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Posted on April 3, 2015 | 3:26 p.m.

Paul Mershon Jr., Formerly of Santa Barbara, 1925-2015

Source: Paula Broe

Mershon
Paul Marze Mershon Jr.

Paul Marze Mershon Jr. of Denver, Colo., and formerly of Santa Barbara, Calif., and Las Vegas, N.M., departed this life on March 21, 2015.

Paul was a devoted student of science and learning, and to that end, he donated his body to science.

Born at home on Feb. 7, 1925, in Walters, Okla., to Paul Marze Mershon Sr. and Jane “Cecilia” (Lambert), he lived his early life hunting, fishing, hiking and collecting arrowheads and artifacts around Cotton County, Okla.

Paul enlisted in the Army after graduating from Walters High School in 1943. He was a veteran of World War II and served in Europe as a bombardier navigator with the B-25 Marauder 344th Bomb Group.

After the war, Paul married Jean Johnson and attended the University of Oklahoma on the GI Bill, graduating with a degree in geology. He worked in the oil and gas industry in Texas, New Mexico and Colorado. In 1973, he partnered with an associate, Bill Macey, to form Macey and Mershon, a successful O&G company headquartered in Denver. During this time, Paul developed the Mershon Decline Curve, a means of assessing oil and gas productivity, which is still used today by many banking and O&G businesses.

Paul remained actively involved in O&G after his retirement, helping to develop The Great Western Oil and Gas Company, for which the first four wells were named after him. Paul was still investing in O&G ventures shortly before his death at the age of 90.

A lifelong student, Paul taught himself computer programming, became a jet pilot (and flew his own jet) and was a master bridge player. He was also an avid gardener with an interest in orchids and redwoods, a world-class fisherman and a world traveler. When he was 85, he hiked over seven miles in one day in the Amazon rainforest and afterward managed to shatter the bull's-eye of a target with a bow and arrow — a feat even the native archer wasn’t able to accomplish.

He took college classes in archaeology in his 80s. Paul’s interest in Native Americans and archaeology led him to spend many hours volunteering with the Early Man Project near Las Vegas, N.M. He learned how to knap arrowheads and passed this skill down to his nephews. At the time of his death, he was working on a geology report for the Early Man Project and was anticipating meeting with them to discuss his work.

Although Paul had no children of his own, he was the true patriarch of his extended family, loved, honored, respected and enjoyed by all his many relatives. He was a mentor to many and his enthusiasm, spirit and sense of adventure were admired by all. Paul led many outings in Wyoming and Oklahoma, teaching his family how to explore for gemstones and artifacts. His family will miss the knowledge and stories he loved to share and the experiences he encouraged them to have.

He is survived by his sister, Marion McGlohon of Ulysses, Kan.; sister and brother-in-law, June and Royce Copeland of Denver, Colo.; nieces and nephews, Keith Copeland of Denver, Bruce and Crystal McGlohon of Ulysses, Paula and Pat Broe of Denver, Pat and Deb McGlohon of Topeka, Kan., Debbie McGlohon of Oklahoma City, Scott and Susan McGlohon of LaVerne, Calif., Leslie Berry of Arkadelphia, Ark., and Karissa and Lance Torcom of Virginia Beach, Va.; 16 great nieces and nephews; and four great-great nieces and nephews, along with other loved cousins and relatives. He is also survived by his ex-wife, Terrie Mershon of Santa Barbara, and her children, Jyl Aker, Mark Aker and Lisa Ratkevich, and grandchildren Kyle Aker, Alek Aker, Jenna Ratkevich and Vinnie Ratkevich, all of Santa Barbara; and by longtime associates Keith Heimbuck of Denver and Rosie Puff of Santa Barbara. Paul was preceded in death by his parents and his nephew, Dwight McGlohon.

Paul’s life was made fuller and richer by sharing his enthusiasm for knowledge and his love of family, whose lives were enriched by his presence. He enjoyed his life to the fullest and was grateful and gracious to the end, leaving behind a legacy and example that inspires us all.

The family would like to thank the caring staff of Brookdale University Park, Home Instead Senior Care and Namaste Hospice Care for their commitment to Paul. He appreciated the many acts of kindness bestowed on him.

Donations may be made in his honor to the University of Oklahoma Paul Mershon Scholarship Fund in Norman, Okla., or the Mershon Family Scholarship at Walters High School in Walters, Okla. A celebration of his life will be scheduled at a later time.

 

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