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St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
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Life Story / Obituary
Many people go through life simply being alive, without ever experiencing its fullness and joy. Paula Peck was a woman full of life and enjoyed her every breath. Underneath her great sense of humor and spirited disposition was an unending reservoir of love for her family - the ones who brought her life immeasurable joy. She was a devoted mother if ever there was one, but she just may have argued that being a grandmother was her sweetest reward. Life will never be the same without Paula, but the memories she leaves behind will remain lasting treasures in the hearts and lives of all who knew and loved her.
The year 1947 marked a time of great change for America, as it did throughout the world. With the end of World War II, thousands of young servicemen returned home to start their families, and the Baby Boom was quickly underway. In Sherman, Texas, William and Ida (Wilson) Hopper were among the many expecting parents, and on April 19, 1947, they delighted in welcoming the birth of their beautiful daughter, Paula. Paula was the third of four children in her family, and grew up in the Denison, Texas area with her two older brothers, Donald and Jerry, and younger sister, Peggy. Although her parents both worked – her father was a cement worker and her mother worked in a clothing factory, the family was poor, but held fast with the things money couldn’t buy.
Paula received her education in the area schools, and graduated from Denison High in 1965. Soon after, Paula was introduced to Floyd Peck through her sister, Peggy, and she fell head over heels for this handsome young man. After only a 6 month courtship, Paula and Floyd were married in the Calvary Baptist Church in Denison on June 28, 1966. The happy couple spent the next 49 years together, raising their two beautiful daughters, Laura (1967) and Ann (1980), and sharing many wonderful memories as a family. They eventually moved from Texas to Michigan, putting down roots in Lawton in 1970. Paula worked for a time at Welch Foods and later Big T Restaurant, where she performed many jobs, including as manager. In her spare time, Paula loved to do crafts, and some of her handmade decorations still hang in this local legend today.
For Paula, family was the greatest source of happiness in her life. She was a loving, devoted mother to her daughters, though she often joked with them that she only had them to have grandkids. She always had great advice for her girls too - like if they did everything she said, when she said it and how she said it, they would always be alright. Paula had a great sense of humor which made every day interesting! One of Paula’s greatest joys was spending time with her grandchildren. She watched them whenever she could, letting them sit on her lap to read books or watch TV. The holidays were always spent at her house, where there was a big feast for Thanksgiving, lots of presents for Christmas, and an Easter egg hunt in her backyard – come rain or snow! Paula stayed close with her parents and siblings too, taking annual trips to Texas and Vermont, where her sister, Peggy, lived.
Outside of family, Paula enjoyed being able to relax and pursue her hobbies. She loved going to casinos, and had been to Las Vegas as well as various casinos around Michigan. For relaxation, Paula and Floyd went on a cruise in the Southern Caribbean, enjoying the warm sunshine and of course, the gambling! At home, Paula liked to relax while watching TV, or going out for some of her favorite foods, which included McDonald’s muffins or the French dip at Big T. Paula was a big fan of country music, especially singer George Jones; however, she did not pass up a chance to see Garth Brooks in concert with her daughter, Ann, at the Allegan County Fair. Being feisty, Paula was always a go-getter and loved to make people laugh. It wasn’t until later in life when her health began to fail that her spirit also diminished. She battled with diabetes and eventually had both of her legs amputated. Sadly, Paula passed away at her residence on Thursday, February 5, 2015, at the age of 67.
Paula was a colorful woman with a wonderful sense of humor and feistiness for life. She will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved her.
Members of Paula’s family include her 2 children: Laura (Daniel Sr.) Murray and Ann Williams; 3 grandchildren: Daniel Murray Jr., Elizabeth Murray and Phoenix Williams; and a brother, Jerry Hopper of Denison TX. She was preceded in death by her brother, Donald Hopper, and a sister, Peggy Cracker.
Learn more about Paula, view her Life Story film and visit with her family and friends at an open house on Sunday, February 8, from 1-3 p.m. at the Life Story Funeral Home, Betzler & Thompson, 60900 M-40, Paw Paw (657-3870). Please visit Paula’s personal memory page at www.lifestorynet.com, where you can read her life story, archive a favorite memory or photo of Paula and sign her online guest book before coming to the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.