Jan. 14, 1931- Jan. 2, 2022
M. Paul Nestor died with his family at his side on Jan.. 2, 2022, at the age of 90.
Paul was born in Parsons, WV on Jan. 14, 1931, to Minor and Mattie Nestor. His strong work ethic started young when as a boy he held jobs cleaning the Parsons Post Office and delivering newspapers. Even a bitter snowstorm could not stop this 10 year old from delivering paper up Quality Hill. He was also quite an entrepreneur trapping muskrats to sell the pelts to the Sears catalogue.
He graduated from Parsons High School (’48) and continued his athletic interests by playing football and basketball on scholarship at Potomac State College then was recruited to the University of Maryland (UMD) on scholarship to play football (’51-’53) for Jim Tatum during UMD’s glory years. The undefeated ’51 team beat number one ranked Tennessee in the 1952 Sugar Bowl and played a role in the formation of the ACC. As a college football player, he would spend time at home to encourage and play ball with Parsons’ youth. Paul was drafted by the Chicago Bears and wrangled a trade to the Baltimore Colts so that he could attend UMD dental school (BCDS), until the dean found out and gave him an ultimatum: football or dentistry.
He married Mabelle Beck on May 30, 1953, and settled in Baltimore to attend dental school. After graduation they moved to Niagara Falls, NY where he served two years as a dentist for the Air Force fulfilling his ROTC commitment.
In 1959 they moved to Tampa, Fla. and began raising a family. Paul worked as a dentist for 62 years until the age of 87! Many dentists over the years have commented on his enduring craftsmanship when they have received his patients. He was an ethical professional and avid learner who loved dentistry and served his patients well. He also served in various leadership positions (President of the Hillsborough County Dental Association, the Southeastern Academy of Prosthodontics), mentoring work-study students, and working at the free dental clinic. A believer in continuing education, in the mid-1980’s he attended a monthly three-year fellowship program at the University of Florida. Later in his career he was awarded a fellowship in the International College of Dentists.
An involved father, Paul’s desire to mentor and train youngsters continued through coaching Little League baseball and youth football for many years. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.
He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Mabelle B. Nestor, and children, Laura Nestor Lynch (Jay), Mabelle Nestor Thomas (Curtis), Paul D. Nestor, and grandchildren, Jonathan Lynch (Amanda), Elizabeth Lynch, David Lynch, Michael Lynch, John Thomas, and Quinn Thomas and three great-grandsons, Nick, Noah, and Nathan Lynch.
In a letter to his children in March of 2019, Paul wrote about being raised in the Great Depression and the importance of distinguishing between needs and wants. He writes, “It is nice to have a rainy-day fund but if you want to have real security and freedom in life, it is found with God through Jesus Christ! Through the Scriptures and worship we have the examples for guidance on how we should live our lives and our relationship with other human beings.” He loved the motto of John Wesley, founder of Methodism, “Earn all you can, save all you can, give all you can.”
A memorial service will be held at Grace at Ft. Clarke, 9325 West Newberry Rd., Gainesville, Fla., 32606 on Saturday, Jan. 15 at noon.
In lieu of flowers a donation may be made to Haven Hospice, 4200 NW 90th Blvd, Gainesville Fla, 32606 (beyourhaven.org) or a charity of your choice. For a full obituary see his memorial page at, www.williamsthomasfuneralhome.com