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Friday, Oct. 11, 2019
11:00 AM
St. Jude Catholic Church
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Paula Julene Yocum


1954 - 2019
Paula Julene Yocum Obituary
Paula Julene Yocum

Paula Julene (Hickman) Yocum died peacefully at home early in the morning on Sunday, September 29, 2019 at the age of 65. She passed from this world with her loving husband and three children by her side.

She was born on January 24, 1954 in Pueblo, Colo. to Earl and Esta (Pertel) Hickman. She was the eldest of three siblings. Paula graduated from Chief Sealth High School in West Seattle and went on to earn a degree in early childhood education. She married Tom Yocum in 1976 and together they raised three children in Redmond, Wash.

In Redmond, Paula could often be spotted at the wheel of her Volkswagen Beetle with license plate R BUGGY. She was a stylish dresser who accessorized with flair and loved colorful outfits-but she wasn't above driving to school in pajamas when her kids missed the bus.

Paula had a strong sense of justice and deep compassion. Over the years, Paula worked as a preschool teacher and an office administrator in school, medical, and retail organizations. She also volunteered as a PTA president and soccer-league organizer. She especially loved working at Molbak's in Woodinville, Wash.

But her real life's work was to lift people up. Paula made friends with everyone she met and spent a lifetime performing thoughtful gestures: countless handwritten cards, uplifting gifts, homegrown bouquets, and all-out lavish giving, often in the form of entertainment. Nothing made her happier than to bring delight.

Paula always made her homes and gardens into colorful works of art. She adored music-especially from the jukebox that anchored her 50s-diner-style kitchen-and she filled her walls with hundreds of photos of the many people whose fun-loving personalities helped make her life so unforgettable.

When Paula retired from Redmond to live at the beach on Harstine Island in 2015, her new yard soon burst with color, her new neighbors quickly experienced what a Paula party is all about, and she poured her efforts into making a beach retreat her children and grandchildren would enjoy. She also spent quieter times learning to identify the shorebirds that paddled along the beach, gracing Pinterest with her cheerful good taste, trying new recipes, and collaborating with Tom on home-improvement projects.

Paula was lionhearted in facing the sudden news of incurable peritoneal cancer delivered less than a month before her death. She chose to leave the hospital in the care of hospice to return to her island home, where she relished the fresh air and soothing scenery in the company of her loved ones. She poured her last energy into telling her husband, children, grandchildren, and friends how much she loved, appreciated, and learned from each of them-and mailed thank-yous to her doctors and nurses.

Paula leaves behind a great many adoring friends and family members from past and present, near and far. Preceded in death by her parents and her brother Gregory Earl Hickman, she is survived by her devoted husband Thomas Victor Yocum, her brother Curt Pertel Hickman, her children Bonnie Julene (Yocum) Rough (Daniel Rough); Amanda Rose (Yocum) Underhill (Robert "Josh" Underhill); and Luke Thomas Yocum; and by her grandchildren Josephine Julene Rough, Louisa Jean Rough, Lenora Rose Underhill, and Arthur Thomas Underhill.

A funeral mass followed by a celebration she named "Paula's Grand Finale" will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019 at St. Jude Catholic Church in Redmond, Wash. Wear color! Gifts in her honor may be made to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America (ccfa.org), NFED (nfed.org), or REACH (reachhd.org). A perfect gesture in Paula's memory would be to carry out a random act of kindness.
Published in The Seattle Times on Oct. 6, 2019
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