banner

In Memory of Paul Tobkin

Name: Paul Tobkin
Spouse: Jutta Tobkin
Children: Yusun, Jason
Birth Date: January 24, 1950
Blessing Date: July 1, 1982
Ascension Date: October 12, 2019

Paul is the second child of his parents Magliore and Dorothy (Grismer) Tobkin and was born on January 24, 1950. His family worked the farm, and as the family grew the children had to do their chores: milking cows, watching over the younger ones and helping mom with housework.

Paul was a sensitive child and was spiritually intuitive. He questioned his faith, especially during his years at the seminary. Later, as a student at Moorhead University he looked into other religious groups like Ba’hai and Transcendental Meditation. He questioned God and his teachers. He was witnessed to by Thomas Ward and joined the Unification Church on March 16, 1973. He is the first member to move into the church center in Fargo, North Dakota.

He also witnessed to his younger brother Mark Tobkin who has a Blessed Family with his wife YoungJa from Korea. They were Blessed in marriage at the same time as Paul and Jutta and have three children: Jennifer (Blessed to Romin Johnson), Joshua and Jefferson (Blessed to Sun Mansur).

Father Moon matched Paul to Jutta (Rembe) Tobkin from Germany during the Mother’s Day weekend on May 13, 1979. When he put the two of them together, Father said: “This is a good match.” Three years later they were Blessed in marriage by True Parents in the 2075 Blessing at Madison Square Garden on July 1, 1982. During the three-year separation perios, they met only a few times, mostly for Jutta to re-apply for her passport and get her green card. It took them a while to warm up to each other. He is a man of few words. In the fall of 1982 they started their family life, even though they still didn’t live together. Yusun was born on November 11, 1983 and Jason on June 17, 1987.

After their Blessing, Paul’s mother passed away, and he went back to Minnesota to support his dad on the farm. During that time he returned back to his studies and got his Bachelor’s Degree at Moorhead State University.

At the beginning of 1984, Paul went to New York and joined CAUSA International and International Security Council. As a conference manager, Paul traveled around the world organizing many, many conferences. During that time he had the Blessing to meet True Parents on several occasions.

In 1989, the mission (CAUSA, AULA, ISC and the Summit Council for World Peace) moved to Washington, DC. A few years later, Paul was called by Dr. Bo Hi Pak to be his personal assistant. Dr. Pak was still Father’s translator at times, but then he became responsible for the PANDA project in China. Those travels took Paul to the orient including North Korea. Paul met with world leaders including Pope John Paul II, President Mikhail Gorbachev, Gen. Alexander Haig and many former presidents, and heads of state and government.

In 1995 when his travels with Dr. Pak came to an end, Paul and his family moved to Hamilton, Ohio to be close to Tri-State Distribution center in Fairfield where he was the Director of Administration. During that time Paul decided to go back to school to get his Master’s in Business Administration at the University of Cincinnati.

The first signs of Parkinson disease appeared in about 1999. By 2003 he was diagnosed with the disease and in 2004, he stopped working at Tri-State, just in time for it to be sold.

For the longest time Paul was able to manage well with the disability but progressively it became clear he was losing the battle. Despite his many attempts to overcome the disease with alternative methods like ChiGong and exercise therapy like “Delay the Disease”, he often became discouraged. Nonetheless, Paul and Jutta had many good years together because of their commitment to each other for better or for worse, in sickness and health, for richer or for poorer, not just till death do us part but for eternity.

Paul is survived by his brothers Ron, Mark and Neil, his sisters Linda, Connie, Mary and Sharon as well as their 32 children and 39 nieces and nephews. His life was preceded by his parents Mac and Dorothy, sisters Joan McCaslin and Virginia as well as brother Ricky.

Paul had many accomplishments in life, but his greatest legacy was that he raised his children to be proud of their status as Blessed Childrena, reminding them every day to “Remember who you are.” Yusun was Blessed with Garrun Abrahams from Memphis, TN and together they have Tiffanie (7), Garrison (5) and Isabelle (2). Jason was Blessed with Jenni Presley from Louisville, KY and together they have Jaya (7) and Kian (2). In this way, the Tobkin lineage has an eternal status before heaven.

Comments (23)

  • Cynthia

    |

    Wonderful brother, wonderful person! God speed!

    Reply

  • William Connery

    |

    I worked together with Paul at the International Security Council. I have good memories of working together with Paul. God Bless & God Speed!

    Reply

  • Tyler Hendricks

    |

    God bless Paul. I don’t know where it was that we worked together, but I remember him as a calm, balanced, focused and faithful person. Did not seem like a quiet guy to me! Sorry to hear about the long period of illness, and happy to know that Paul’s going to a better place where we will meet again.

