Paul A. Moots, beloved pastoral director, community leader, and tireless worker for those who were oppressed and unable to help themselves, passed away June 19, 2013, after a short illness. Just as he devoted his life to others and always deflected attention away from himself, so, in his final illness, his heart was with his dear wife, his many friends, and all those whose lives he had touched so deeply.
Son of Philip K. and Margaret Shoots Moots, Paul is survived by his devoted wife Robin, with whom he has worked and lived and laughed for many years. They have been joint activists in causes important to the community and its needy, and together have made the lives of so many brighter—not just in material terms but in reference to their spirits and fame of mind. Paul and Robin, Robin and Paul: ready always with a kind word, assistance, and, unfailingly, laughter and joy. Before his final surgical procedure, Paul had his loved ones and medical attendants doubled over with laughter, and Robin has proceeded since to lighten others’ loads. Paul thus lives on in so many ways, most prominently through the selfless and boundless love radiating from Robin.
Paul was also a grandfather so devoted and generous he would have won awards for these things, were such awards given; and it would be wrong not to mention these dear children whose love he treasured and nurtured: Madeline, Kirstin, and Grace.
Paul graduated from Bellefontaine high school in 1972, received his B.A. with honors in English from The Ohio State University in 1976, and was awarded the Master of Divinity degree from The Methodist Theological School in Ohio. After graduation, Paul served devotedly in several ministerial positions: Zanesville Grace United Methodist Church, Summit United Methodist Church and Linden United Methodist Church in Columbus, Mount Sterling United Methodist Church, and Mount Sterling First Church of the Nazarene.
Paul was, from the beginning, one of those rare children of God whose energy and sense of mission pulled him always into the heart of the toughest problems faced by his community. So many were his activities and accomplishments in these areas that we will mention only one (knowing how much Paul would dislike anything that looked even faintly like praise): his leadership role in establishing the Mount Sterling Community Center.
As a student at Ohio State, Paul was fond of singing (not too well) , especially Beatles tunes then popular. No one who heard him will ever forget his shrill falsetto going at “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” And that’s just what he did---held hands with love and tenderness, hands which had been shunned and ignored. His touch warms us still.
A celebration of Paul’s life will be held Sunday, June 23, at 5:00 p.m. at the Mount Sterling First Church of the Nazarene.
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