Paula Marie Nedela

May 9, 1950 - March 21, 2022

Paula was the daughter of Marie T. Corry (Meadows) and Milton K. Corry and born in Port Huron Hospital, Port Huron, Michigan on May 9, 1950.   She was their first of 5 children who were known to family and close friends as the “Five Bugs”.  

Janine (Marc) Sheffer, Karla (Jesse) Farr, Cindy (Dan) Lefeld, and Bill (Amber) Corry were the other “bugs”.  Paula, being the eldest, took it upon herself to help her Mom steer her siblings in the correct direction even at an early age.   Thus began the honing of her managing skills and style.  Bill said one of his earliest recollections was standing in line as Paula walk to each one to make sure they were ready for an outing.   She did so with love and kind words which continued through her life.  Paula’s primary drive and joy in life was to help others.

Paula is survived by her siblings, her husband Bill, her son Matt, and her granddaughter Jordan Nedela.  Aunt Pat & Uncle Charlie Klettner, Aunt Ellen (Richard) Meadows, Aunt Colleen (Pete) Giannangeli, plus several loving cousins in the US, Ireland, and England.

In her early life her family followed her father’s stations in the Air Force.   They lived in different places in the US as well as Europe.   When Paula was about 12, they settled into a home in Sparlingville, MI.   Paula attended Kimball Township Schools and then Port Huron High School.  It was at PHS where Paula & Bill met and became close in their sophomore year. One of their first dates was a “double” with Bill’s parents since Bill only had a learning permit to drive.   After the dropping Paula off and returning to the car, Bill’s Mom wagged her finger at him and said, “You better never let her go”.    She was “Paula-tized” a certain affection that came into one’s life shortly after meeting Paula.   This affection stuck with Paula for the rest of her personal and professional life.  Paula was chosen Homecoming Queen based on her beauty and her personality.  She made the world a better place for hundreds of people whom she lovingly affected.  She knew the Joy of Kindness.

Paula and Bill married in 1970 and both began college in a “you go while I work” mode for nearly 10 years.  Both graduated from St. Clair County Community College in 1977.  Paula had her Associates Degree as an RN and she looked around Ann Arbor for a position while Bill would pursue a degree in Teaching.   Paula chose to work at the new St. Joseph Hospital and started her 33 year career there.   She became part of 6000 Unit, which was very diverse and taught her many different skills.  

After two years, Bill gained his degree in teaching and started his career so it was Paula’s turn to go back to school.   She attained her BSN from Eastern Michigan and a few years later, her MSN from University of Michigan.  During those years Paula gained different positions at St Joes.   Educational Coordinator, Clinical Nurse Specialist, and ultimately became Manager of her beloved Unit.  It soon became apparent she was in the right spot.  When the new hospital was planned, Paula was asked to take over two units Neuro-Surgery and Ortho-Surgery.   She did double-duty for about two years and then was asked which unit she would choose in the new hospital.  She chose Orthopedics and began a more focused managerial position.  She did every one of her jobs with aplomb and careful consideration for patients, their families, and the staff.   Paula absolutely loved nursing.   She also loved guiding people whom she worked with to push themselves into more education and elevated positions- she was a Master Teacher, Mentor, and Confidant.

In 2009 Paula was involved in a serious auto accident and was inflicted with several life-threatening injuries.   She went back to work in a few months but one of the injuries later caused a massive stroke and complications that hospitalized her for 15 months, and left her in need of care for the rest of her life.   Paula entered Home-care in November of 2010.  Even then, she continued to positively impact the caregivers and nurses who cared for her.   One caregiver was selected for nursing school and she called Paula before she called her mom. 

When St Joe’s centennial celebration took place, Paula was invited.   During the presentation, which included the Bishop and several speakers, the director of nursing singled out Paula as a “Prime example of the quality of Nurses that St. Joseph Hospital’s reputation is built on”.    The crowd applauded and Paula waved from her wheelchair.   She was so proud to represent 100 years of Nurses in the place she held so dear in her heart.  Many will gladly tell you she was a great nurse and they owed much of their success to Paula’s guidance and friendship. 

Paula continued in Home Care and when Bill came home with a motorhome having a wheelchair lift built into it, they began traveling.  Two aides and then later, an aide and a nurse traveled with them.   They put about 50,000 miles into trips in 2 RVs that lasted through 2021.  They bought a home in Cape Coral, FL in 2017 and began their “Snowbird” days until 2020 when they began living there full time.   Paula continued to impact lives of others as she met new staff. 

On March 21, 2022 Paula’s injuries caught up with her and she passed away.   However, her legacy and memories live on with family, friends, and former staff members.   She continues to give through a scholarship that was initiated in her name.  Each year, money is given to a St Joes employee toward their tuition.  Paula still has her hand on someone’s back and is lovingly pushing them forward.   So, in lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Paula Nedela Nursing Scholarship Fund at this link https://giving.stjoeshealth.org/PaulaNedelaFund or contacting:

Office of Development
Saint Joseph Mercy Health System
PO Box 995
Ann Arbor, MI 48106      734-712-4040

Two Celebrations of Life will be in Michigan, all the “Paula-tized” folks are invited

June 4, 2022 Noon Gather, 1pm Service followed by reception

At St Joseph Mercy Hospital Ann Arbor

5305 Elliott Dr. Ann Arbor 48106

In the Auditorium of the Administration Services Area Building, Parking lot P

June 11, 2022, Noon- 2pm, Reception afterward to be announced

Mt Hope Catholic Cemetery

1209 Krafft Rd.

Port Huron, MI 48060

Mullins Memorial Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Cape Coral, is entrusted with final care.

