If you ask Jess and Kelley DeMaria what they are up to, expect a long reply. Getting involved with their church and community is something they live for.
Multitasking? They invented it!
The DeMarias both graduated from Cardinal Stritch Catholic High School, but it took dollar margarita night at a Navarre Avenue eatery to bring them together in 1982.
|Jess and Kelley DeMaria
“I was home over a weekend from medical school at Ohio State,” Jess said. “We liked that place; they didn’t water the margaritas down.”
The couple married in 1985 and settled in Columbus so Jess could complete residencies in internal medicine and dermatology at Ohio State University. They joined a new parish – St. Brigid of Kildare – and watched their family grow to include three children.
Jess credits the total Stritch experience – academic and extracurricular – for inspiring him. His teachers and coaches were special.
“There is no question; Catholic schools possess the unique ability to interface education and faith,” he said. “We always felt this at Stritch Catholic and we wanted it for our children.”
Board Certified since 1991, Dr. DeMaria has built Central Ohio Skin & Cancer – with 13 physicians and four offices – into one of the region’s largest dermatology practices. Daily, he sees patients and, as corporation owner, manages the practice.
He teaches, too. For the last 21 years, he has spent Friday afternoons at a VA hospital guiding resident doctors from his alma mater.
And, he is now in his 13th year of coaching the St. Brigid Wolfhounds football team, still enjoying the sport he excelled in at Stritch and as a University of Toledo undergrad. Their son, Mike DeMaria, starred on the gridiron as a running back at Stritch and went on play at the next level for Ohio State University.
Kelley’s passion is devoting her fund-raising prowess to worthy projects. She organized a benefit to fight melanoma. She raised money to equip the parish’s first playground. The auction she supports at her children’s Catholic high school brings in nearly $100,000 yearly to fund scholarships for the needy and sports.
With her youngest child now off to college, she has more fundraising plans in the works.
The DeMarias offer a simple explanation for their generous spirit.
“We have been blessed; we’re thankful for what we have, and we want to share with others whenever we can,” Kelley said.
(This article and photo of Jess and Kelly DeMaria is taken from the Cardinal Stritch Catholic High School 2011-12 annual report and Press file reports. Cardinal Stritch Catholic High School has the copyright for the photos and text.)