Paula, beloved wife of John Raye, to whom she was happily married for over 53 years passed on May 2, 2018 at home in Chatham, Massachusetts. They were life partners who cherished, respected, loved and challenged each other. John was by her side every moment until her death. Family was everything to her and she was deeply loved by the many generations: Kimberly Raye Woolley & Peter Woolley of Medfield, Karin Raye & Bradford Steiner of Newton, William and Kristen Raye of Harwich and her grandchildren: Hannah, JT, Shea, Zachary, Sam, Ella, and Jack. She leaves her brothers, Steven Parker, George Parker, and Philip Parker, and many adored nieces and nephews and their children.
Born in Buffalo, New York, Paula was an active and engaged community member everywhere she lived: Wellesley Hills, MA, Granby, CT, and Chatham, MA. She graduated from Connecticut College in 1961 and pursued her teaching career at Cushing Academy and Wellesley High School.
With John, she chose to raise her family in Granby, CT at Spring Hill Farm where she reveled in the hard and rewarding work of farm life, raising many animals, milking her dairy goats, supporting her children’s many interests and tending her bountiful gardens. The farm was often the gathering spot for both family and community parties where people came together to celebrate each other. Paula participated on the Board of Education for the Granby Schools, the Granby Land Trust, the Holcombe Farm Art Program and Board, and the Committee to Save the Granby Oak. She cherished the women’s Lyceum Group and adored her Granby friends.
Paula was a District Commissioner of the Granby Pony Club for many years and served on the United States Pony Club National Board where she developed regulations for safer riding helmets and rewrote the Bylaws. She was honored with the Founder’s Award and the Living Legend Award for her many contributions to the club.
In Chatham, “Nonnie” was consummate host, bringing together her family and everyone in her beautiful home by sea. Watching her children raise their own children was one of the greatest blessings of her life. She presided over the amazing “Camp Raye Days” that gathered her grandchildren of all ages together through a fun-packed, no-parents-allowed agenda with a myriad of activities each summer. Through this camp and virtually everything she did, she fostered a sense of fun, laughter and closeness that prevails today and throughout her extended brood. She actively supported the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance, was a member of the UUMH where she served on the Endowment Board and volunteered for the Thrift Shop.
Nonnie possessed a strong aesthetic as a gardener and a gourmet chef. Her flower arrangements were works of art and reflected her love for nature. As her mobility became more limited, she reveled in the hummingbirds and Baltimore Orioles that frequented her feeders outside of her kitchen window. Nonnie was always a straight shooter and generous in sharing her wisdom and imparting life lessons to those in her midst. Throughout her life, she encouraged her friends and loved ones to be their best and to challenge themselves by “leaning into discomfort.” Nonnie continually encouraged others to try new things in both life and food, reminding us that “taste buds change every day.” To Nonnie, life was an adventure to be lived fully, appreciated and enjoyed with those you loved.
Nonnie courageously battled Parkinson’s Disease with tremendous strength, after being diagnosed in 2002. She received deep brain stimulation surgery in 2012, which sustained her ability to move and extended her life. Her family is deeply grateful for every moment they had with her. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research or Cape Cod Commercial Fisherman’s Alliance. A private service will be held at a later date.