Remembering Paul Mershon
February 7, 1925 – March 21, 2015
Paul Marze Mershon Jr. was born in Walters, Oklahoma. He was a veteran of WWII and served in Europe. After graduating from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in geology, Paul worked in the oil and gas industry in Texas, New Mexico and Colorado, and in 1973 formed Macy and Mershon Oil and Gas Co.
Paul moved to San Diego in the late 1970’s where he met his wife Terrie. After moving to Santa Barbara in the 1980’s, Paul learned to fly a jet to ease his commute to his business in Denver.
As a Santa Barbara resident, Paul became actively involved in many organizations including United Way of Santa Barbara County. He served as a member of United Way’s Board of Directors from 1991 to 1998. He began serving on United Way’s Allocations Committee in 1992 and soon became chair of that committee to oversee the work of more than 100 volunteers until 1996.
Paul was very generous with his time, talents and treasures, and was recognized year after year as the member of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society for his annual giving to United Way. He became a member of United Way’s Heritage Club in 1991 when he made his first planned gift to benefit United Way.
Paul had many passions including his love of fishing and travel. Though Paul never had children of this own, he loved being a grandpa to his wife’s grandchildren, and when they were old enough Paul included his grandchildren in his travels.
Paul remained very active, taking archeology courses when he was in his 80’s, playing bridge, and walking in the foothills in his neighborhood until he was 89 years old. He enjoyed his life to the fullest and was grateful and gracious to the end, leaving behind a legacy and an example that is inspirational.
We remember Paul’s kind and unifying touch during various, sometimes challenging, events and committee meetings. His presence always produced better outcomes. His goal was to make this a better world, and when he passed away in March, we were notified that Paul had named United Way of Santa Barbara County as a beneficiary of his IRA. Through this IRA gift, he passed the full value of his IRA, endowing his annual giving to United Way. Paul’s legacy will touch the lives of so many people in our community for generations to come.