Retired CSUS professor Paula Eldot passed away on December 20, 2012 in Sacramento after a brief illness at the age of 85. Born on May 8, 1927, in Brooklyn, NY, she was the only child of Herman Eldot, a jeweler who had served in the Army during WWI, and Bertha Westreich Eldot, who had a long career as an elementary school teacher.
Paula followed in her mother's footsteps by becoming an educator. She received her B.A. Degree from Smith College, graduating with highest honors Phi Beta Kappa. She then earned an M.A. and Ph. D. in history from Yale University, where her level of academic achievement was unusual for women at the time.
She first taught at Hunter College High School, Brooklyn College, City College of NY, and the University of Michigan, Dearborn campus. Moving to Sacramento in 1968, she focused on teaching American and urban history at California State University, Sacramento, for 29 years until her retirement in 1997. During her career she enjoyed participating in professional conferences and doing research around the country. She also enjoyed attending theatrical performances both locally and at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. After retirement she served as a docent for the Crocker Art Museum.
While not one to stand on a soapbox to make her views known, Paula was progressive in her beliefs and donated generously to causes and politicians who helped poor and working-class citizens. She was known for her warm and generous spirit and will be missed by her family and many friends.
Dr. Eldot is survived by several cousins including Dr. Gilbert Westreich (Minneapolis), Susan England (Dallas), Daniel Westreich (Los Angeles), Geraldine Kaplan (NJ), Dr. George Levy (NY), and Melvin Westreich (NJ). Her local family members include her cousin Gerald "Budd" Westreich, his wife Alice, and their children Eric, Barry, and Jules.
Paula has been a longtime member of Congregation B'Nai Israel. Services will be held at the Home of Peace Cemetery, 6200 Stockton Blvd., Sacramento, at 12:00 noon on Sunday, December 23. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Sacramento Food Bank, River City Food Bank, or Loaves and Fishes.
Published in The Sacramento Bee on Dec. 23, 2012