Paula Joan Van Laar
May 13, 1954 - February 11, 2013
Paula Joan (Cox) Van Laar, age 58, passed away unexpectedly the morning of February 11th due to complications arising from her battle with polycystic kidney disease (PKD). Paula was born in San Bernadino, California on May 13, 1954, to Lawrence Cox and Cora Sue McCarty.
At a young age her family moved to Merced, California where she attended local schools while being raised primarily by her father on a small country farm. She was a member of the Merced High School class of 1972. She left Merced to attend college in Tulsa, Oklahoma having obtained a rodeo scholarship. She obtained a degree in real estate and pursued a successful career in real estate sales and development. While in Oklahoma, she gave birth to her daughter, Anissa, and developed strong family bonds with her in-laws James and Cloda Rae Ready. She was very proud of her Native American Indian roots of Cherokee ancestry.
She moved back to Merced in 1985 and continued working in real estate. She worked for the City of Merced Planning Department, and as a bookkeeper/controller. She was involved in many local philanthropic activities and belonged to the North Merced Rotary Club
. She was involved with Merced Community Medical Center Foundation, and the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program. She served several years as the Rotary District 5220 Sergeant at Arms for District functions, and developed lasting friendships within the Rotary family.
She loved to compete with the guys in the Merced Fantasy Football league, playing golf and working golf tournament fundraisers. She was a consummate entertainer, a master conversationalist and known for her Christmas Open House celebrations. A talented gourmet cook, she could tweak a recipe to rival any professional chef.
In 1992, she married the love of her life and soul-mate, Lammert, with whom she shared a wonderful, romantic love affair for the ages. She leaves behind her husband Lammert, daughter Anissa Johnson, grandsons Jacob Johnson, Anthony Blair and Rodney Burger Jr. and granddaughter Aiden Burger. She is also survived by her brother Bill (William) and sister Charley (Stephanie), and mother Cora Sue. She was predeceased by her father Lawrence and brother Michael, both having succumbed to the effects of PKD.
A memorial celebration of Paula's life will be held at the Stockton Golf and Country Club (dress code, no denim) on March 1, 2013 at 1pm. In lieu of flowers, donations in Paula's name may be sent to the Polycystic Kidney Foundation (www.pkdcure.org
), or the Child Abuse Prevention Council of San Joaquin County (www.nochildabuse.org
), or a
. Please sign guestbook at www.frisbiewarrencarrollmortuary.com