    Reply

  • Laura Hornbeck

    |

    Paul was a wonderful person with whom I worked in New York with CAUSA and Dr. Pak’s staff. He was a powerful person — he was quiet, gentle and very compassionate. I pray for Jutta and the whole precious family. Paul leaves behind such a special legacy.

    Reply

  • Thomas Ward

    |

    I witnessed to Paul Tobkin in 1973 on the Moorhead campus of the Minnesota State University system. Paul had been a seminarian prior to that. He struck you as a deeply religious and reflective person. He studied the Principle with sincerity, was extremely well prepared, and quickly grasped the truth of the Principle, and the value of True Parents.

    I was lucky enough to spend a few months with Paul at the start of his life of faith when our Regional OWC Commander Dr. Hugh Spurgin appointed me to serve as the acting leader of Fargo, North Dakota Church.

    Paul was open-hearted, vulnerable, and deeply devoted to God and True Parents. In time, he joined the National MFT. Although by nature more of a Pastor, he did his best there, trying so hard to fulfill the expectations of his leaders. Often, he could not, and it tore his heart apart and yet he never ceased to persevere.

    I believe that Paul’s ability to digest, to forget, and go forward in that period and in other times of his life made him someone in whom even God could find great consolation and comfort, wishing that there were more Paul Tobkins in this world.

    Several times over the years, Paul came to me as his spiritual father and he shared his internal struggles. He had a constant desire to be aligned and to shine before Heaven. As True Father has said, “Sincerity moves Heaven” and, if anyone had sincerity, it was Paul.

    Paul was the consummate gentleman; he had a beautiful, embracing sense of humor. He was an outstanding lecturer able to bring together his profound understanding of the Principle with his rigorous Catholic seminary training. Tall, strong, and handsome, he was, “a gentle giant” whom members of his audience felt comforted by, and with whom they could freely communicate.
    His reserved, sincere nature inspired others; he was a great Ambassador of True Parents. I believe that this moved mountains; I believe that It inspired his spiritual daughter Ellen Hori to share her testimony to True Parents in her Valedictorian address at Nassau Community College, which Paul attended.

    In the flare of controversy surrounding our Church, Paul’s saintly nature reassured others. His representation of the good inspired the members of his own family to come to True Parents, including his brother Mark, another great one.

    Like the great saints of the Catholic tradition, Paul’s life was marked by periods of suffering but it was his attitude, his desperate search for meaning in those moments, I believe, that moved God’s heart.

    I am so grateful that Paul could spend time with Dr. Bo Hi Pak during the CAUSA years and beyond. He could be uplifted by Dr. Pak and appreciated and could play an important role in a number of Providential events including True Parents’ visit to Moscow in 1990. I am grateful that he could also be among the pioneers, along with his brother Mark, in opening the way to China. Dr. Pak surely has a major project in mind for Paul in Heaven as well. Just waiting for True Parents; permission…

    Paul’s living legacy, most notably his lovely wife Jutta, his Blessed children Yusun and Jason, and his five Blessed grandchildren serve as a testimony to a life that moved God’s heart.

    Paul is an example for me of how to move forward without complaint, and with a loving heart towards all. By doing so in dignity, humility and in kindness, he planted the banner of victory for God.
    God bless you Paul! Thank you for your victorious life and your remarkable example!

    Reply

    • Bob Mansur

      |

      Lovely testimony Tom!

      Reply

  • Cathy Williams

    |

    I remember both Paul and Jutta from NY Church. Paul always had a dignified presence and was easy to talk to. I think he could relate to anyone. May Paul’s new journey be uplifted by the life he lead and by all those whose lives he touched! May God bless and comfort his family, especially during this transition.

    Reply

  • Valerie Bradshaw Tembo

    |

    I would like to express my condolences at this time to the family. I worked with Paul and Mark in New York. These are both wonderful brothers who really love God and True Parents; Paul is just carrying on his legacy in the other world. Best regards to his wife, children, grandchildren and other family members.
    Sincerely, Valerie Bradshaw Tembo & family.

    Reply

  • Lloyd Howell

    |

    Beautiful words Tom. I knew his brother Mark but never met Paul. I wish they had posted a photo of him. I wish him a great future.

    Reply

  • Lloyd Howell

    |

    Ooops, now I see a photo has popped up – great, beautiful.

    Reply

  • Margret Orr

    |

    His life and faith touched many! PAUL and his family surely touched ours!
    Most of all, I am confident, our Heavenly Parent is so proud of a son like Paul!

    Reply

  • Steve Symonds

    |

    I am so grateful for all the support and inspiration that all of us at Panda received from Paul. I have fond memories of that time.

