Paula Anne (Stevens) Gawne

Born: Wed., Dec. 29, 1948
Died: Fri., Oct. 19, 2012


3:00 PM to 5:00 PM, Thu., Oct. 25, 2012
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM, Thu., Oct. 25, 2012
Location: G. J. Gonce Funeral Home, P.A.

Funeral Service

1:00 PM Fri., Oct. 26, 2012
Location: G. J. Gonce Funeral Home, P.A.

Print Obituary   Home Page All Obituaries


Paula Anne Gawne, (nee Stevens) age 63, a resident of Pasadena for 18 years, and formerly of Texas and numerous other places, died of a sudden heart attack on October 19, 2012 at her home.

She was born on December 29, 1948, in Houston, TX, to the late Thelma Ruth and Henry Grady Stevens, Jr. After graduating from Denton High School in Denton TX, in 1967, she took classes at North Texas State University in Denton for a year before going to work at Parkland Hospital in Dallas. Paula also treasured her early education at Saint Paul's Catholic School in Mission TX, where she learned many valuable life lessons from Sister Mary Acquinas, Sister Mary Donna, and the other nuns who made such a strong impression. Additionally, she treasured the memory of Father Dan Laney, the pastor of St. Paul's, who was another lifelong influence on her for kindness, goodness, mercy, and a commitment to social justice.

Following her marriage in 1972, Paula was seldom employed outside her home. She worked briefly as a telemarketer in the late 80s, in Denton TX. Prior to her marriage, Paula grew up in the hospitals where both her parents worked and that exposure brought her employment as a nurses aide. She learned nursing from her mother, Thelma R. Stevens R.N., and the many other nurses her mother supervised.

As the wife of a US Marine, Paula spent many years following her husband Bill around to various posts of the Corps. Though she never served in uniform herself, she was deeply conscious of her role as a Marine NCO's wife.

Paula was a dedicated knitter. She also practiced other fiber arts including crochet, embroidery, cross-stitch, other sorts of decorative needle work, and the maintenance and mending of her family's clothes. She participated in the Maryland Renaissance Festival for many years, both as an attendee and an employee. A lifelong student of history, Paula was an avid reader who studied history of all sorts. She had grown up with, and knew deeply, the stories of her ancestors and how they had come to Texas from Tennessee, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Virginia, and North Carolina. She held a deep and abiding love for Texas, though she often took issue with Texas politics. She was a fan of the late Molly Ivins, and shared many of Ms. Molly's views.

Along with her parents, she is preceded in death by her mother and father in law: Maureen E. and Charles Earl Gawne, and her son in law Dov Brown.

She is survived by her beloved husband of 40 years: William Charles Gawne; her two daughters: Grace Brown, of Jessup, and Amanda Armbruster, of Pasadena; two granddaughters: Bethany Burke, of Pasadena, and Rhiannon Armbruster, of Santa Monica, CA; her brother H. G. “Steve” Stevens and his wife Diane, of Denton, TX; nephew H. G. “Robby” Stevens, of Ft. Worth, TX; four brothers-in-law: James M. Gawne, Phoenix AZ, Pierce J. Gawne, Denton TX, Sean M. Gawne, Mission Viejo CA, Patrick B. Gawne, Tucson AZ; four sisters-in-law: Agnes C. Gawne-Hamill, Seattle WA, Maureen A. Wilson, Avondale AZ, Kathleen E. Gawne, Red Rock, AZ, Sheila M. Jones, Fayetteville AR; and her lifelong friend who grew up with her as a sister: Sharon Richert of Lewisville TX.

Family and friends are invited to visit at the Gregory J. Gonce Funeral Home, PA, 169 Riviera Drive, Pasadena, on Thursday from 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 PM. Her funeral service will commence on Friday at 1 PM at the funeral home, with burial to follow in Maryland Veterans Cemetery, Crownsville. Those who wish may contribute to Heifer International at and feel free to express your condolences here as well.

From her husband:

Paula was born on the 29th of December, 1948, in Houston, Texas. Her parents were in town for the holidays. Her mother, Thelma, liked to tell how she was holding the only straight flush she ever got when her water broke. After that entry into the world, Paula grew up with her parents in East Texas, mostly around Tyler and Jacksonville, but also in the South Texas valley town of Mission where she started school, until her dad got a job at North Texas State University in Denton. It
was in Denton that Paula spent most of her school years, graduating from Denton High School in 1967. She spent two semesters at North Texas before going to work as a nursing aide at Parkland Hospital in Dallas. I met her in the summer of 1972, when she came to Tucson. She worked at the Handmaker Jewish nursing home, doing the nurses aide thing, and we walked all over the Old Pueblo talking about everything under the sun. Somewhere around early August we realized that we'd become quite attached to each other, even though she was five years older than me. We were married on the 21st of November, 1972, at St. David's Episcopal Church in Denton, in a very small ceremony with just her parents and a few friends present. For the next eight years, she followed me around the country as the US Marine Corps sent me higher and yon. Our first child, Marianne, was born at Oceanside Community Hospital, in California near Camp Pendleton, in 1974. Our second child, Amanda, was born at Camp Pendleton's base hospital in 1980. In 1981 I left active duty and we moved to Denton TX where I spent the remainder of the decade working full time and going to school at North Texas. She was mother to my growing children, and wife to me, and friend to all who knew her during this time. She loved to be the woman who sat at the table in the kitchen, making people welcome there. During the years I was the resident observer at the North Texas astronomical observatory she was always welcoming toward the students who worked for me, often staying up late to make tea or hot chocolate for them before they drove home at the end of a night's teaching under the stars. In January of 1991 we moved to Maryland when I took at job at the Space Telescope Science Institute. She made our home in Parkville a welcoming place for the neighborhood kids at that time, and since we moved to our current home in Pasadena it's been much the same. "Miss Paula" was always the one our daughters' friends would come to for tea and sympathy. Of course there a thousand stories I'll think of, but that's pretty much the gist of it. She's been the keeper of my home and my heart for forty years now. This morning, when I woke up, I found her laying on the floor beside the bed. It seems she just rolled out and was laying there on the floor. She was warm to the touch, but unresponsive. I called 911, the paramedics came. No breath. No heartbeat. They did all they could, but she was pronounced dead at the hospital. All who knew her knew she was a daughter of Texas. Her people have lived there a long time. In marrying her, I came to know and love Texas in ways I might never have otherwise. Maybe Molly Ivins will welcome her to whatever's next in store. -- Bill

Click to send flowers using our local area florist
Free delivery to our funeral home & save on wire fees
View/Sign the Condolence Book

Click the button to generate a printable document containing all condolences submitted

Condolence Booklet

Salpointe Catholic High School
   Posted Mon October 22, 2012
The Salpointe Catholic High School community extends deepest sympathy to Paula's family and friends. You are in our prayers at this difficult time.

Carol Menager Livingston
   Posted Mon October 22, 2012
Our warmth thoughts and tears to help you through this difficult time, Bill. You are in our prayers.

Debbie and Les Caid
   Posted Mon October 22, 2012
Dear Bill,
Our hearts are heavy for you in this difficult time. We are sorry to know that you have lost the love of your life, clearly she was a wonderful women! Our prayers and thoughts are with you.
Debbie and Les Caid

Allen Shock
   Posted Mon October 22, 2012
what a wonderful soul. I remember many nights on the IRC channel #callahans with her, and am so glad I got to actually meet her. My sympathies and prayers for you and your entire family, Bill;

Marty and Lisa Brandt
   Posted Mon October 22, 2012
Bill, after just seeing you at our 40th reunion in Tucson, we are saddened by the news of your bride of 40 years passing. She sounded like a wonderful woman. You wrote a loving tribute to her and we know you will be comforted by your family and friends and your memories. We will keep you and your family in our prayers. Lisa and Marty Brandt

Robert Kevin Walsh
   Posted Mon October 22, 2012
I first got to know Paula during the mid to late nineties, having met her and Bill through the internet newsgroup alt.callahans, she was a wonderful lady and a big help to myself and a lot of other folks over the years, and I will miss her a lot

Carol Kennedy
   Posted Mon October 22, 2012
She sounds like someone I would like to have known--from this and from all Bill has written about her. My deep sympathy to all her family and friends on this great loss.

Carol (cakmpls on LJ)

Mark Mandel
   Posted Mon October 22, 2012
Although I never had the joy of knowing her, I will always think of the pictures you posted of the two of you elegantly dressed for afternoon tea or other events.

Maureen Gawne Wilson
   Posted Mon October 22, 2012
Paula is the rarest of sisters-in-law, the type that is more of a sibling than some one you know only as your brother's wife. Part big sister, part confidante, part counselor - she was all of these and more to me at various points in my life. We stood shoulder to shoulder through many trying times and I'm going to miss knowing she is there if I need her. Safe travels, Paula, to the other side of the rainbow. Rest in peace.


Jennifer R. Ewing (Nightshade)
   Posted Mon October 22, 2012
My deepest condolences on your loss, Bill.

Raymond & Sara Woyak
   Posted Mon October 22, 2012
Sorry to hear about your loss.

Patrick B Gawne
   Posted Mon October 22, 2012
My heart and my prayers are with you all. I wish I could be there.

James and Rachel Hartman
   Posted Mon October 22, 2012
We will never forget everything Paula and Bill did for us at the start of our marriage. A wonderful, beautiful lady, who is deeply missed.

Selene Vega
   Posted Mon October 22, 2012
I am so sorry to hear that Paula has left us, and so suddenly! I wish all of her family and close friends much support in finding your way through this painful time of loss. May her spirit live on it all of you!

Cherie Jameison
   Posted Mon October 22, 2012
For Paula,
In gratitude always for your generous companionship and friendship.
With love,
Cherie, Herb and Family.

Nyani-Iisha Martin
   Posted Mon October 22, 2012
I am very glad and grateful that I met Paula, and I send all my condolences to you her family.

