ForeverMissed
Stories

Share a special moment from Paul's life.

Generous Paul, from Joanna's bff's viewpoint...

Shared by Jen Yankee Caulfield on June 2, 2021
It’s still so surreal that we are writing these about Pauly…

Paul was easily one of the most generous people I’ve known, on so many levels. In charity, esp for animals, but also with his time, jumping to help anyone in need. Whether caring for the coyotes who showed up at their house rather bedraggled or feeding the homeless for years, he was there.
(And we’re not just talking a bag lunch handout to a guy on the corner. Oh no. Paul always did things all the way. If you saw their downstairs in those days, you know what I'm on about! You could barely walk through, with all the food and supplies for the homeless.)

Then there were Canyon projects like Topanga Trash Warriors, Chamber events, fundraisers, Nature of Wildworks and so much more.

I met Paul soon after he and Joanna started dating in the early 90’s. For all these years, when Jo and I met up, Paul always made sure we had cash in our pockets so we could treat ourselves to a fancy lunch or spa day. It was just another way he was nurturing to everyone, especially Jo. It seemed his main goal in life became, more and more, to be sure she was cared for properly. He took it to a higher level than most (he was a higher-level kinda guy!)

We should all be so lucky as to have a “Pauly” caring for us. He made such an impact in all he touched and is SO missed.

Just another Pauly, Uncle Den Den story.

Shared by Dennis Grzymkowski on May 31, 2021
I severed my Achilles Tendon and was in a cast for 6 weeks. They removed my cast on a Friday and of course my best pal Pauly picked me up to celebrate. We hadn't been out together for what seemed like an eternity. We went to Greenstreets. It was one of our favorite clubs to indulge in our usual ; chicken wings extra crispy and Perfect Manhattans on the rocks, both of which Pauly introduced me to. After we indulged,  I went to the rest room and my crutches slipped on the recently wet mopped floor. Pauly found me on the floor with blood everywhere. I am still not sure how he got me up the stairs, in to the car and to the Emergency Room. The Doctor determined the tendon was fine and the knot where they tied it together had popped through the skin. He was just going to suture the skin back together. Pauly, who was as curious as all of his beloved cats wanted to watch the procedure. The doctors and nurses attempted to convince him to leave but he insisted that he really was curious and wanted to watch. I was on my stomach in great pain and Pauly was leaning against a wall a couple of feet away studying the doctors technique. Pauly began sliding down the wall in slow motion. I watched him and it seems as if it took him 5 minutes to end up on the seat of his pants. He slid so slow, it was like watching a cartoon. He was just sitting there with his eyes rolling around. The doctor asked me what was so funny and I pointed at Pauly. They all rushed to him. Meanwhile, the staff had called my girlfriend Valerie, who is now my wife, and asked her to pick me up. When she arrived at reception, she told the receptionist she was there to pick up Mr. Grzymkowski. Valerie was floored when the receptionist asked her which Grzymkowski. They had admitted Pauly for a possible concussion. After I clarified that Pauly landed on his butt and that his brains were in his head, they released us. Of course, my ankle became infected for 9 months, ( more crutches). Pauly not only saved me from bleeding to death but transformed a nightmare to one of my fondest memories. I know that this event didn't diminish Pauly's curious nature in the least, hence his success. I've told this story a hundred times to a hundred people. Sometimes, I think that enduring that nasty infection was worth the memory of my pal and I out for a little rehabilitation. What a guy!
Shared by Tone Kroglund on May 28, 2021
Paul, your golden heart has stopped beating. But you will forever stay in my core. Forty years ago you and your family became part of my heart and soul. All the beautiful memories you gave me. All the years side-by-side and at a distance, yet always very close. I close my eyes and I can still see you. I can hear your kind and gentle voice. "I love this mud pie. Let's try the trick and Follow the leader" will stay with me forever just like you . Paul, you've had such a great impact on my life. I'm so grateful to you and Joanna!  I really wanted to see both of you in Stockholm. But now you have left us, travelled further away.  But I know, you will always stay very close in our hearts.

Tom, William, Lotta, Lille, Jonas and Linn, my mom and dad all wish you a good trip. Remember, we will always be there regardless.

