The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

May 20, 2013

A Don McCormack column: Tributes continue to roll in

Sports Editor

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.

Money matters

Those planning on attending district-tournament baseball and softball games this week are reminded to be prepared to reach for your wallets and into your purses.

Ohio High School Athletic Association rules require admission fees of $6 for adults and $4 for students at all district-level contests for the respective two sports.

Man in blue

Good guy Rick Nemet has been awarded a spot as an umpire in the OHSAA state softball tournament once again.

Nemet, a Jefferson resident and the high school basketball coach of yours truly back in the day, will be making his eighth appearance as an umpire in the Final Four in two weeks at Firestone Stadium in Akron.

He recently worked the prestigious Spring Classic Softball Invitational at Brookside Park in Ashland, the former home of the state softball tournament.

McCormack is the sports editor of the Star Beacon. Reach him at