    Reply

  • Richard Gene Ramras

    |

    I was blessed to have Paul as my pastor at the Hempstead, Long Island center back during the 1970s. He was a wonderful and kind leader with a beautiful heart. I got to know him and his brother Mark well over the years, especially through the activities with CAUSA International during the 1980s. Whenever I saw any of the Tobkin family it was a precious breeze from Heaven! My best wishes, prayers and condolences to the Tobkins during this time of transition for Paul! Thank you for your beautiful hearts!

    Reply

  • Bob Mansur

    |

    Paul, thank you so very, very much for witnessing to your dear brother Mark! I am so extremely grateful because our daughter Soon Mansur received such a lovely and happy match to your nephew, Jefferson Tobkin. I can now understand how closely you and Mark worked together over the years. My dear brother, I just hope you can enjoy the most joyful pride as you pass to the next world. You deserve all the happiness you could possibly imagine. Please keep helping and guiding us so we can make massive breakthroughs in witnessing. The service you gave to True Parents was definitely the greatest long term retirement plan you could possibly make! All of our love, Bob, Kimiko, Soon, Hana and Chang Mansur

    Reply

  • Celeste Vlasic

    |

    Mike and I enjoyed many years in Ohio with Paul and his family for getting together periodically for fellowship and friendship at their house and ours. Paul hosted many barbeques at his house in Hamilton for the Cincinnati church community which we joined in from Dayton and a BC workshop out of his home. He was always willing to open his heart and home which we will dearly miss, but glad he will be free of Parkinson’s in his eternal home. May God surround Paul with His everlasting light and love at this time, as well as his precious family.

    Reply

  • Judith Grant-Wilson

    |

    I served in North Dakota with Paul in 1973. He was as anchor for the work we were doing there. A powerhouse of faith in action and devotion to the Will of Heaven always. I am looking for words to say at this treasured time of Paul’s Ascension. Paul and Jutta, and your beloved family, you will remain always in my thoughts and prayers.

    Reply

  • Nick Buscovich

    |

    Our prayers are with all the Tobkin clan during his ascension. thank you Paul for all you gave to Heaven. oceans of love, nick & hae young

    Reply

  • Bill & Donna Selig

    |

    Donna and I visited Paul and Jutta in April this year. Though Paul’s physical health had declined, we were amazed and heartened by his determination to maintain a principled life style. Each evening we read Hoon Dok Hae together and always held hands and prayed at meals. There was never a doubt that Paul’s spirit and faith were rock solid and hadn’t waivered despite his circumstances.

    Donna and I have known the Tobkins since 1984 when Thomas Ward invited Paul to New York to work with CAUSA International. CAUSA was a very dynamic mission and the center of the Providence at that time. Paul immediately found a niche by creating an electronic newsletter to keep our friends informed about CAUSA activities. This was in 1984 and the concept of email newsletters was just beginning but Paul recognized the power of the Internet and was serious to pioneer this outreach.

    We worked together with Antonio Betancourt, who was the executive director for many break-through providential organizations, including Association for the Unity of Latin America (AULA), Summit Council for World Peace, Causa International Military Association (CIMA), International Security Council, and Federation for World Peace.

    Our mission was to bring together the movers and shakers, introduce True Parents, and then facilitate discussion about the challenges and opportunities for world peace. Heavenly Parent, in all his/her wisdom, sent Paul to support this essential endeavor.

    Paul is a brilliant organizer. He helped create a system never-before seen in our movement — a mobile conference department. He researched every detail so that wherever we traveled, everything needed to host a conference was packed in 10 specially designed cases. Lights, banners, translation equipment, maps, sound system, microphones, cables, right down to the paper pads and pencils, which he bought in bulk. Without doubt, these providential missions were immensely successful, and thanks to Paul’s creativity and diligence, precious funds from brothers and sisters were carefully guarded and wisely spent.

    During the 1980s and early ‘90s, we were on the road practically every other month — Italy, Spain, Philippines, Thailand, Japan, Korea, Israel, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Germany, UK, France, Switzerland, Mexico, Portugal, Denmark, Belgium, Panama, PRC, Denmark, Ecuador, as well as to St. Louis, Honolulu, San Diego, and NY.

    Paul always brought not only a degree of professionalism that everyone recognized, but a sense of decency and a work ethic that showed off his character. He has limitations as we all do, but to every challenge, he simply broke it down to its core parts and then put it back together again until he was satisfied. Paul could fix anything. He had a real sense of mechanics and how things worked.

    I’ll always cherish the many adventures we shared because they always seemed to be lessons shaped by heaven so that we could grow spiritually and be better prepared for the next experience.

    During the first intifada (1987), he was desperate to pray at Holy Ground in Jerusalem. In hindsight, it was risky to be out on the streets, but one Sunday after pledge, he made the arrangements and we drove to the Garden of Gethsemane and prayed by the ancient olive tree where True Father had placed three nails representing the three Abrahamic faiths. Likewise, I’ll never forget going to the Dead Sea where we covered our bodies with mud and floated in the Dead Sea. We often went to the Old City and bought bags of pistachio nuts. When we visited the Holocaust Museum, Paul would be the first to cry. That was another thing about Paul. He was free with his emotions and cried without shame. I never saw this as a sign of weakness, on the contrary, it was another one of Paul’s strengths.

