Paula Marie Nedela
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.