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In Memory of
Summit County Republican
Party Chairman Alex R. Arshinkoff

Alex Arshinkoff Photo


December 31, 1954
August 28, 2017

Alex R. Arshinkoff, 62, died August 28, 2017.

Preceded in death by parents, Florence and Christ Arshinkoff, Sr. and brother, Steve; he is survived by wife, Karen (nee Joseph); brothers, Nick (Donna) and Christ, Jr. (Joan); sister in-law,

Linda; and many nieces and nephews.

"Politics is full of big ups and big downs," Alex would frequently say. The Summit County Republican Party suffered a "big down" with the passing of our long-time chairman this week.

As the son of Macedonian immigrants, Alex loved sharing stories about his family history and Macedonian traditions. He was a member of St. Thomas Eastern Orthodox Church.

Alex grew up in Firestone Park. In 1973, he graduated from Jackson Memorial High School, where he was active in student government. While attending the University of Akron, Alex was a member of the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity. Many of his fraternity brothers were lifelong friends.

In 1982, he married his beloved wife, Karen. They recently celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary.

Ray C. Bliss, who had been both an Ohio and National Republican Party Chairman, was Alex's mentor in politics and friend. In 1978, at the age of 23, with the backing of Bliss, Alex became the Summit County Republican Party Chairman. He worked tirelessly building the minority Republican Party into a party that could be competitive in Summit County races. He accomplished this by establishing a strong grassroots political structure, fundraising and recruiting top quality candidates.

During his nearly 40 years as the Republican County Chairman, Republicans across the country recognized Alex's political acumen. In 2008, former President George H. W. Bush, congratulated Alex on building one of the "strongest, most successful urban Republican organizations in the nation." President Bush complimented Alex's leadership in developing the finest local party in the whole country.

In addition to supporting local and state candidates, Alex supported President George W. Bush when he ran for President of the United States. Alex and Karen cherished their visit with President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush at their ranch in Crawford, Texas.

Alex began his service on the Summit County Board of Elections in 1978, a position he maintained through his final meeting one week ago. In 2006, when the entire nation was rushing to implement touch screen computer voting, Alex insisted on paper ballots, drawing upon lessons learned from Chairman Ray Bliss. Since then, paper balloting has become the national standard for election integrity.

Alex was honored to serve on the University of Akron Board of Trustees from 1992-2001. While on the Board, Alex served four terms as Board Chair from 1997-2001. During that time, Alex was committed to major facility investments at the University of Akron. This vision and dedication launched the New Landscape for Learning initiative, which resulted in many building and grounds enhancements at the University, including the Student Union construction. Alex loved the University of Akron and understood it is a critical part of our community.

Alex's love of family and friends was unfailing...they meant everything to him. He loved holidays with loved ones, especially Christmas. He was an extremely generous person always ready to offer advice and support. He will be deeply missed.

When asked what is the most important thing a person must know to be successful in politics, Alex would instantly say, "Your word is your bond. People have to know they can trust your word." Alex had a profound way of sharing his words, often times with passion, humor and quick wit. But Alex will be forever known for another quality he frequently championed - loyalty.

Alex Arshinkoff's life-long loyalty to Republican Party success makes his passing an end of a great era in local, state and national party politics. May his memory be eternal.

Services will be held 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Thomas Eastern Orthodox Church with Fr. Vladimir Bakurdzhiev officiating. Private interment at Markille Cemetery. Friends may call at the Billow FAIRLAWN Chapel, 85 N. Miller Rd., Akron 4 - 8 p.m. Friday with a Panikhida service at 7 p.m. and one hour before services at the Church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Thomas Eastern Orthodox Church, 555 S. Cleveland Massillon Rd., Akron, OH 44333. To share a Memory, Send a Condolence, Light a Candle or Send Flowers, visit the Tribute Wall at (Billow FAIRLAWN Chapel)

Your memory will forever live in the
hearts of Summit County Republicans