I'll miss you Paul!
Shared by Evelyn Holland on April 23, 2021
I find it so hard to really believe my cousin Paul is gone.  He was always the kindest, warmest person anyone could ever want to meet, as all the stories and tributes attest.  One of my funny memories of him is when he retold an incident that happened to him as a boy.  Our grandparents had a closet that was shared by 2 bedrooms, with a door to the closet in each bedroom.  This closet was a favorite hiding place when we were playing hide and seek because you could always hide in the clothes.  Paul told of hiding behind his grandma's winter coat, and feeling a big lump in one of the pockets.  He pulled it out and discovered it was a big wad of cash.  He was so excited about it and ran out to tell grandma and grandpa, which was not so great an idea because it was grandma's secret stash!
Another memory:  At one of our Jacula cousin reunions in Rochester, Paul arrived with an entire suitcase stuffed with rosemary from his yard in Topanga, so that he could use it to cook chicken on the grill!  So typical of Paul and his flare for cooking and wanting to do the best for his friends and loved ones.
We have all lost an amazing person who will always be remembered with love.  I keep thinking of all our departed family greeting him with joy in heaven, while our hearts here on earth ache.

Paul will forever be a bright and beautiful light

Shared by Cindy McLaughlin on April 22, 2021
My cousin Paul was one of the warmest, brightest lights that could walk this earth. Hearing of his passing left me with shock and tremendous sadness for such an incredible loss. And while I feel so much sorrow that he is no longer physically present with Joanna, his siblings, and our entire loving family, I know he will forever be in all of our hearts. He is with God, as he always has been, and always will be. 

Joanna, I'm so grateful I had the opportunity to visit you and Paul a few years back with one of my oldest friends, Jennifer. Your welcoming smiles and generosity of spirit left such an impression on both me and Jen. You both went above and beyond to make us feel comfortable and share a little bit of your lives in Topanga with us. Afterwards, on our drive north, we talked at length about what a wonderful, loving couple you made. Having recently been divorced, Jen saw a role model in the two of you. And as always, I walked away remarking how cool my cousins are. ;) Thank you for sharing that with us.

Sending my love to the family, and all of those that are hurting and missing our sweetest Pauly.

50 Miles or Bust

Shared by John Crouse on April 21, 2021
Paul and I were good friends from Boy Scouts in Rochester NY, when President John F Kennedy at the time promoted a training regimen of hiking 50 miles in One Day, of course Paul and I decided we had to try that.  We mapped out our course to Newark NY and back. Left on a Saturday morning at 5 AM had lunch with my grandmother in Newark and trudged on back home. Our feet were covered with blisters afterwards, but worth the reward of accomplishing what JFK did in the Military. We wore signs on our jackets ‘50 Miles or Bust’.  John Crouse

Written by Frederick Meyer

Shared by Joanna Grzymkowski on April 16, 2021
Here in these first days, some thoughts I wrote about Paul ...

Who was that guy---is he for real?”

That's what people ask upon meeting Paul Gryzmkowski. At least that's what some of us on Horseshoe Drive were thinking when we first met him.

Compliments and flattery are interspersed with openness, friendliness and generosity.

It doesn't take long to realize he IS for real. Paul makes you feel comfortable right away. Always ready to help you personally, or within the neighborhood, and greater community too. He takes the Catholic dictum 'to serve others' to heart.

Always a good listener, makes you feel you're the most interesting person in the world.

So many fine dinners with your friends and families; made me a part of your families.

Oh, that man could cook. A gracious, attentive host too. Food was plentiful, always with enough left over to send me away with wonderful left-overs; two or three delicious meals more.

I remember a dinner when Paul's brother Peter and new wife were visiting. Now, remember Peter was Mr. World in 1974, a big guy with a big appetite. There was always extra helpings for anybody and it was common to empty your plate and trudge off to the kitchen without notice to fill it up again, piled high with more chicken, or ham, or beef, there usually was more than one main course, along with another heaping scoop of those great mashed potatoes and gravy and the vegetable happening that day. You never run out of food at the Grzymkowski house. Serving it all with style, with always a tasty dessert and sparkling water too.

Years ago, I used to say, "I eat like a beast. I go without eating for extended periods, but when it's available, I dig in." I matched those big boys that dinner, filling my plate as big and as often.

Shared by Tim Kimber on April 15, 2021
I can remember when Paul first came out to CA and we began talking and formulating Pete’s vision of licensing the Gold’s Gym name. This was the birth of gym licensing/franchising!  It had never been done before!  Well Paul was more than willing and quite capable of putting it all together and for the next 19 years he grew the Gold’s Gym licensing and franchising program to well over 540 Gyms around the world when Pete, Ed and I decided it was time for us to pass the baton to Brockway and Moran. It should be noted that in those early years while things got rolling, you would find Paul cleaning the gym and doing what ever was needed helping out wherever he could. Rich Minzer would come on board to help take some of the pressure and work load off of Paul as the program grew but you would still see and hear Paul communicating non stop with people promoting the Golds Franchising program. Paul was always helping!  Paul loved Golds Gym and we loved Paul. Thanks for your undying love and support, Paul.

