Paula Kathleen Barnes
Nashville, TN - Born May 26, 1960 in Phoenix AZ
Died January 15, 2021 in Nashville TN
Paula was the third and youngest child of Paul and Barbara Barnes, and grew up surrounded by music and singing. Her mother, who taught piano lessons at home, was Paula's piano teacher.
Paula was a member of and, in her senior year, Choir Mom of the McClintock High School A Capella Choir in Tempe, AZ. She then attended Grand Canyon College (University) and earned a Bachelor's Degree in Education. Paula toured with a Christian ensemble called Didomi for a year before heading off to Baylor University in Waco, TX for her Master's Degree in Vocal Performance.
Nashville loomed as the logical destination for a potential singing career in Christian music, and Paula moved to Music City. Her day job at a law firm paid the bills, and after a while, like so many budding performers before her, Paula decided she liked the stability of the day job. She also became very involved at First Baptist Church in Nashville, teaching preschool Sunday School, enjoying the young singles group, leading a youth choir, and singing in the choir and ensembles.
What had been labeled as Paula's "bossiness" by elementary school teachers became an asset in the workplace, now considered "leadership." Paula migrated naturally into law firm management, and by 2000 was involved in the Association of Legal Administrators. She began serving the Middle Tennessee ALA Chapter, and by 2007 had moved into an international leadership role, culminating in her election as President of ALA in 2014-2015. She loved traveling all over, meeting new people, mentoring, and collaborating with her colleagues. She had found her calling.
Paula was an avid sports fan and it would be difficult to find anyone who loved the Predators hockey team more than she. She also had a deep love and patience for babies and children, and though she had no biological children, was a devoted and doting Auntie to many. In recent years, Paula became President of the board of Safe Haven Family Shelter, and served on the board of Focus Ministries, an international evangelistic ministry headquartered in Pagosa Springs, CO.
Paula was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia on December 31st and died fifteen days later. She is survived by her parents, Paul and Barbara of Sun City, sister Sherbonné (Dale) of San Francisco, brother Stephen (Kathie) of Phoenix, niece Stephanie of Phoenix, nephew Ellis of Spokane WA, and a host of relatives, friends and colleagues in Nashville and all over the world who loved her dearly.
A video memorial service will be held in a few weeks. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Safe Haven Family Shelter https://www.classy.org/give/110387/#!/donation/checkout
or Focus Ministries https://focusministries.org/