Guestbook

  1. DJ Velarde, LPN Apr 22, 2022 at 1:32 pm

    I was Blessed and privileged to be a home care nurse for Paula for the last 2 years.
    I learned and experienced a multitude in 28 years of nursing, but my most valued and treasured lessons of my career were during these last two years with Paula and seeing her Grace, Resilience, Strength and Perseverance💪
    Paula gave her Whole self to each of us on every shift, and shared so many wonderful and funny stories of her career at St. Joe’s 🙂 and of course, now every time I eat Strawberry Shortcake or KeyLime/Lemon pie, or tend my rose bushes, I’ll know she’s Smiling down.
    Paula you continue to be a Shining and Guiding Light as an Angel😇 now……
    You made me a Better person!!
    I Love and Miss Ya!
    and you are Forever! In my heart. XO💜🌹

  2. Julissa aka the gorgeous one, CNA Apr 22, 2022 at 2:50 pm

    With tears rolling down my face I say you Bill and Paula have touched my life in such a special way. I believe God puts people in our path on purpose. Meeting you and Paula has filled me with so much respect and I could now say I believe in true love because of the genuine love you and Paula have for each other. The love stories, and the Paula love songs you so lovingly sang to her with your guitar soften my heart causing me to hope one day I could have what you both shared. Yes Bill I am Paulatized but also Billatized. You both will forever stay in my heart ❤️ as the love birds I highly admire and I strive to be the people you are and represent. Love you both always. Paula you would never be forgotten.

  3. Janet Hodge Apr 24, 2022 at 2:08 pm

    Such a touching story of Paula’s remarkable life. You were blessed to have found your one soulmate Bill. Sending you love and caring thoughts

  4. Pat Donovan, class of 68 Apr 24, 2022 at 2:41 pm

    A brave soul has gone on ahead of the rest of us. And thank you Bill, for teaching us all about “for better, or for worse,” You are a hero.

  5. Ed Chiesa Apr 24, 2022 at 4:31 pm

    I’ve met Paula through her Mother Marie which I ended up being close with the whole family. I do have to say they all were a very loving and caring family. Paula was always so nice, kind, and appreciative. She has touched many lives and she will remain in all our hearts. God gained another great angel. She will definitely be missed. I’ll keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.

  6. Jill M. Burton Apr 24, 2022 at 4:44 pm

    I met Paula her first year of nursing. We worked many midnights together I was her nurses aide. She encouraged me to complete my nursing degree and both Bill and Paula helped take care of my son so I could complete my degree. I will never forget both your help and encouragement. It was the best decision I could ever make. She is now a guardian angel watching and encouaging. I am blessed to have been touched by you both. Take care Bill she is watching over us all.

  7. Pam Ceo Apr 24, 2022 at 6:17 pm

    Paula was a mentor, peer and good friend. We shared an office and we were told many times to quiet down. We would just start laughing. She brought out the best in people and was well respected in the many positions she held within the hospital. Heaven has the most beautiful angel and she will always be in my heart.

  8. Wanda Horning Apr 24, 2022 at 7:20 pm

    Thank you, Bill, for sharing the beautiful thoughts and tributes for Paula! I can still remember seeing her for the first time in grade school. Everyone became her friend! I am so thankful for the chance to visit with Paula at our 2018 high school 50th reunion! Your deep love and care for her does not go unnoticed by all who knew and loved her.

  9. Gloria Pierson Apr 24, 2022 at 9:23 pm

    Paula and Jill hired me as a pca. They gave such of there teaching to me. I can’t ❤ say enough about Paula. She guided me to be the best. I truly wish her memory will be with me forever
    Love you 😍. God bless your family 👪 ❤ 🙏

  10. Kathy Harmon Apr 25, 2022 at 9:51 am

    I never met Paula personally, but came to know who she was by the love, devotion and stories of her husband and others. Reading this just added to what I already knew….that the world will be an emptier place without her, but the Heavens will be forever BRIGHTER.

  11. Susan McCabe Apr 25, 2022 at 8:22 pm

    We were all so blessed to have known Paula and I thank my lucky stars that the two of you got married. You took care of each other so beautifully and those of us who looked on with awe at the depth and breadth love can take, are thankful.

  12. Molly Woulfe Apr 26, 2022 at 10:01 am

    A lovely tribute to an amazing woman and a wonderful marriage that spanned decades.

  13. Kathy Rumbel Apr 27, 2022 at 6:55 pm

    Paula was a very special person. Her kind words and her kind smile stayed with you. I am proud to call myself family and will miss her beauty inside and out.

  14. Tim Koerber Apr 29, 2022 at 12:32 pm

    A true love story if there ever was one. Healing thoughts for Bill and the families.

  15. Judy Weaver May 1, 2022 at 7:43 pm

    I was so lucky to have had Paula as my EC when I started my nursing career. I could not have asked for a better friend and mentor. She was such an exceptionally kind, loving, and generous person. Paula always put others before herself. She was beyond supportive when my husband passed. I could not have made it through that difficult time without her. The world was truly a better place with her in it♥️.

  16. jacquelyn (Anderson) wojcicki May 7, 2022 at 8:34 am

    Paula was part of my Sparlingville adolescence. I remember attending a sleepover at her house with a whole swarm of other girls and having the time of my life. She was one of the kindest, sweetest girls in high school as well. I am glad I got to see her and Bill one more time at our 50 year high school reunion. Rest in peace, Paula. You have earned a special spot.

    Fondly,
    Jacque (Anderson) Wojcicki

  17. Todd fukuda May 8, 2022 at 5:42 pm

    YOUR SMILE IS EQUALLED ONLY BY YOUR BEAUTIFUL HEART AND SOUL. WE WILL MISS YOU, BUT YOUR SPIRIT WILL LIVE ON FOREVER IN OUR HEARTS. GERT…..WE LOVE YOU!

    Todd and Virgie

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