Written by Eiji Tezuka:

Shared by Joanna Grzymkowski on April 15, 2021
Dear Joanna,
I imagine it's hard to accept the reality with a difficult time, but I hope that you will be healthy and well. I think Paul hopes that way too.
Paul gave me an opportunity to start Gold's Gym in Japan. He accepted me when I went to his office because I couldn't make an appointment. The first day didn't go well and I spent the next day, and the next, we totally talked three days. On the third day, Paul showed me around the office and the gym. I never forget the office in the Gold's Gym Venice which was a wonderful space and left a strong impression on me.
He showed me hundreds of photos of when he went to Gold's Gyms all over the world. No one of the Gold's Gym management team these days has gone to so many Gold's Gyms. He also told me his memories of the opening event and we shared ideas for the opening event of the first Gold's Gym in Japan. It's a wonderful memory. I think it was February 1995.
From 1993 to 1994, I had a severe duodenal ulcer and went to the hospital. It was due to the stress that came from financial problems. My debts increased and I thought that I might not be able to continue the business. Then, I contacted the Gold's Gym thinking it was my last chance. At that time, there was no email and I didn't know the fax number, so I wrote a letter but I couldn't get in touch, so I visited directly.
I spoke honestly about finance, no assistance, severe conditions of my company, and the story from my young age. I was competing as a Karate fighter and imported Ivanko barbells, published the Japanese issue of Iron Man magazine from 1990 and there was a request from readers to open Gold's Gym in Japan. Also, I told that I don't have the large amount of money for agreement.
Paul talked to the company and gave me a chance at $ 5,000 a year without a contract deposit. If he didn't give me a chance under such conditions, there wouldn't be a Gold's Gym in Japan today.
Another thing I was told was to rush the master license agreement for Japan just before Paul and Pete sold the Gold's Gym. At that time, I didn't have nearly $300,000 to pay for the contract. I was advised that I should contract with Gold's Gym earlier for the future, and I really threw all my possessions into the contract.
I was worried that I might fail, but after hearing future story from Paul, I decided that Pauls' story was correct and signed the contract. There are now more than 90 locations of Gold's Gyms in Japan.
I have so many memories that I can't talk about all at once. I hope I can tell you one day about a favor from him and a chance he has given me. Without Paul, there wouldn't be a Gold's Gym in Japan now. I would like to tell everyone who come to Gold's Gyms in Japan that Paul listened seriously to a person who had no achievement and money, responded seriously, and gave him a chance.
After that, I met him for KAATSU business, but we just talked about seeing again in Japan or the United States. I haven't seen him since I met him in person 4-5 years ago.
For Gold's Gym's historical items, we display the stained glass that Paul gave me in our gym. If there is anything historical ones, I would be happy to display it in our club with Paul's photo so that everyone can know his favor. I admire Paul for speaking with a gentle expression and words more than anyone else.
I pray that his soul may rest in peace.
Best regards,
Eiji Tezuka
Shared by Margaret Halstead on April 12, 2021
When Paul arrived into our family, he came with his sister.  He was the twin with the big, curious eyes that were always examining his world.  He watched and watched until he could walk and then he set out to explore.  One time, we found him exploring the holy water font at St James Church one street over.  Another time we found him interviewing the man who worked in the produce dept at the super market.  Many times he was building forts and boats and swinging vines in the park at the end of Tryon Pk.  All his exploration included picking up lost and needy little animals and bringing them home to nurture them back to life.  My beautiful little brother has always been a lover and protector and this quality was constantly demonstrated by how he loved his siblings and mostly how he loved his wife Joanna...the love of his life.  There are no words for how much I will miss him!
Shared by Christine Grzymkowski on April 12, 2021
What a gift to share a womb with my precious twin. He was even gracious enough to let me enter this world seven minutes before him. Always thinking of others before himself. Pauly had such a beautiful big heart. It never surprised anyone when he would bring a stray animal home to care for because that’s just how he was as a kid and an adult. He loved all creatures big and small. A part of me is gone but I will hold my beautiful twin brother in my heart forever. I love you Pauly and can’t wait to be with you again. 

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