Dempsey, Jr, Paul E

Paul Edwin Dempsey, Jr, RPT, 73, of Barboursville passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 at St. Mary’s Medical Center.

Paul was born April 20, 1947 to Paul Sr. and Lucille Dempsey. He graduated from Huntington East High School and Marshall University, where he was the piano technician for the music department for over forty years until retiring in 2013. He also tuned and maintained pianos privately throughout his career up until his death. He was a trusted and well-respected registered piano technician and musician, and his skill and expertise will be missed by many. Paul was a mainstay of the barbershop music community and founded the River Magic Chorus chapter of Sweet Adelines International which he also directed for many years.

When Paul wasn’t rebuilding a piano in his work shop, he loved to do woodworking. He bonded with his fellow woodworkers over dove tail joints and wood grain, and his clamp collection is the stuff of legend. He was never without his hat and a nondescript food stain on his shirt. He cussed like a sailor and never missed an opportunity to say “Sorry, we can’t stay for the drawing” when he got the check at a restaurant. Paul was known for his sardonic sense of humor and thought himself to be the funniest person ever born. Most of the time it was hard to disagree with him on that.

A much adored husband, father and grandfather, Paul is survived by his loving wife of 45 years, Barbara; his four children Helen (David) May, Joe (Leigh Ann) Ratcliff, Heather (Philip) James, and Paul (Sara) Dempsey III; and his grandchildren Keifer and Joe May, Skyler and Lexie Ratcliff, Skylar Reizman, Mia Bowen, Owen, Elliott and Oliver James, and Aiden and Phillip Dempsey. He was preceded in death by a granddaughter, Violet Dempsey. He will be deeply missed by his sisters Stephanie (Jerry) Gray and Cindy (Mark) Smith; his brothers-in-law Tom (Doris) Myers and Russell (Patty) Myers; and too many nieces and nephews for him to ever keep up with. He also leaves behind his close friends John and Mary Hare.

Paul requested no service, and in lieu of flowers, please make a donation to an organization of your choice in his memory. “Everything that needed to be said has been said, we just wanted to go on saying it.”

One Reply to “Dempsey, Jr, Paul E”

  1. Barbara, so sad to hear of Paul’s passing. As you know, Paul and I go back a long ways. My memory goes back to the fun times and barbershop chords we rang together in the quartet and chorus. I am so sad and wish we could have talked one more time and rang one more chord together. He will never be forgotten. God bless you and the entire family.
    John Riffe

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