Genella Wynema May Lollis (known to most as Gene Paul) was born to John W. and Nellie M. Lollis of Vian, Oklahoma in 1936. While still a baby the family moved to, and settled in Napa CA. where Gene was raised. After graduation from Napa High School she married and moved to Baton Rouge LA. Gene attended LSU and studied business and finance before having four children: Kenny, Michelle, Danny, and Stacy. After a divorce she moved back to California and settled in the Bay Area. There she began her career with ATT (PacTel).
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Gene met Dale Paul through mutual friends in 1978.Gene and Dale loved to dance and often went out dancing with a group of friends. It did not take long for them to decide that they should become "dance partners" for life. They were married in Nov. 1980.
During the 1980s a large part of Gene's work included making travel arrangements for PacTel employees. Gene being something of a "work-a-holic" brought this part of the job home, and soon began making travel plans for Dale and herself. Gene loved to travel and see new places and things. Trip planning usually included a certain amount of reading and study to make the trip more enjoyable.Gene retired from Pac Tel in 1988, but continued traveling throughout Northern California while working part-time for Hallmark Card Company.
Her traveling changed with the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. At the time she and Dale lived in Hayward. Gene stood and watched water slush out of one end of the pool and then the other. She turned to Dale and said "Get me out of here". Earthquakes terrified her. They began making plans for retirement and searching for the "perfect" place.
There were two criteria for that "perfect place". First, it must be in a less active earthquake area and secondly, it be within a three hour drive to Reno, her final destination for most trips at the time. Paradise seemed to fit the bill. Gene loved playing the slots and felt that she could "beat the odds". It could be that this feeling came in part from her very early childhood. At age 6 weeks, Gene was sent home from a hospital to die - she made it to 76 years. She certainly beat the odds on that one. For a number of years she stayed well ahead of the game and did beat the odds in Reno. Along with the slots Gene also enjoyed the shows and other entertainment venues of that area, especially the dancing.
They began their move and were finally settled into their Paradise home by late 1991. Gene and Dale had originally planned to live in their house on the Magalia golf course. At the time Gene loved to play golf - and Dale could sit on the deck and wave to her as she "played through". Golf was not his game. But, this was not to be, their move to Magalia was delayed until 2004. By that time Gene's health no longer allowed her to play golf.
Prior to the completion of their move to Paradise, Gene had volunteered their services to Paradise Animal Shelter Helpers (PASH). Soon both Gene and Dale had become active volunteers and were soon elected to the PASH Board of Directors.
For the past 22 years PASH has been a very large part of Gene's life. All who knew her would agree PASH and Gene Paul are synonymous. Gene has often been recognized for her efforts and honored by the town. These recognitions meant a great deal to her; not just as honors to herself, but as proof that the efforts of PASH were successful. She and PASH were making a difference.
Gene will be greatly missed by both her family and the many friends made through her efforts to help the animals of the ridge.
Gene is survived by her "dance partner" for life, Dale; her brother Troy Lollis of Oklahoma City, OK; and three of her children: Michelle Hoggatt, of Hayward CA; Kenny Hoggatt, of Baton Rouge LA; and Danny Hoggatt, of North Little Rock, AR; and her extended Napa family, the Al Ghiringhelli family.Gene also leaves 4 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren. Oh yes, and one old dog - Kimmy.
She will be missed by all. A memorial service will be held August 17, 2013 - at the First Christian Church Disciples of Christ Church, 5738 Pentz Rd, Paradise CA. Any remembrance may be made to: PASH, P.O. Box 1021, Paradise, CA 95967
Published in Paradise Post from Aug. 9 to Sept. 8, 2013