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Paula V.V. Wardwell

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Paula V.V. Wardwell died peacefully in her sleep on September 17, 2013 at the Ellis Farm Hospice of Jefferson County. She was 91.

She was born July 16, 1922 in Morristown, NJ to Robert R. and Paula L. Haire Van Valkenburgh. She graduated from Lower Merion High School, Ardmore, PA, in 1940. Mrs. Wardwell graduated from Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO in 1944 completing a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology in 3-1/2 years.

She married Addison F. Wardwell II on March 3, 1944 in Madison, WI with Pastor Myles Rodehauer officiating. They celebrated their 65th Anniversary 5 months before Mr. Wardwell’s death in 2009.

While in college, Mrs. Wardwell helped supervise a city playground and later worked for the Philadelphia Board of Education in childcare. She briefly worked as a case worker for the Red Cross in New Jersey and Watertown. She served as President of the Watertown YWCA during a transition period. After a number of years working at home, she returned to college, attending SUNY Potsdam and Oswego, to earn her Teaching Certificate for Grades K – 6. Mrs. Wardwell taught in the Watertown City School District, for 19-1/2 years retiring in July 1984. Among her favorite memories as a teacher was being in on the beginning of Wiley School, then an open classroom, team-teaching Elementary school.

She enjoyed playing Bridge, attending water aerobics, solving crossword and jigsaw puzzles, reading Civil War histories, watching “the Big Bang Theory” and raising Golden Retrievers when males sold for $35 and females for $50. She was a member of the American Association of University Women, the United Presbyterian Church of Sackets Harbor, serving on its Session and as a Deacon, the NNY Presbytery’s Committee on Ministry, the Wanderlust Club, Gamma Phi Beta sorority, and Delta Kappa Gamma sorority. In addition to enjoying working with the young people she taught, she loved her time as a Sunday school teacher and as a Girl Scout leader, especially the camping trips. Mrs. Wardwell was one of the original Trustees for Jefferson Community College, serving two terms on the board. She was honored with the Jefferson Award during the college’s 50th Anniversary Graduation Ceremony. She and her husband donated land for Harbour Heights, Sackets Harbor’s senior citizen apartments. Mrs. Wardwell also donated the building lot for Hay Memorial Library’s new facility.

Paula epitomized the thought that a stranger is simply a friend you haven’t met yet. She truly enjoyed conversations with family, friends, and people on park benches. Never was she at a loss for words.

Surviving are her daughter, Elizabeth B. Burdick, Sulphur Springs, her son, Addison F. III and Yvonne Klock, Brick, NJ and her son and daughter-in-law, Andrew R. and Ann M., Marlborough, MA, three grand-daughters, five grandsons, four great-grandchildren, two brothers-in-law and a sister-in-law, Charles R. Wardwell and Frederick B. and Ann W. Wardwell, her cousin, Lydia Tyler Edison, many nieces and nephews and special caregivers Wanda West and Peggy Kelly. Two brothers, Robert R., Jr. and Norman W. Van Valkenburgh, and a sister, Elizabeth “Betty” V.V. Lindeman died before her.

The memorial service for Paula V. V. Wardwell, 17476 County Route 62, Watertown, will be held Saturday, September 28, 2013 at the 11:00 a.m. at the United Presbyterian Church, Sackets Harbor. Calling hours will be Friday, September 27,, 2013 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at TLC Funeral Home, Watertown.

In lieu of flowers, her children request donations be made in her name to the Ellis Farm Hospice of Jefferson County, 1398 Gotham Street, Watertown, NY 13601 or the United Presbyterian Church of Sackets Harbor, P. O. Box 138, Sackets Harbor, NY 13685-0138.

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