PACIFIC?GROVE, CA – Paula B. Howard passed away peacefully on May 4, 2014 as a result of complications associated with Lewy's Body Syndrome, a disease she fought valiantly for several years. Paula was born to parents, Edwin V. and Patricia L. Bailey on October 29, 1947 in Ventura, California. She graduated from Santa Paula High School in 1965 where she was involved in the school band and was a pom pom girl. Paula continued her education at San Jose State University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Home Economics and Michigan State University (Okinawa Extension Program) where she received a Master of Arts in Community Service. Paula married Second Lieutenant, Russell D. Howard in 1970 and embarked on a 37-year military career with him that saw the couple move 29 times.
Paula was an avid traveler, globetrotting with her husband and traveling solo to many parts of the world. In addition to residing in ten different states in the United States, Paula also lived in Australia, American Samoa and in Japan and Taiwan where she became acquainted with and a collector of Asian art and artifacts. A highlight of her traveling career was leading a group of Californians on a tour of newly opened China in 1980, where her ability to converse in Chinese was novel to both the tour members and their Chinese hosts.
As an Army wife, Paula did not live anywhere long enough to develop her own career. However, she did have several interesting jobs in education, human services, and environmental protection. Her favorite job was as a tour guide and tour guide trainer for West Point Tours in Highland Falls, New York. Paula knew the history of the Military Academy at West Point as well as most historians and was the go-to person for high level VIP visitors (Governor Jeb Bush, for example).
Wherever the Howard's were stationed around the world, Paula took an active interest in helping the families of soldiers adapt to Army life, regardless of rank or position. For her volunteer work helping families at Ft. Lewis, Washington between 1994-96, Paula was awarded the Department of Army Outstanding Civilian Service Award.
Paula was the consummate entertainer whose grace, smile, and sense of humor welcomed all to her home – wherever home happened to be. Her guests ranged from underprivileged children to a galaxy of generals, international dignitaries and a governor and senator. However, to all she was exactly the same – treating everyone with kindness, humility, hospitality and her trademark sense of humor.
She is survived by her husband, Brigadier General (Ret.) Russell D. Howard and her brother, Wendell Bailey.
She will be missed by all who knew and loved her.
In lieu of flowers please send donations in Paula B. Howard's name to: Steckel Park Aviary,
c/o Santa Paula Community Fund, 1354 Mariposa Drive, Santa Paula, CA 93060.