January 26, 1961 - January 31, 2022
Paula Elise Hunt was born on January 26, 1961 to Louise and Andrew Hunt in Dallas, TX. She passed away on January 31, 2022 in Carrollton, TX at the age of 61 from colon cancer.
Louise and Andy divorced when Paula was young, and her childhood home included not only her mother, but her maternal grandmother, Fannie Newman. She was very close to both of these maternal figures in her life, as well as her Aunt Charlotte, Louise’s only sibling.
Paula graduated from Dallas Skyline High School in 1978, and later went on to attend the University of Texas at Arlington, graduating in 1993 with a BA in History and a minor in German. She attended Richland College from 2003 to 2005 studying import/export/international trade, and obtained certifications in both the import and the export Global Market Series programs. Paula had many interests, including history, geography, travel, music and cats.
Most of Paula’s working life was spent in customer service, primarily as a travel agent and secondarily working in or managing retail stores. She handled domestic and international travel at Maritz Travel, McCord Travel, Travelocity and BCD Travel. Paula loved being a travel agent and traveling to foreign places. She had a track record of client satisfaction, attention to detail, and commitment to service. Paula wore many hats while working for National Car Rental, including renting cars, handling corporate purchase orders, processing car sales and collecting insurance proceeds. Paula loved music and enjoyed her time spent working at Sound Warehouse/Blockbuster Music where she had access to all the latest music and could share her vast knowledge with other music lovers. She encouraged repeat business with her dedication and personal attention to customer satisfaction. She also worked as a front end manager at Jo-Ann Stores, and was an assistant store manager at Pier 1. Paula loved Pier 1 furniture and products, and was sad when they closed their retail stores and she lost her job.
Paula met her husband, Detlef, in May of 1987 while working for National Car Rental at the DFW Airport. Detlef traveled frequently for his job and often rented cars. They married in 1995. While he moved back to Germany in 2001, they kept in constant touch by phone, email and text all these years. They loved each other very much, and remained close despite their geographic distance. They also took advantage of Paula being a travel agent, and traveled to quite a few interesting places in the U.S. and Antigua. Each trip was wonderful and relaxing.
Paula loved her mother Louise deeply and wholeheartedly. They traveled together within the U.S., but also to Canada and England (1999) exploring many gardens, small shops and local cafes. Caring for her mother after a 2010 Alzheimer’s diagnosis took its toll on Paula’s spirit, and her mother’s death in 2017 was both devastating and a relief that her mother’s suffering was over.
Cats played a central role in Paula’s life, starting with her beloved Luke whom she adopted in 2002. He was her cherished companion for 13 years and she grieved greatly when he died in 2015. Luke, the first of four black cats she adopted and brought into her home over the years, was followed by Pantera, Kramer & Gracie. Paula also fed and cared for feral cats around the time she brought feral Kramer into her home Christmas 2015. Almost a year later, when Paula found Kramer’s feral sister, Sassy, severely wounded by another animal, she took her to the vet. Sassy had to be put down, and Paula decided to have her cremated and her ashes returned. Paula is remembered saying that it might be weird she’s doing that for a cat she barely knew, but she felt compelled to do it. She wanted Sassy to know “she mattered.” Such an expression of love in its simplest form, and so beautiful. That was Paula’s heart.
Paula connected with people. She made good friends where she lived and worked and schooled. She impacted their lives with her words & deeds. She would and did do anything to help a friend. Paula never met a stranger… young, old, rich, poor, foreign or local. She had a charm about her that allowed her to converse with anyone, anywhere. And she never forgot anyone or the details of their lives. Paula had a genuine laugh that bounced through the air like dancing chimes.
Some of Paula’s favorite things included: live rock concerts; musicians and bands (King Crimson, Foo Fighters & Dave Grohl, Moody Blues, Gordon Lightfoot, Cat Stevens, and many more); British television comedies (Fawlty Towers, The Vicar of Dibley, As Time Goes By, Keeping Up Appearances, Are You Being Served); American television shows (Monk, Frazier, Seinfeld, Becker, Big Bang Theory); German chocolate cake; tulips; the colors hot pink & earth tones; Converse shoes (often wore mix-matched colors); her Travelocity gnome shorts, Andy’s Custards; her black 1995 Nissan 240SX 2-door Coupe; and Dubai was her favorite travel experience.
One thing that always stood out about Paula is that she did things her own way. She was her own person. She didn’t fake her feelings. She didn’t follow social norms. She was strong in her convictions. She expected a lot from people, and was often disappointed.
Paula had a big heart, a keen intellect, a sharp wit and an excellent memory. She had a unique take on life where she could get along with just about anybody. Like all of us, she had her problems, but the world needs a good spitfire every now and then, and she always texted with a funny “bwahahaha” at the end of every joke.
Creativity was central to who Paula was – incredibly eclectic, original and artsy. She made an impression when she walked into a room – often with dark red or bright pink hair, which she loved. She was fashionable, dressing in colorful clothes with coordinated jewelry and accessories. She had many shoes, purses, scarves and shawls in various colors so she could mix and match.
One thing Paula enjoyed greatly was crafting, especially around the holidays. She made centerpieces, wreaths, and even made cakes shaped and decorated like a bunny at Easter.
She cared about the earth and had a fix/mend/repair mentality. She was a rabid recycler. Everything had to be recycled. It was both a blessing and a curse.
Above all, Paula was an honest, forthright person of great integrity, expectations and passion who sought perfection. There was no in between. When she committed to something or someone, be it a company, an effort or a person, she gave her very all. Like those with great passion, Paula laughed easily, offended easily and cried easily.
Paula is survived by her husband, Detlef Schuermanns, of Germany, Charlotte’s three children: Valerie Korba and her partner Patrick Helton; Bret Korba and his wife Jennifer Braun Korba, their son Drew Korba and daughter Emily Korba; Mark Korba and his wife Jennifer Young Korba, many friends and cousins, and her cat Gracie.
Paula is predeceased by her mother Dorothy Louise Hunt, father Andy Hunt, grandmother Fannie Newman, aunt and uncle Charlotte and Nick Korba, dear friend Troy Grumbine and her beloved black cats Luke, Pantera, Sassy, and Kramer.
A remembrance and celebration of life will be held in a private room at First Methodist Carrollton on Saturday, May 7, 2022 at 10:30 am. The church is located at 2201 E. Hebron Pkwy, Carrollton, TX, 75010. Paula’s ashes will be interred next to her mother’s grave at Laurel Land Memorial Park on May 6, 2022, in a private family ceremony.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to a no-kill animal shelter, a rescue group, or your local animal shelter. Or better yet, consider saving a life and getting a new family member by adopting a cat or dog. Paula loved cats, and black cats had a special place in her heart.
The family would like to thank Cindy Rose and Dian Clark for helping Paula in her final week, and a big thank you to Patti Castleberry for her loving care of Paula’s two cats, Gracie and Kramer, for almost three months, and for all her work to straighten, cleanup and declutter the house. All of these efforts are very much appreciated.