   Posted Mon October 22, 2012
My thoughts are with you all as you go through this time of grief and loss. Paula will be missed. May she find the peace she has always looked for.

Theresa McGarry
   Posted Mon October 22, 2012
Bill, to you and yours, my heartfelt sympathy. I know this is a difficult time, but you're not alone, which feels impossible to believe but important to remember. Take care of yourself. Theresa

Tony Offret
   Posted Mon October 22, 2012

My deepest sympathies on your loss.

Tony Offret
SCHS '72

Moe Kane
   Posted Tue October 23, 2012
Dear Bill,
This is so awful for you - please accept my sincere condolences regarding this loss. I hope you are finding solace in your memories and in your family circle.

I am so tickled to hear that Paula was a Molly Ivins fan - here's hoping the two of them are having an interesting conversation about the debate tonight.

Please know you are in my thoughts.

Moe Kane

Moe Kane
   Posted Tue October 23, 2012
Dear Bill,
This is so awful for you - please accept my sincere condolences regarding this loss. I hope you are finding solace in your memories and in your family circle.

I am so tickled to hear that Paula was a Molly Ivins fan - here''s hoping the two of them are having an interesting conversation about the debate tonight.

Please know you are in my thoughts.

Moe Kane

Douglas Wickström
   Posted Tue October 23, 2012
Bill and family, please accept my most heartfelt condolences on the loss of your wife and mother. May this fine daughter of Texas grace the Lone Star of Heaven with her presence, and may she dwell in the hearts of all who knew her, forever.

Maria Domingo Bon
   Posted Tue October 23, 2012
My Deepest Sympathies and Condolences to the whole family. Maria'84

Betty "Bartholomeaux" Dadante
   Posted Tue October 23, 2012
My family's love and prayers go out to you and your family. We use to pick you up to go to Saints Peter and Paul school every morning. Such memories.
How lucky you have been in your life to have found such an extraordinary woman. God bless you and your children.
The Bartholomeaux Family from Tucson, Arizona

Richard D. Joffe
   Posted Tue October 23, 2012
Bill, I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. --Richard

Tim Gallagher
   Posted Tue October 23, 2012
Legacy of Love

A wife, a mother, a grandma too,
This is the legacy we have from you.
You taught us love and how to fight,
You gave us strength, you gave us might.
A stronger person would be hard to find,
And in your heart, you were always kind.
You fought for us all in one way or another,
Not just as a wife not just as a mother.
For all of us you gave your best,
Now the time has come for you to rest.
So go in peace, you've earned your sleep,
Your love in our hearts, we'll eternally keep

With my profound sympathy to Bill, Amanda and Grace and all of Paula’s family . May Paula reign in your hearts forever.

Steven P Robinson
   Posted Tue October 23, 2012
You've had my words elsewhere Bill...

Everything I've read says that Paula was a special woman and the world is a better place for having had her in it.

You know my thoughts are with you.


Rob Landry
   Posted Tue October 23, 2012
I'm very saddened to hear of Paula's passing. I offer my deepest condolences, and will keep you and your family in my thoughts.

Pet & Betty Addicks
   Posted Tue October 23, 2012
It was an honor to have known her, to have called her, "friend". She will be missed.

steve prince
   Posted Wed October 24, 2012
Bill i am sorry to here about the loss of your wife. As i remember she was a very fine Lady. Steve Prince Bill Utter Ford

Jane Beckman (Jilara)
   Posted Wed October 24, 2012
A lovely lady, who I was honored to know long distance and met over dinner years ago. She left an impression on me as an interesting and vivacious person. Many condolences to Bill and family.

Attila Gonda and Dorottya Virág Mák
   Posted Thu October 25, 2012
From across the Ocean, friends of Bill send their deepest condolences. Having known Paula only from stories told by her husband and others, she truly must have been a wonderful woman so that we came to admire and respect her even from that distance. But don't we admire the stars, too, however far they are from us?

Laura Rey
   Posted Thu October 25, 2012
Lifting my cup of tea in memory of you, Paula.

All our sympathy and love to you Bill and to your family.

Laura, David and Rachel Endicott-Rey

Ona Kareiva
   Posted Thu October 25, 2012
Dear Bill and family - please know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers at this sad and trying time. Although I never knew Paula, she sounds like a wonderful person.

Thinking of you,

Laura Blanchard
   Posted Fri October 26, 2012
Thoughts and prayers to you and your family. I only had a few brief exchanges with Paula in comments on the internet, but her presence was reflected in the way others thought and spoke of her. A gaggle of goslings is headed out to some family in her honor.

Joel Meredith
   Posted Fri October 26, 2012
May you find solace in the fond memories of this Beautiful woman.

Jenn and Sam McWhorter
   Posted Sat October 27, 2012
Bill, Grace, and Amanda,

You have our love and our prayers. Paula was a good and true woman, one this world will be a lonelier place without. I (Jenn) am proud to be able to say "Paula Gawne was my friend".

Please call us if there is anything you need.

Copyright © 2018 Gregory J. Gonce Funeral Home, P.A.. All Rights Reserved.    | Website by CFS |