florida Times-Union, the paper of record in Jacksonville.

Woods wanted to know if his newspaper could borrow our wonderful photo of Paul and his lovely wife, Jennifer, but also if I’d be willing to talk about Mr. Demshar.

Fortunately, Woods had plenty of time to listen as yours truly pretty much poured his heart out to him about one of the best people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing.

And, to his credit, Woods produced a wonderful, straight-from-the-heart tribute to Mr. Demshar in the Times-Union’s Sunday edition.

If you’d care to read his fine tribute column about the loss of one of our county’s truly best people, visit the Times-Union’s website at and look for the link to the story.

Being able to talk about not only the loss of Mr. Demshar, but what a salt-of-the-earth guy he was and how his infectious spirit for life rubbed off on everyone, was something I expected to be difficult, but as it turned out, was anything but.

While we are still grieving as a community at his passing, I keep coming back to the same thought as I think of Mr. Demshar.

Because of not only time spent with him — which was never enough — but more so, because of the example he set for all of us... we are better now, as individuals and as a community, than we were then.

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