Paul Gilson (1938 – 2018)


Paul Russel Gilson, 79, Rochester, Indiana and formerly of North Webster, Indiana, left for heaven on angel wings on January 28, 2018, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was born on August 11, 1938 in Fulton County, Ohio, the son of Walter Franklin Gilson and Grace Annabella (Hayes) Gilson.

In 1980, Paul married Janet Dehring. Together they operated P.J. Pizza, P.J.’s Too, and Sweet Yesterdays nostalgic ice cream parlor in the Syracuse/North Webster area. In those 30 years they worked with hundreds of youth. Paul graduated from Pettisville High School, Pettisville, Ohio, in 1956 and served his country in the United States Army. He graduated from Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio with a Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in Education. He has worked with youth most of his adult life as a Teacher, Work Study Coordinator, College Instructor and Coordinator of Regional Resource Center for Northwest Ohio. He also co-authored and co-directed the N.O.W. Project in Findley, Ohio. He attended Grace United Methodist Church, Rochester, Indiana. He was an avid football fan, outdoorsman, enjoyed gardening and loved playing with his dogs.

Surviving Paul are his wife, Janet Gilson, Rochester, Indiana, four children, Sabrena Gordon, Robin Danner, Julie Koch and David Gilson, ten grandchildren, Benjamin Penwell, Jessica Barnett, Daniel Gordon, Michael Gordon, Katie Wigley, Riley Gilson, Colt Lundy, Aidan Koch, Aubrey Koch and Gabrielle Gilson, five great grandchildren, Emmalynn Howell, Rowan Barnett, Owen Gilson, Elizabeth Gilson and Charlie Wigley, sister, Sandra Ottney, Pensylvania, and brothers, Roger Gilson and Lowell Gilson both of Georgia. Paul was preceded in death by his parents, sister, June Spengler and grandson, Baron Gilson.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 11:30 A.M. Saturday February 17, 2018 at the First Baptist Church, 854 S. Shoop Avenue, Wauseon, Ohio 43567. Burial will follow at the Pettisville Lutheran Cemetery, Pettisville, Ohio.

Memorial Contributions may be made to Grace United Methodist Church Youth Group, Rochester, Indiana. Arrangements have been entrusted to Zimmerman Bros. Funeral Home, Rochester, Indiana. Online condolences may be expressed at

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