A TRIBUTE TO A LIFE WELL-LIVED
PAUL E. MASHBURN, JR.
AUGUST 30, 1935 – JULY 1, 2018
Paul E. Mashburn, Jr. passed away peacefully on July 1, 2018 at his home in Winter Park, Florida. Paul was born in Orlando, Florida on August 30, 1935, and was a life-long resident of Central Florida, except for attending high school in Daytona Beach, Florida. There he met Suzi, the love of his life, his soul-mate and ultimately, his wife of 63 years.
Paul graduated from Mainland High School in Daytona Beach, and attended the University of Florida. He began his career in construction in the mid-1950’s, and soon acquired a broad range of experience, including serving as general superintendent for an international construction company, in charge of all of their projects in the Virgin Islands. He was later President of a publicly-traded company involved in construction of residential and multi-family developments in Central Florida. In 1964 Paul formed his own general contracting company, Su-Jak Enterprises (named after his wife Suzi, and daughters Jeri and Kathi). He formed Viking Builders, Inc. in 1968. Viking Builders was the Owner, Developer and General Contractor of numerous residential and commercial projects in Central Florida, ranging from affordable housing to high-end commercial projects. Centurion Properties, Inc. formed in 1979 was the real estate broker for several of these projects. Paul was state certified as a “Class A” general contractor, a licensed real estate broker, and realtor. He also served eight years on the Orange County Building Advisory Board, four years as Chairman.
Paul believed it was important to give back to the industry that had given so much to him. His involvement in leadership positions within the local, state and national Home Builders Associations began in 1976 when he served as Chairman of the Builders Council of the Mid-Florida HBA. He was a two-time President of the HBA of Mid-Florida (in 1978 and 1992), and he received their “Builder of the Year” award in 1977 and 1979. In 2014, Paul was inducted into the Greater Orlando Builders Association Inaugural Class Hall of Fame.
At the state level, he was Senior Officer of the Florida Home Builders Association (FHBA) from 1981–1983, and was President from 1983-1984. In 1987 he was elected “Builder of the Year” by the Florida Home Builders Association. Paul was inducted into the HBA Florida Housing Hall of Fame in 1993. He was Chairman of the Hall of Fame Board of Governors in 1989 & 1990, and 1995 & 1996.
Paul’s involvement at the national level began in 1985, when he served as State Representative to the National Home Builders Association. Over the next decade he served on numerous committees and held several chairmanships at the national level. He served as Vice-President for Area V and as a member of the NAHB Executive Committee from 1986-1990 and from 1994-1996.
Paul’s love of his industry was surpassed only by his love for his family – his wife, Suzi, and his daughters Kathi and Jeri. He often shared the podium with Suzi, and was always quick to credit her with helping him achieve most of his accomplishments. Paul and Suzi were a dynamic duo in the industry, and their love for each other was evident to all.
Paul’s many speeches often included references to hard-fought “battles” – both business and political; but his toughest battle was a personal one – that he fought and won when he beat Stage IV cancer at the age of 71. The next 11 years presented additional health challenges from the aftermath of aggressive radiation, but he continued to fight the good fight, always professing “I have no complaints.”
It was during this time that Paul’s career had entered a new chapter as teacher and instructor to realtors and superintendents. It was a role he relished. Always proudly wearing his “Cancer Sucks” button, his classes were as much inspirational as educational. It was a fitting final chapter to an amazing career.
A note found taped to his desk reads as follows:
“For whatever reason, God has blessed me. I am trying to keep my part of the bargain, by paying it forward. Take what you have been given and be a positive influence on others.”
Paul was a humble, self-made man, whose legacy will live on.
Paul is survived by his wife, Suzi, daughter Kathi Fjelstad (son-in-law Scott), daughter Jeri Heileman (son-in-law Greg), brother James McNeill, cousin John Hanlon, grandson, Joel Rogers, granddaughter Kelsey Norris (grandson-in-law Trace), grandson Grant Heileman, granddaughter Delaney Heileman, great-granddaughter Brooke Homfeld, great-grandson Hunter Norris, great-granddaughter Riley Rogers, and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family expresses their deepest appreciation to Dr. Maureen Holasek for connecting Paul to M.D. Anderson in Houston in 2007, and for her support in the years that followed. The family also sincerely thanks the doctors and nurses at Orlando Regional Medical Center, Florida Hospital, and Cornerstone Hospice, who cared for Paul over the years, during his last hospitalization, and during his final days at home.
Respecting Paul’s wishes, no service is planned. The Paul E. Mashburn Memorial Fund has been established at United Legacy Bank, 2200 Aloma Avenue, Winter Park, Florida 32792, 407-671-4500. Contributions will be made to charitable causes that Paul supported.
The family encourages friends and colleagues to share memories and anecdotes at the following link. These reflections will allow them to more fully know the amazing man they knew primarily as their husband, dad and granddad.