    In Germany, Paul felt a strong urge to cross into East Berlin, where Jutta was born, and see the face of communism first hand. We found a public park, which had large statues of Marx and Engels, and Paul prayed for the liberation of God’s children trapped by communism.

    We had a chance to meet many consequential world leaders, in particular, Pope John Paul II in the Vatican (1985), and then later to shake hands with Mikhail Gorbachev when the Soviet leader and Raisa attended the Second Federation for World Peace in Korea (1994).

    If I had to choose one word to describe Paul, I would say “decent.” Paul is, and always will be, a decent brother who would never hurt a living soul. The proverbial good guy like George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and a friend always to be counted on. He had my back and I had his. His strong original mind would not permit him to lie or hurt anyone’s heart.

    He always treated women with great respect. At the hotels, he coordinated the conference details with the banquet managers. One time in Geneva, Switzerland, we walked to a swimming area near the hotel. The hotel banquet manager, an attractive young woman, approached and greeted Paul by name. As we walked back neither of us saying anything, I realized he was walking briskly. Finally I said, “Paul did you notice that woman was topless?” He said, “Yes, that’s why I want to get back to the hotel right away. I have to call Jutta!”

    Once we were in Mexico. The external leader was Amb. Jose Marie Chaves, an extremely accomplished diplomat, but sometimes a difficult person to work with. We wanted to take care of him but for some reason he was always hesitant to share details, including his own travel itinerary. We were at the Benito Juárez airport and all of sudden the Ambassador appeared in the arrivals area, completely unannounced. We weren’t prepared. There was no car. He comes over and looks at Paul. Without missing a beat, Paul turns around and says, “where’s that driver? He was here a minute ago.” That was the only time I witnessed Paul stretching the truth, but it was for a good purpose.

    When we doing the CIMA programs with the retired military officers, Paul made deep friendships with the flag officers (rank of general and admiral) and would have no problem sitting down together and talking about their experiences and witnessing to them about CAUSA and our True Parents.

    During these busy years, Yusun and Jason were born. I’m not sure Paul was actually at the hospital for their births but I know his love and pride for them only increased with each passing year.

    In 1989, Dr. Pak relocated our office from NY to Washington, DC. Paul & Jutta lived in Burke, VA near Antonio & Kyoko Betancourt, Bill & Misako Connery, Doris & Dan Caimi, Maritza Cueva and Fernando Gutierrez. His younger brother, Mark & Yong Ja Tobkin were already living there. Donna and I moved to Maryland. In the mid ‘90s, Paul was invited to work directly with Dr. Pak and the Panda Motors Corporation project which brought him many times to China and Korea.

    Even though the Tobkins moved to Ohio years ago, our families managed to stay connected and we’ve been able to watch as Yusun and Jason were blessed and gave birth to beautiful families.

    We wish Paul joy and happiness as he transitions to life in the spirit world. Heavenly Parent and True Father have received a great champion of faith and sincerity.

    Love,
    Bill & Donna

    Reply

  • Irmgard

    |

    Dear Jutta, though I never met you or your husband, we are bonded through our German heritage, and also through WFWP affiliation. I pray for a safe transition for Paul, finding his new home in the eternal world. I feel grateful for sharing sisterhood with him and you as part of the Family Federation for World Peace and as blessed families by our True Parents.

    Reply

  • Terry Walton

    |

    I have many fond memories of the time I would meet Paul in NYC when he was there for different events. I especially remember our many heart warming conversations. Paul truly had a life well lived.

    Reply

  • Rosemary Yokoi

    |

    What a devoted person Paul is! I worked with him and remember an especially magical time with him in Korea once in a small café with his brother, Mark. He must be at True Father’s side in the heavenly world. Much love to Jutta and the family.

    Reply

  • Charles Cherutich

    |

    I always loved sitting next to Paul during my time at the Cincinnati Family Church, he had deep insights on many topics. His home was always a second church and we had many Sunday Services there. We also celebrated Christmas at his home several times. Paul and Jutta were always very welcoming. After all these years, our kids still talk warmly of the times they spent at Paul and Jutta’s back yard on Sundays. A saintly brother. Thanks Paul for the memories and inspiration you have left with us!

    Reply

    • Carol Rengnez

      |

      Paul, I knew your brother from Barrytown days and a good man like you. My husband spent time in North Dakota and use to write me letters of those people’s ability to withstand hardships. Tough cookies! May your trip to spiritual world be lead you straight to True Father.

      Reply

Leave a comment